Striking Grassroots Bike Campaign Shows How Much Space One Car Occupies

Video screen capture. VFS FILMS/Viesturs Silenieks

CAR FREE DAY. Latvia from VFS FILMS on Vimeo.

In the supposed war between cars and bikes, sometimes the bike wins. However, we know fundamentally that while the car isn't going to go away, bikes still take up less space, obviously pollute less and are faster in reaching destinations. But rationalizing this disparity is not enough in many places where the car is king, certainly hasn't stopped the mainstream media from demonizing bike riders or faulting victims of crashes.

In Latvia, here's another visual testament to how the bike sizes up next to the car; local biking advocacy group Let's Bike It created this striking campaign for European Mobility Week to show just how much space a single car takes in relation to one bike.

Using full-scaled bamboo frames, shaped like cars and placed on riders' shoulders, the activists then mounted them on their bikes and rode around the streets of the capital Riga for several hours to emphasize just how large one car can be, especially if it's used to move just one person.

It's an offbeat, grassroots but convincing operation that demonstrates how biking can benefit congestion-clogged cities, and which could easily be replicated in other cities (though we would encourage bikers to wear helmets!). In addition, Let's Bike It recently went a bike tour from St. Petersburg, Russia to Lisbon, Portugal to promote biking across the continent. See more over at Let's Bike It.