Welcome to Prague for a very special exploratoryâ€¦ride!
Prague is the third city, after Paris and MalmÃ¶, where we have conducted an exploratory mission, and this time we collaborated with the great feminist Czech NGO,Â Gender Studies. As we prepared for our collaboration, we realized that it made more sense for them to do an exploratory ride instead of a walk.
Indeed, as the team from Gender Studies explained to us, many of Prague’s inhabitants own bikes, but only a few use them inside the city. So, letâ€™s try to understand why Prague is not always an attractive city for bike riders, both women and men.
As usual, we started with training. With Anna and Jitka, from the Gender Studies headquarters, we prepared the last details of the ride – scheduled for Saturday, March 19th – before carrying out our traditional mobilization.
Meeting point: Jungmannove, a central square in Prague.
Our bike tour lasted about an hour and took us through various urban areas (the historic center, nearby suburbs, bridges, trams and bike paths), ending with a warm coffee to thank all the riders.
For D-day around 15 people showed up, which was in line with our goals and allowed us to collect enough quantitative and qualitative data to support our study-action.
As we started the ride, we quickly noticed that Prague’s main form of public transport is the tram, which, although effective, is not bicycle friendly. Very often there is only one path for the tram, forcing bikers to ride through the tracks, which is not particularly safe. There are also many cobblestone streets in the historic center, which makes biking difficult.
Nonetheless, there are also bicycle paths in the city, which give a feeling of security. However, we were surprised by the behavior of the motorists, who drove very fast and seemed unaccustomed to sharing the road with bikers. City Hall is trying to change things; as Prague’s bike development manager was riding with us, he explained the various urban improvements the city has made.