Cycling all year round is a very common mode of transport in Joensuu, hence the nomination for the host town of the 8th international Winter Cycling Congress WCC in February 5–7, 2020.
WCC gathers advocates and specialists of cycling together to develop winter cycling conditions. They also want to reinforce the role of winter cycling as an everyday form of physical activity and share the best practices around the world. This annual event has been touring the world from Oulu, Finland, to the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Russia and is now returning to Finland. The event is organised by the international Winter Cycling Federation.
The conference will be launched on Wednesday February 5th, in the spirit of “more action, less words” as the conference guests will have Snow How workshops with local pupils. Alongside the varied conference programme, workshops and lectures, the conference guests will have an opportunity to take part in twelve Mobile tours by bikes, take sauna daily and even join a Save Pond Hockey tournament against the climate change – as players of course – during their stay in Joensuu. Also, a dip in a freezing lake will be on the schedule.
Joensuu was the first town in Finland to open a bicycle street in Finland and one of the tours will head there. The guests will also hear about the active work that Joensuu is doing in order to be carbon neutral by 2025, that being an ambitious but still reachable goal even internationally. Joensuu is one of the most active developers of cycling conditions in Finland. There are also more people cycling to work all-year-round than in any other city in the country. One big group pedalling actively is young people and students. As one third of the people in Joensuu are under 25 there are a lot of cyclists on the streets.
This cycle friendly background combined with a very easy-going co-operation with the local cycling associations, the Sports Federation of North Karelia, the neighbour municipality Kontiolahti and of course the Finnish cyclists’ Federation and the international Winter Cycling Federation, the organizers are expecting a very successful, memorable and relaxed conference.