Even before the official meeting time of 7:30am, people of all ages kept pouring into Zamalek on Friday morning to participate in the fifth annual Orange Bike initiative.
The streets were dotted with bright shades of orange, as participants both young and old gathered in preparation for the cycle ride around the island.
"This year as well as is in previous rides, orange biking days were highlights of each year,” participant Ahmed Osama told Ahram Online. “You could just sense the positive energy in the air.”
The group bike ride, organised by the Dutch embassy, aims to promote healthy lifestyles and to shed light on the use of bikes as a cheap and green form of transport.
In recent years the number of initiatives that aim to raise awareness of healthy and eco-friendly lifestyles have been on the rise, gaining momentum from the enthusiasm displayed by the participants and the increase in the number of those willing to take part in the events.
This year’s event focused on the concept of sustainability, under the motto of "orange is the new green."
Around 5,000 people took part this year, a massive increase on last year’s 3,000 participants.
Netherlands is known for its regulations which facilitate the use of bicycles, and the embassy here in Egypt hopes to shed light on the idea.
All Photos courtesy of the Embassy of Netherlands in Cairo
During his opening speech, Ambassador Laurens Westhoff emphasised that the cycling tour is part of the embassy’s continuing effort to promote bicycles as a clean, efficient and sustainable alternative means of transport in Egypt.
The ambassador also explained the relevance of the color orange to the Netherlands, saying that the colour is traditionally that of the Dutch royal family and has not come to “symbolise the country.”
Orange Bike Day had been held annually by the Dutch embassy since 2012, when around 400 people participated. Global Biking Initiative of Egypt, the leading bike riding community in the country, and bike retailer Abou El-Goukh assisted in organising the event.