Every May 29, Argentina celebrates Biker Day, a day that invites us to remember the benefits of traveling on this means of pedal transportation and to recognize the man who inspired it.
In 1982, the Center for the Promotion of Bicycles proposed that 29 May be designated as Bicycle Day in Argentina.
Although the date was chosen arbitrarily, the day was created with the aim of paying tribute to one of the country’s most outstanding cyclists, Martin Remigio Saavedra.
Bike Day: The Incredible Story of Martin Remigio Saavedra
Martin Remigio Saavedra, born in Mendoza Province in 1911, was an Argentine professional cyclist who won his first race at the age of 14.
Despite his wide-ranging and celebrated career, Saavedra stood out nationally for one feat in particular: he cycled the long route separating his Mendoza native land from Buenos Aires on two occasions.
Saavedra is probably one of the best cyclists in Argentina. He was born in Mendoza in 1911, won over 300 events and participated in the 1933 Road World Championships in France. His brother Kosme, a pioneer in cycling, was his inspiration.
His journeys from Mendoza to Buenos Aires
The first time he did this adventure was in 1943 and the last time in 1981, when he was 70 years old. On this last occasion, his aim was to spread awareness about the harm caused by cigarette consumption. Saavedra completed his journey on 5 December, and for this reason this date is celebrated as Cyclist’s Day in Argentina.
At age 70, he traveled from Mendoza to Buenos Aires on foot in only 18 hours 45 minutes.
Don Remigio Saavedra died in 1998 at the age of 86. To him and his skill, we owe the celebration of the region, which was apparently arbitrarily fixed for May 29th.
In short, the figure and legend of Remigio Saavedra is so great that there are currently two annual celebrations in which he is the protagonist.
Finally, Cyclists’ Day provides the ideal opportunity to reflect on the role played by professionals in this field.
Cycling and its importance for health and environment
World Bicycle Day is also celebrated on 3 June, a day that originated in 2018 as a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly to highlight the importance of the bicycle as a means of transportation.
Although this is a separate event from what happens on this day, it is an opportunity to highlight the benefits provided by this means of transport.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize that the bicycle is “a sustainable, simple, affordable, reliable, clean and ecological means of transportation”, and emphasize that “it contributes to the management Provides environmental and health benefits.
Apart from taking care of the environment, cycling is known to be beneficial for both physical and mental health. According to the WHO and the PAHO, “it leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which is one of the risk factors for chronic non-communicable diseases,” such as diabetes and hypertension, among others.
Bicycle riding has great importance in various aspects both at personal, social and environmental level. Here are some reasons why bike riding is relevant:
- Physical Fitness: Bicycling is a low-impact physical activity that promotes cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, improves endurance and helps maintain a healthy weight. Regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Mental Health: Biking also has mental health benefits. Outdoor physical activity and contact with nature can help reduce stress, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and increase a sense of general well-being.
- Environmental sustainability: Bicycles are a sustainable and eco-friendly form of transportation. It does not emit polluting gases or contribute to global warming. By choosing to cycle instead of motorized vehicles, you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to improving air quality and reducing noise in cities.
- Efficiency and Economic Savings: The bicycle is an efficient means of transportation, especially in congested urban areas. This allows you to avoid traffic jams, easily find parking and fast travel over short and medium distances. Furthermore, biking is an economical option, as no fuel costs or expensive maintenance are required.
- Social Connections and Communities: Cycling can encourage connecting with other people and building communities. Participating in cycling activities, such as group rides or sporting events, allows you to meet other cycling enthusiasts, share experiences and build social bonds. Additionally, it promotes a healthy, active lifestyle that can positively impact the community at large.
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