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Le 11/05/2021

Lille métropole cycling challenge: towards 1 million km

Since 2013, Lille Metropole has been organizing a cycling challenge on its territory. The 9th edition will occur from May 1st to the 31st.

This cycling challenge raises awareness among citizens about behavioural change and encourages the use of cycling to go to work or school but also in everyday life. The goal is to cycle as many kilometres as possible on the territory for everyday journeys over a month. Everyone can participate: colleagues, individuals, students, families and friends on the sole condition of forming or joining a team. This friendly urban cycling competition is for everyone!

Originally launched by the city of Bologna, it was mainstreamed by CIVITAS to become the European cycling challenge which many cities, including Lille Metropole, adopted in the last decade. For us, it has become a key date on our territory and is gaining momentum every year. In 2020, 3,280 active participants in 260 teams together completed 600,000 km. We want to cross the million kilometre mark this year and keep this exponential growth.


Cycling is booming throughout Europe and France and we are happy to see that cycling challenges are multiplying in many French cities. In 2021, those challenges will take on a new dimension at the national level, as it is part of the Mai à Vélo initiative, launched by a collective of national cycling players and supported by the Ministry of Ecology and Sports.

The gamification approach turns trips into fun activities, encouraging people to use bicycle as much as possible: participants tracks their bike-trips with a free tracking App contributing to their Team mileage, and through online leader boards they can check their city team position in real-time.

We also use this challenge to build a heat map of participants' overall journeys, which allows the mobility team to study the use of the cycling facilities on the territory and to prioritize upcoming works, especially where dangerous crossings have been identified. Using this method among others, we have created more than 100 new kilometres of cycling lanes over the past 5 years.

Moreover, last year edition allowed us to evaluate more than 30 kilometres of temporary corona cycling lanes created after the spring lockdown. The data obtained allowed us to transform most of those temporary cycling lanes in permanent ones.