The Portuguese Federation of Cycletourism and Bicycle Users (FPCUB) aims at the protection of the environment by promoting the bicycle as a sustainable way of mobility (as well as protecting the security of its users), and by developing the practice of ecological cycling for leisure, fitness and tourism, representing it in Portugal and internationally.
The Federation was founded in September 1987. It is an institution of public utility which groups 1,200 associations (and clubs) representing a total of circa 30,000 people.
Member of ECF – European Cyclists’ Federation; AIT – Alliance International de Tourisme; FIA – Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile; Portuguese Confederation of Associations of Environmental Protection; UECT – Union Européenne de Cyclotourisme; ConBici – Iberian Coordinator in Defense of the Bike; and COPPT – Portuguese Confederation of Tobacco Prevention.
FPCUB is a national scope Environment NGO and an Institution of Public Utility which is registered in the Portuguese Environment Agency.
FPCUB is a non-governmental Environmental organization at a national level, member of the ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation), collaborating in activities to defend cycling as a form of sustainable mobility; AIT (Alliance International Tourism) and CONBICI (Iberian Coordinator in Defense of the bike). It has collaborated with UNESCO in the framework of the bicycle. It is a founding member and currently holds the chair of the Executive Council of the Portuguese Confederation of Environment Protection Associations. It is also a Founding member of the Portuguese Confederation for Smoking Prevention (COPPT) and of the Union Européenne de Cyclotourisme (UECT).
FPCUB advocates the bicycle by pursuing the recommendations of WHO (World Health Organization) and the studies showing that health is the key factor that leads people to choose to use the bike, either for leisure or as a form of daily mobility, on the one hand, and that cycling has a high potential to improve public health firstly, and secondly, at different levels – coronary arteries diseases, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and smoking, among others.
FPCUB grants its members, among other benefits, insurance for personal accident and death or permanent disability and other liability.
It is the representative in Portugal of the EuroVelo Project – The European Network Cycling Routes, which aims to connect routes throughout Europe for the use of bicycles. Apart from the visiting bicycle users, this network also appeals to local users, for both, utility and recreational purposes. It will bring benefits in many fields, including transport, tourism, recreation, environment, bottlenecking, mobility and road safety, regional development, energy, public health and exchange of cultures.
It supports and develops more than 300 annual activities for its members. It has replaced the State on social support to youth in healthy and educational activities for leisure as well as in the field of solidarity.
The FPCUB has made the bike a better way of living.
It develops the “Cycling Portugal” project in order to sensitize the government to the need to create safe conditions for the use of bicycles as a clean mobility complementary to public transport. This project is already developed in several municipalities. “Cycling Lisbon” is an example of this project (with the development of cycling lanes and other support infrastructures). A protocol of cooperation with the City of Lisbon was signed on 15 March 2000.
Since 2009 the Cycling Benfica project is being implemented with the support of EEA grants and the Portuguese Environment Agency, CP, Metro, Fertagus and the Municipality of Lisbon.
FPCUB has succeeded over the years to raise awareness among mass public transport operators to allow free transport of bicycles by passengers. CP, Fertagus, Metropolitano de Lisboa, Metro do Porto, Transtejo, Soflusa and even some urban transports in Lisbon allow the transport of bicycles.
Some events organized by FPCUB:
- An yearly event – “Ancient Lisbon by Bike” – with the aim of giving the possibility of discovering Lisbon in a healthy and environmentally friendly way as well as a public awareness action to the importance of bicycle for short trips commuting home-work or home-school, raising awareness of the population in Lisbon to individual freedom of movement by the use of the bicycle. It also is a means of culture, entertainment, education and socialization that attempts to demystify the alleged difficulty of the seven hills in Lisbon
- Promotion of cycling in campaigns such as “24 Hours Riding for the Environment “and the comparison between the levels of pollution, noise and space occupied by bicycles, cars and buses, in addition to numerous tours and activities in various parts of the country working with schools and municipalities
- Subscription of the “European Day Without Cars” and “European Mobility Week”, organization and support of many initiatives across the country, in cooperation with various municipalities and other entities
- 2006 – creation of the National Prize ” Bike Mobility ” as a public recognition of the contribution of certain entities that have promoted the use of bicycles in its multiple ways, through the creation or improvement of conditions and facilities in Portugal and / or through the dissemination of initiatives for the promotion of the use of non- powered driven vehicle. Within this framework different categories are considered annually: Government, Media, Collective Transportation Companies and individuals. The Award is emblematic (consisting of Portuguese handmade glass pieces) and it is awarded during the European Mobility Week in a public ceremony, every year.
