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Užsiregistravo: 2010 Gru 04 23:47
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Greetings from Latvia!

We are very glad to announce we have a lot of news from Latvia about everyday cycling and tourism development of Latvia. For its` promotion we have established a new organisation - Latvian Cyclists` union (Latvijas Ritenbrauceju apvieniba - LATRIT, http://www.divritenis.lv). It unites several (as for now - 15) cycling development related organisations and was established because of the raising need for an especially everyday-cyclists representation in dialogue with governmental institutions and municipalities as well as the cooperation among Latvian cycling-related organisations in different projects and activities to promote everyday cycling as an environmentally friendly, healthy and comfortable transportation more effectively.

The idea of establisment of such organisation was initiated by Latvian Bicycle information centre (official ECF representative in Latvia) and until now the organisation has been growing very fast. LATRIT`s chairman of the boards is Viesturs Silenieks (visit his Resumee at http://www.silenieks.lv/about-me/), who is the official ECF representative and EuroVelo movement initiator in Latvia.

So here we present an overview of LATRIT activities in its` first year of operation:

1. Lectures for the police.
In May 2010 LATRIT organised a course of lectures about bicycle types, accessories, prices, bicycle locks, types of cyclists and bicycle thieves. The course was organised for employees and inspectors of Riga municipal and Latvian state police to raise their knowledge in investigation of cases related to bicycle thefts. Please see the slides of the used presentation here: http://bicycle.lv/?p=2736

2. Cooperation with the municipal police to fight the bike thieves.
In summer 2010 LATRIT prepared a bicycle with an integrated GPS system which was used as a "bait" for bicycle thieves. In the result the police caught, arrested and sentenced one of them.

3. Cooperation with the municipal police in informing the society about bicycle theft prevention.
In May 2010 LATRIT prepared a booklet with useful advices on how to place and lock the bicycles securely and what the owner should know about his bicycle to ease the police work in searching and identifying the bike in case of a theft. The booklet was distributed to cyclists during a special campaigne in May 2010 and it is still available and printable here http://bicycle.lv/?p=3586.

4. A voluntary bicycle register.
On January 2011 Road Traffic Security Department in cooperation with LATRIT launched a voluntary bicycle database where every bicycle owner can register his bicycle thereby easing the police work in identifying the stolen bicycles and returning the found ones back to their owner. Since May 2011 already 10 000 bicycles have been registered in this database. To know more please visit the register at https://e.csdd.lv/.

5. Campaign "Do you see the cyclist?".
In May 2011 LATRIT initiated a campaign "Velosipēdu redzi?" (Do you see the cyclist?) which was executed by Road Traffic Security Department. The campaign was organised to promote a mutual understanding among traffic participants and during the campaign many out-door advertising posters and banners were placed around Riga and other Latvian cities and several videos made and put in the most popular social networks. To see some of these videos please visit Road Traffic Security Department`s profile on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/CSDDLatvia

6. Riga Bicycle week.
In May 2010 LATRIT took part in Riga Bicycle week what was organised by several LATRIT members in cooperation with Riga city municipality. The event was organised to promote everyday cycling and illustrate the variety of cycling culture. Latrit members organised many activities during the week, such as sprint, polo and fixride competitions, trial demonstrations, freakbike and oldschool bike parade, bicycle market, bike cinema shows as well as a seminaire together with the city representatives about the improvement of city cycling infrastructure. Please visit http://www.rigasvelonedela.lv for more info.

7. Organisation of the active cycling season opening ride.
For the first time in history in the 1st May 2011 a an active cycling season opening ride happened in Riga city, what was organised by LATRIT in co-operation with Riga municipality. The event happened within Riga Bicycle week and about 1200 cyclists participated in the ride. In the future LATRIT plans to organise the ride every year. Please visit http://www.rigasvelonedela.lv for more info.

8. Radio show "Bicycle world".
Since June 2011 LATRIT has its` own radio show "Bicycle world" which is on air every Wednesday on Latvian radiostation Autozinas.fm 99,0 Mhz. The show is directed by one of LATRIT members, Viesturs Silenieks, and during the broadcast LATRIT informs the radio listeners about bicycle events on the following week and interviews with everyday cycling and transport experts. Please visit http://www.autozinas.fm for more information.

9. Update of bicycle infrastructure standarts in Latvia.
In 2011 LATRIT proposed the update of bicycle infrastructure standarts which by now is already inserted in the declaration of the government and plans of Ministry of Transport. The standarts will be ready by the end of 2011.

10. Cyclist counters.
In summer 2011 LATRIT proposed the introduction of cyclist counter devices to estimate the current number of cyclists in Riga city what would serve as an argument to demand more investments in Riga cycling infrastructure improvement. The project would be carried out in cooperation with Danish Embassy in Latvia and Riga municipality.

