I love cycling! I love it, because it gives me a feeling of freedom. It gives me an easy way to get around. It brings me close to nature. On a bike I a share moments and stories with fellow cyclists in a way that I do not find in other social settings.
Cycling gives me physical and mental challenges and strength. Sparkling moments of true happiness often come to me while being out there on a pretty place on my bike. It brings me health and well-being.
Cycling for a cause
When I decided to set up business in the Côte d'Azur in the eco-tourism sector last year, I quickly realised that a key to success is finding your niche. As cycling is close to my heart and an integrated part of who I am, it was the obvious choice for me. The cycling industry is growing - and I wanted to be a part of it - while supporting an eco-friendly activity for tourists in the area. Lifesparkz Bike Tours was born out of a wish to contribute to a sustainable living and development. In doing so, I use the UN sustainable development goals (SDG) to keep me focused in making a sustainable business. I want to share with you, why the UN sustainable development goals help me to keep focused.
Sustainable Development Goal 3: Health and Well-being
The UN has specified 17 target areas for sustainable development, which businesses, governments, everybody! in their daily lives can use as inspiration to do activities in ways, which support sustainable
development. Sustainable development contains A LOT... therefore I have found it helpful to use the SDG framework to specify, how I can contribute with my business activities as a one-woman bike tour company.
"SDG #3: Goal 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. The Goal addresses all major health priorities, including reproductive, maternal and child health; communicable, non-communicable and environmental diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines." sustainabledevelopment.un.org
Doing exercise on a regular basis is a key to having a good health. Cycling is an activity, which most people can do. You can cycle in your every day commutes to work, for getting around to markets, schools, or like me - to get out and enjoy nature. It takes a bike, yes! But once, you have got your bike set up, there are no limits for the experiences you can make by going out on a bike.
Cycling benefits your physical as well as mental health. It is easy on your joints, it provides an aerobic workout - releasing endophines and making you feel good - it builds muscles, it benefits your balance when walking, standing, stair climbing and gives you endurance. It also builds bones when pedaling. Harvard Health Publications
I do guided bike tours in effort to help other cyclist get shared experiences in the Nice area, when they discover this beautiful region by bike. Even though cycling can be an individualist sport, cycling is also very much about sharing a bike ride with other riders. Enjoying the road together, making a stop in a village for a coffee, share views, share hard sections - and easy sections. Share life on a bike!
In those ways, I contribute to health and well-being of people, who join a tour with me in Lifeparkz Bike Tours.
Cycling across Europe for charity - takes a yellow jersey
In Europe more and more cycling challenges is taking place, where cyclists group up to raise funds for research and prevention of diseases, improving health of participants and beneficials. I have been lucky to cycle with more of strong willed persons this year, who take part in challenges in Denmark, Ireland and France: Meet Martina, Susan/Michael and Anna.
Martina in the top row is currently training to take part in Irish based Tour de Munster. Tour de Munster is a 4-day cycling challenge, which raises funds for children and youngsters with Down Syndrom in Ireland.
Susan and Michael - is a part of the Danish initiative Team Rynkeby. Thousands of cyclists from all over Scandinavia train all through winter to take part in a one-week event, where everybody cycle from their respective countries to meet in Paris-France, whey they group up to ride into Champs-Élysées in a long parade. Don't they look a bit like bees? Team Rynkeby raises funds to fight childhood cancer and for children with lungdiseases.
Anna in the bottom is taking part in a cycling event based in France called Cogs4Cancer. It is a smaller challenge, this year with 30-something participants, who will cycle from London to Antibes during 10 days. Cogs4Cancer is raising funds to fight cancer. Anna is a local cycling friend - that's why I sneaked into the last foto in that row....
I have been truly happy to share beautiful cycling days with these great people. It has been such a pleasure to introduce them to the magic of cycling in the stunning surroundings here - to overcome fears of 'how do I get up that hill' - or more 'how do I descent'? To feel their sheer joy of moving, by bike, along the coastline and on mountain roads, while you are the only persons there. The bike tours have contributed to their health and well-being - while they take part in greater initiatives, which support prevention of some of our time's serious diseases and aid to children and their families, who have these diseases.
Business networking by bike
Cyclist don't only group up for charity events. Leaders of companies is joining active network communities and take part in organised network events as a way of spending time together. In the Nice area we have the Cycling Challenge Nice-Mont Ventoux. It is a 4-day cycling challenge and networking event. The participants join 4 days of beautiful cycling, leaving from Nice and with a final stage on the famous Mont Ventoux. While having time to socialise with fellow cyclists.
Next week, I am happy to host and guide at a 4-day socialising-network-cycling event for sponsors and supporters of one of Denmarks leading cycling teams: Riwal Platform.
There is so much more to cycling than - just cycling!
Workshop in Copenhagen 11. May 2017
While health and well-being is the prior focus area of Lifesparkz Bike Tours among the SDGs, I include more of the goals in my operations. On my top 3 list is also sustainable cities and communities (SDG #11) and quality eduction (SDG #4). I will tell about my work with those areas in articles to come!
How did I pick those target areas? How can you use the approach in your business? It is not easy to pick your main goals - and it is a process when you work with your business plan, communication, contact to clients and collaborators and in every choice you do linked to your business activities.
On May 11. May 2017, 18:00, I host a workshop in Copenhagen, where I will be happy to share my approach with your and invite you to discuss how we as small business owners - and not even owners - also as individuals in our everyday lives and workfunctions - can use the SDGs to frame and focus our activities. So we can integrate sustainable solutions as defaults in our operations.
Please book your spot here - I will be happy to receive registrations before 5. May 2017. It costs 100 Dkr, tea/coffee included. The workshop takes place at the Greencubator, Nørrebrogade 20, 2200 Copenhagen.
I look so much forward to biking and discussing the sustainable development goals with you!
Owner of Lifesparkz Bike Tours
Tina Baltzer, owner of Lifesparkz Bike Tours.