- 1992 – Organization of the annual ECF European Congress and the First National Cycling and Bicycle Users Congress; 1994, the Second National Congress; 1996 the Third National Cycling and Bicycle Users Congress ‘ Nine Years of Public Interest Mission “and the I Iberian Congress “The Bicycle and the City”
- September 1998 -participation in the II Iberian Congress on “The Bicycle and the City “in Spain, co-organized with the Association Bici en La Coruña. In 2000 it organized the III Iberian Congress in the city of Aveiro. In 2002 it co-hosted the IV Iberian Conference in Gijon. In 2004 it organized the V Iberian “The Bicycle and the City” Congress which was held in Oeiras on 17- 18 and in September 19, integrated in the European Mobility Week and in November 2008, it organized the Seventh Iberian Congress, in Vilamoura
- 1995 – Organization of the 52 AIT/FIA RALLY, held in Mafra , incorporated into the “European Year of Nature Conservation” under the Council of Europe motto: “Think about the Future – respect nature,” with the participation of 750 foreign participants representing 13 European countries, and over 1,000 Portuguese cyclists
- In July 2002 the FPCUB brought this great cycle-tourism initiative back to Portugal (with 1,500 cyclists from 14 countries)
- 2008 – the IV European Week of Cycling took place in Sesimbra, July, 6-12
- In 2012, organized the IX Iberian Congress “Bike and the City” on 28 April to 1 May in the village of Murtosa. In December organized the Festival of Cycling in Solidarity in Lisbon and Oporto.
- For over 15 years, FPCUB has done lobbying with the various Ministers of the Interior Administration of the successive governments, together with all Parliamentary Groups, the National Authority for Road Safety and security forces PSP and GNR.
- In 2012 and 2013 FPCUB joined the Mission Unit for drafting the “Charter of Soft Mobility”, causing pressure on the legislature bodies to change the Highway Code, with very favorable results for bicycle users.
- In 2013, made the Cycling Mobility Plan for the Municipality of Loulé.
- It organized and publicized the first initiatives of ATB (All Terrain Bikes) in Portugal, thus introducing this activity which is becoming more and more popular in our Country
- Since 1987 it developed health, drugs, AIDS and Anti-smoking prevention campaigns. By using the bike, alcohol, drugs or tobacco addicts have recovered. It encourages the use of the bike in Health promotion actions in schools and Parishes. It has advocated indoor air quality and indoor smoke-free and has, accordingly, addressed this issue in several forums about environmental quality. It has annually celebrated the World Non Tobacco Day (May, 31) and Non Smokers Day (November, 17) and organized other activities to raise awareness of the population for smoking prevention
- It has promoted tourism and environmental awareness to preserve the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, through activities such as “International Sesimbra – Algarve Cycling meeting” (which had its beginnings in the European Environment Year; the 24th edition took place in 2010). This event annually joins about 3,000 cyclists engaged in three days of conviviality, or in Environmental Education actions jointly with the delegations in Alto Minho, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Sor, Lamego, Lousã / Coimbra, Alpiarça, Bombarral, Évora, Vila Nova Foz Coa, Viseu, Portugal, Pico, S. Jorge, São Miguel and Terceira / Azores, Massy Palessiou / Newark and Paris-France / USA.
The former president, Mario Soares (now an Honorary Member of FPCUB) cycled over 15 Km within the Open Presidency for the Environment, at a meeting which brought together over 2,500 participants.
FPCUB supports and develops more than 300 annual activities of its members. It has supplemented the Portuguese Government in social support for youth activities and educational healthy occupation of free times, as well as in the solidarity area.