11. Consultations about the design of bicycle routes.
During 2010 LATRIT was consulting Riga municipality about the design and development of the new bicycle routes. As a result corrections were made in the new bicycle route from Riga centre to the east of the city. Please see the route here: http://www.rdsd.lv/box/files/velocentrsbergi_0.jpg

12. Videos about cycling safety.
In 2010 LATRIT in cooperation with Riga municipality created several video clips to raise cyclists` knowledge on how to cycle safely and to promote mutual understanding among car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Please watch the videos here: http://www.rdsd.lv/?ct=ieteikumi

13. Booklets about recommendable cycling routes.
In the beginning of 2011 LATRIT in cooperation with Riga municipality designed a booklets about the recommendable cycling routes in Riga city. The booklets were distributed to cyclists during a special campaign.

14. Bicycle route cleanup.
On the 30th April the annual event “Big Cleanup” happened in Latvia when usually a huge part of all Latvian inhabitants and municipalities join in a common work to clean the houseyards, forests, parks and streets. During the event LATRIT initiated a campaign to clean the most popular bicycle route Riga – Jurmala, what had not be cleaned for years due to the legal problems of it`s ownership. To know more about the campaign please visit http://www.talkas.lv.

15. Decade of Action for Road Safety.
In May LATRIT participated in projects within UN Decade of Action for Road Safety where the members of the organisation took part in a seminaire and discussion on how to prevent children from getting involved and injured in traffic accidents. During the project LATRIT together with the Minister of Transport organised a campaign where reflective vests were distributed to children.

16. Cycling Day and Night in Kuldiga.
LATRIT in cooperation with Kuldiga municipality organised the biggest uncommercial cycling tourism event in Latvia - "Cycling Day and Night in Kuldiga) what took place in Kuldiga town on May 21 and 22 2011 and gathered about 2000 participants. For more info please visit http://www.velokuldiga.lv.

17. Bike expeditions.
To popularize cycling tourism in summers 2010 and 2011 members of LATRIT took part in organising several local and international bike expeditions, including international BalticCycle expeditions (Georgia 2010, Italy 2011, http://bicycle.lv/?page_id=212) and Barona taka bike tour in Latvia (July 2010 and 2011, http://bicycle.lv/?p=3400)

18. EuroVelo 10 research expeditions in Western Latvia.
In August 2010 and 2011 LATRIT organised the annual cycling marathon “Churches inthe coasts of Kurzeme” to popularize cycling tourism and do research about the possible EuroVelo 10 circle route (Baltic Sea Route) in its` Western Latvian part according to the research made in 2007 (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24930809/EuroVelo_petijums.pdf). To know more about the tour, please visit http://bicycle.lv/?p=3468).

19. Velo Crash Test.
The 1st September is the first day of the new school year in Latvia what also means that many pupils and students - cyclists - return back to the city. Therefore LATRIT made a video to warn and remind the car drivers about being more careful on the road and how dangerous a contact between car driver (even if not exceeding allowed 50 km/h) and cyclist can be for the cyclist. Watch the video right here: http://bicycle.lv/?p=3530.

20. Young cyclists` school.
By the next school year LATRIT is planning to organise a Young cyclist`s school where children will be taught on traffic rules to pass an exam of cyclist`s license.

21. World Carfree Day.
For the second year in a row LATRIT cooperates with Riga municipality in organising the activities within the World Carfree Day, 22nd September. This year LATRIT is organising a flashmob - 2 minute long trial demonstrations in the middle of a junction during a traffic jam - what would be filmed and put in several social networks. Also this year LATRIT is cooperating with Riga municipality in organising a huge Wheel parade where not only cyclists would participate but everybody who uses a non-motorized vehicle, including disabled persons with wheelchairs, young mothers with baby carriages etc. The videos from the flashmob and the parade are coming soon.

22. Cycling news on radio.
On October 2011 LATRIT in cooperation with Latvian Railway will launch a new project - cycling related news broadcast in the Latvian most popular radio station - European Hit radio. The news will be on air every working day at noon from the 1st October until 31st December where LATRIT will inform the society about cycling activities, events and news about development of cycling culture and infrastructure in Latvia. For more info please visit http://www.europeanhitradio.com.

23. Videos with advices on cycling.
By September 2011 LatRit has started filming a new videomaterials with different useful advices for cyclists (for example, how to cycle safely, how to choose the most suitable bicycle, how to use child seats, trailers etc.) what will be put in the biggest social networks and other cycling-related sites.


Sincerely,
Ingus Sala

Latvian Bicycle information centre
Member of Latvian Cyclists` union
Riga, Jekabpils str 19a, LV-1019
info@bicycle.lv
http://www.divritenis.lv


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