‘Bike for Peace’: Manchester gears up for nuclear-free world with globetrotting cycle spanning nine countries

A globetrotting cycling campaign to promote a nuclear-free world begins in Manchester this weekend, with the city’s Lord Mayor joining to help get the wheels in motion.

Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Naeem ul Hassan will be joined by former a Norwegian Prime Minister to launch the 2014 Bike for Peace tour on Saturday, March 15.

Organised by Bike for Peace, the group have been touring annually since their first tour 36 years ago in an attempt to abolish nuclear weapons.

Among the visitors will be founder of the movement Tore Naerland, who continues to campaign for peace despite being partially sighted.

The 90-day tour, which is set to span nine countries across the globe, will first begin with a visit to Edinburgh Cycles, in Rusholme, who have donated bikes for the ride.

Lord Mayor of Manchester Cllr Hassan, said: “Manchester has been dedicated in supporting the call for nuclear disarmament for more than 30 years, so it’s an honour to welcome Bike for Peace to begin their mammoth ride.

“It’s a great way to highlight the need for global solidarity and the international action needed to create a safer and more peaceful planet.”

After a UK visit, the peloton will cross the channel to spread their message into France before visiting Italy, Pakistan, India, China, Japan, the USA and concluding in Norway.

Kjell-Magne Bondevik, the former Norwegian Prime Minister and current President of the Oslo Peace Centre, added: “I look forward to participate in the events in Manchester.

“I share the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons, and I am engaged in a network of former politicians, like myself, working for this vision.”

Ged Holmyard, of Edinburgh Cycles hopes the cycle encourages people to ‘get on their bikes’.

He said: “There are so many reasons to ride. Cycling is practical, it’s liberating, it’s fun, it’s healthy, it’s convivial.

“Bikes for Peace were founded within a year of Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op, and it provides an especially compelling reason to cycle – to promote peace and environmental awareness.

“We are proud to lend their delegates three of our own Revolution bikes for the UK leg of their tour.”

Image courtesy of MAPWcommunications, via Flickr, with thanks.

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