Information for cyclists / FAQs

Who is able to participate in the CITY CYCLING campaign?

  • Members of the local parliament in participating municipalities
  • Inhabitants of participating municipalities
  • Anyone who works, belongs to a club or attends school or university in a participating municipality

Where can I see if my municipality is participating in CITY CYCLING?

All participating municipalities are listed in the overview available here. Should your municipality not feature in this list, then why not approach your municipality (administration, town/city council, etc.) and suggest that they participate in the campaign?

When can I get involved?

The CITY CYCLING campaign takes place every year between 1 May and 30 September. In the municipalities themselves, the campaign runs on 21 consecutive days to advocate climate protection and promote cycling. The participating municipalities are free to choose the exact campaign period.

How can I sign up?

Your municipality first needs to register for the CITY CYCLING campaign (click on the Registration tab for details), after which teams can be formed or joined. You can then get cycling and enter your climate-friendly kilometres in the online cycle log.

Where and how can I sign up and record the kilometres I have cycled?

  • Participants with internet access are able to sign up for the online cycle log by entering their name and email address as soon as the log has been activated for their municipality. After signing up, the kilometres cycled can be entered here, which will then automatically be credited to the team and municipality.
  • Participants with a smartphone are able to use the CITY CYCLING app (for Android and iOS systems) to enter their kilometres. The app is very handy (it is no longer necessary to log in via the website) and it is even possible to simply use your mobile phone’s GPS function to calculate the exact route and kilometres covered.
  • Participants with no internet access are able to sign up directly with the local coordinator for their municipality. A kilometre log form is available to record the kilometres by hand. The details of the local contact(s) can be found on the subpages of the participating municipalities.

Which kilometres count towards CITY CYCLING and how are they recorded?

Each and every kilometre covered by bike for professional or private purposes during the 21-day campaign period can be counted; (cycling) competitions as well as indoor training on stationary bikes (e.g. spinning bikes) cannot be included here.

The kilometres cycled can be measured/estimated using an odometer (tachometer or cycle computer), the CITY CYCLING app or a route planning tool such as Naviki, for example.

Who checks the correctness of the kilometres recorded? Can’t the distances cycled be doctored?

CITY CYCLING lives from the principle of fair play and relies on the honesty of cyclists. It is not possible to check the kilometres entered by the tens of thousands of cyclists participating in the campaign, nor do we wish to do so. This being said, we ask that the municipal coordinators look into any “unusual” activities and to review these as necessary. “Social checks” among and within teams also tend to work.

This being said, the actual aim of the campaign is simply to get more people – and particularly local politicians as decision-makers for cycling promotion – on their bikes and to facilitate more effective public presentation and addressing of this issue by means of a competition. At the same times, cyclists demonstrate to those responsible with their participation how important climate protection and cycling promotion are to them and how many people are already using their bikes today.

How can I participate as a CYCLE STAR?

Those wishing to participate in the special CYCLE STAR category should contact their local coordinator in the participating municipality, who will then register them as a CYCLE STAR.

It is at the local coordinator’s discretion to decide who is permitted to represent the municipality in this special category (e.g. mayors, city councillors, etc.).

Why should I get involved as a local politician?

Take advantage of the CITY CYCLING campaign to gain an insight into life as a cyclist for (at least) 21 days and experience the traffic situation for cyclists in your municipality first hand. The real experts on cycle policy are all those, who have considered the matter from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. Why not refine your senses and enhance your awareness to help improve the situation for cyclists.

You also should not underestimate – and indeed should also use – your role model function as a member of the local parliament: with your participation, you show others how important climate protection and sustainable mobility are. What’s more, in the process, the kilometres you cycle help your municipality achieve a good ranking in the “Most active local parliament” prize category.

Who is considered a member of the local parliament?

(For those wishing to register for the “Most active municipal parliament” prize category.)

When a cyclist signs up for the first time, they will be asked about their status as a parliamentarian or member of the local parliament and/or council. This information is decisive for the prize category of “Most active municipal parliament” in which Climate Alliance acknowledges municipalities’ achievements.

