The initiative is part of the “Bike Me” project action plan for this school year and follows what “the school has been doing in the paradigm shift in mobility,” Francisco Soares, director of the Pinheiro e Rosa School Group told Lusa.
'Bikes to pieces' is one of the lines of a plan that included the creation of a repair and maintenance workshop and whose first set of tools was "kindly offered by the Portuguese Cycling Tourism Federation", says the official.
One of the objectives of this collection and recovery is to make bicycles available to the school community.
The school already has a history of intervention in the area of ??environment and mobility and since January 2019 it has seduced students to ride their bicycles, offering an extra snack, “with an orange juice and a sandwich”, explains the principal.
The move led more than 20 students to opt for the two-wheel drive from home to school, such as 12 grader Johnny Coelho, which only took “five minutes on a journey that usually took 20 minutes on foot”, and did “some exercise in the morning”.
The project's mentor considers that the number of students who have joined the initiative is still “not very high”, in a comparison based on Finnish or German schools, where you can see “several dozen bicycles” at the school's door.
Something is changing, "but we are still in the beginning," he says.
Teachers are also changing their habits, and this year, at the general meeting that brought together the nine schools in the cluster, there were “a considerable number of teachers who rode their bikes,” says the official.
António Caetano, a math teacher at this school, has reactivated “an old habit of youth” and for 18 years he has been travelling the 11 kilometres that separate his home in Olhão and the school in Faro, daily on two wheels.
At the age of 66, he reveals that the reality of traffic is quite different from other times, but despite travelling most of the way on EN 125, his biggest concern is within the city, where it is “much harder to get around”, warns the teacher.
He recalls that Faro already had, “about 50 years ago” a bicycle lane at the entrance of the city, a reality that he would like to see implemented today, even if it were “tracks shared by bicycles and cars.”
Johnny Coelho also confesses "there is always some danger, because there are no bike lanes" stating that he takes "special care" with cars, especially in the morning.
Francisco Soares participated in the presentation of the Mobility Week in Faro, on Monday 16 September, highlighting that there are measures to be taken by the municipality, with the “construction of bike lanes and the reduction of speed in some areas of the city, which will help our cause".