The first ReCycling Bike Fair was held in North Macedonia from 16 to 18 September 2023 organized by Eco Logic. On Saturday 16 September at the Pump Track Polygon at the Olympic Pool in Skopje, a Pump Track Competition event was held with the aim of educating children and youngsters about proper bicycle riding, skill riding as well as awareness raising about the environmental issues that we are facing. A competition between experienced bikers and BMixers in performing world-famous tricks and jumps.
This is the first time how such an event is being organized in Macedonia, in general.
Regarding the participants at the event, an online registration form was prepared for the Pump Track event, where youngsters, children and parents had the chance to register and enroll to the event. . We had about 50 participants above 16 years old, and 50 below 16 (mostly at the age of 7-10 years old).
The event consisted of a contest in 3 categories, accompanied by a DJ and a party. The 3 categories were as follows: Riding the fastest time, doing bmix tricks, high jumping on the bike (bunny hop).
At the end of the event a Velo Cinema was set, where the participants had the chance to experience generation of electricity with the help of a bicycle – connected via special set and a battery. About 30 people attended the cinema.
On Sunday September 17th in the City Park, Skopje, a Velo Rodeo event was held as part of the Velo Fair activity from the ReCycling project. The goal of this event was to motivate children and parents to practice more different types of sustainable mobility, improve their cycling skills (balance, motorics, speed, safety) and cycling knowledge (road safety, road signs,) as well as to raise their awareness about environmental topics, related to recycling and reuse of bicycles (3R workshops) and also about the negative effects of climate change.
The Velo Rodeo event, was held In the entire area around Školka in the City Park, a large area that is commonly used for various types of events in Skopje.
The event was planned and organized with several so called content stations. The main station was the Velo Polygon, which was prepared (developed, manufactured) by Eco Logic and Velo Schools, and consisted of 15 reusable exercises made out of metal and wood. The children learned proper use of the bicycle and careful riding on any terrain. In total 15 exercises were set for children of all ages. Additionally, fast and slow races were organize for children in different age groups, and for different types of bicycles (with and/or without pedals). We had a huge interest and over 300 children rode from 10.00 am to 14.00 pm. In total more than 500 participants were present at the second day of the Velo Fair (Velo Rodeo Event)
Around the exercises other content stations were organized:
–bicycle repair station, where more than 30 flat tyres were fixed, 50 chains lubricated, 25 brake systems and 10 rear derailleurs adjusted.
– eco experiments: a station where educators were explaining and proving to children and parents the negative effects of climate change. This station focused on experiential learning where through hands on approach children and parents were able to witness what is really happening with our Planet. More than 10 different experiments rotated among the children. A workshop for conducting experiments where 20 groups of 10 to 15 children each took turns, depending on how much space there was. All kinds of experiments were done for Ecology, Natural Sciences, Learning about Natural Processes and the children performed the experiments themselves with the help of two teachers and one assistant.
–Sustainable cities station, where the children had the chance to design their own sustainable cities, develop cycling infrastructure, as well as to plan their public and green spaces. This was achieved through the tolls in the form of LEGO bricks (more than 25 kilograms of Lego were available for the participants)
–Artistic workshops for customization of children’s bicycles: with the help of an experienced artist, as well as by introducing special marker pens for metal colouring the children had the chance to customize their bicycles and make them unique. More than 40 bicycles were redesigned during the event.
–Drawing station: artistic / drawing workshops were held where the main topics of the day included sustainable mobility and cycling, as well as environmental protection and climate change. Over 200 children with their parents attended here. It was done in several techniques. The children drew with water and tempera crayons, with felt-tip pens.
–Reading station: where children and parents had the chance to improve their reading skills related to children’s books on topics related to environmental protection, written by Macedonian authors, and guided by a special educator.
–Scout games station: every kid likes to shoot with an arrow, every kid wants to know how to set up their own tent and sleeping area in nature. This station was meant to motivate children and parents to go out in nature, connect with nature and protect it.
–Bike shop stations: at the event there were 3 bike shops with their stands, where children products related to cycling were placed and promoted.
–social station: by one – donate one, a concept that was introduced at this event, where the team of Eco Logic designed T-shirts and school resources (bags) which were sold at the event with the moto of buy one and donate one (for children from vulnerable categories, children without parents etc). During the event more than 50 t-shirts were sold and 50 more donated, as well as more than 50 school bags.
Following this event, 7 smaller bicycle events were held in 5 neighborhoods in Skopje: Autokomanda, Kisela Voda, Chair, Gazi Baba, Taftalidze and in 2 other towns, Bitola and Veles, where in total more than 1000 children and their parents participated.
At the workshops, children were educated on how to ride properly, how to maintain the bicycle, recycle and reuse their bicycle parts, and how to beautify the bicycle with special felt-tip pens. We have organized slow races, round the chuns, off road race etc.
What has to be outlined is the cycling event in City of Veles, where we organized an event with the presence of 500 children from the school for children with disabilities “Matsa Ovcharova” alongside with their educators. About 40 children from other schools were also present. The smaller events were also supported by the EU Delegation in Macedonia, and for this event specifically the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. David Geer visited the event and donated a tricycle for the needs of the children, specially ones with cerebral paralyses.