In principle, members of the local parliament are all persons belonging to the town/city/municipal/district council or committee. A right to vote is always decisive here. For towns/cities, there is also the option of adding members of district parliaments/local councillors, etc. and actively including them in the local CITY CYCLING campaign.

In case of doubt, please contact your local coordinator directly (details of the local contact(s) can be found on the subpages of the participating municipalities).

I cycle every day anyway. Why should I still participate?

With your participation, you show those responsible for cycling in your municipality how important climate protection and cycling promotion are to you. The larger the number of cyclists who participate in CITY CYCLING, the clearer – and louder – this signal will be! The (political) decision-makers will be made (more) aware how many cyclists there are and how many journeys are already being completed by bike in the municipality so that these road users must also be afforded more space. What’s more, only those who have signed up for CITY CYCLING are able to use the RADar! reporting platform.

I barely cycle/only cycle short distances. Why should I still participate?

Every kilometre travelled by bike is almost inevitably a contribution to climate protection, too! Hence every kilometre cycled and every cyclist counts. CITY CYCLING is not intended as a competition among individuals but rather a communal undertaking in which as many people as can and wish are able to participate. Perhaps you cycle so little because you are unhappy with the conditions for cyclists: your participation will help make the call for more cycling promotion louder! What’s more, only only those who have signed up for CITY CYCLING are able to use the RADar! reporting platform to actively help improve cycle routes!

Particularly short journeys covered by car harbour considerable savings potential. In the first few kilometres, a cold engine needs up to 30 litres per 100 kilometres and the wear on the engine is particularly high. By covering shorter distances by bike, you will not only increase the life of your car but also save money and help avoid even more climate-damaging CO2 being released into the atmosphere!

Why do you provide information on the CO2 avoided?

Beside promoting cycling and facilitating a long-term improvement in the cycling infrastructure (e.g. through the RADar! reporting platform), the CITY CYCLING campaign aims to help protect the climate – this is also one of the overall aims of Climate Alliance. We strive to communicate and raise awareness using the simplest, most comprehensible messages possible. Every journey covered by bike is essentially environmental and climate protection as a matter of course. And this is what makes it so great!

We always consciously speak of CO2 avoidance and not savings, as we know that not every journey covered by bike actually saved/replaced a journey by car. Strictly speaking, people who do not own a car cannot save CO2 – the fact that their behaviour still has a positive impact on the environment should be undisputed, which we also wish to take into account and acknowledge.

The campaign does not make any scientific claim. By indicating the CO2 avoided (based on 142 g of CO2 saved per kilometre cycled, according to the German Federal Environment Agency) we merely wish to illustrate the positive effects cycling can have on our mobility behaviour – and how much greater these effects can be if more people choose to regularly switch to using their bicycle, naturally also beyond the CITY CYCLING campaign period!

(Why) do trips with a pedelec/e-bike count?

Pedelecs (250 W average engine power, support regulated at 25 km/h) are permitted in the CITY CYCLING campaign as they are considered bicycles within the scope of the German Highway Code (Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung, StVO). Studies moreover show that pedelecs are also climate-friendly vehicles in terms of the battery production: with less than 6 g of CO2 per kilometre, they emit around 20 times less CO2 than an economical car with a combustion engine.

Pedelecs also deserve support, as they significantly increase a bike’s radius of use and can make cycling accessible to a great many new cyclists. A great deal of potential exists to reduce the number of journeys completed by car.

And last but not least: due to their high average speed, pedelec cyclists are also – and perhaps even more – reliant on good cycling infrastructure, which is why they may and should also use the RADar! reporting platform!

What else do I need to know about participating in CITY CYCLING?

For the details of the full conditions of participation, requirements for CYCLE STARS, etc. please see the rules of participation.

Will the CITY CYCLING campaign also take place next year?

Yes! We are delighted to report that the CITY CYCLING campaign has become so well established that Climate Alliance will continue to run the campaign indefinitely.

As in every year, municipalities will be able to register from next spring, after which time it will also be possible for teams and individual cyclists to sign up.