Trade mission Colombia
The Netherlands and Colombia are both cycling countries. The mayors of the Colombian capital Bogota are well-known for their progressive views on mobility. Enrique Penalosa (mayor 1998-2002 and 2016-present) was key in the development of Bogota’s cycle path network, over 300 kms in length. He is famous for the quote “A bicycle way which is not safe for an eight year–old is not a bicycle way.” Gustavo Petro (mayor 2014-2015) is an advocate for good public transport. His famous quote is “A developed country isn’t a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.” From 29 November until 2 December Colombia organised its first national cycling congress in Bogota, the BiciGo. The Netherlands was asked to act as guest country.
The Dutch ministry of foreign affairs took the opportunity to organise a trade mission to Colombia, with cycling mobility as one of the key themes. A Holland pavilion was created for various Dutch cycling mobility firms, naturally, with a space for Loendersloot. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was also attending and even led the way on a joined bike ride into the city. He also met with our director Ruben Loendersloot.
The BiciGo-event was a good opportunity to talk with Colombian policy makers. The joined bike ride also created an informal atmosphere in which all could talk freely about their visions on mobility from own experiences. Loendersloot is looking back on a valuable mission to a special country, just as its Dutch Bicycle Centre partners Stip Bikes and Fietsdiensten.nl.