N2 Challenge - From Chaves to Faro on a Cargo Bike
From November 25th to December 1st, a Lisbon based Bike shop (EBikeLovers) in collaboration with the bike brand Reise&Muller and a local athlete João Félix organised a cargo bike challenge that consisted of cycling from the Northern tip to the Southwestern tip of Portugal. In other words, a cargo bike road trip from Chaves to Faro leading along the longest European road.
The CCCB Lisboa team, Gonçalo Pais and Miguel Cambão, joined this adventure to deliver a filmed message from the Mobility Deputy Mayor of Lisboa, Miguel Gaspar, to several peers, which they met along the way. The goal was to get people excited about cargo bikes and to challenge them to think about how they could be used in their local communities. This was the first step towards starting a cargo bike revolution in Portugal!
Day 1 – 25.11.2019
After traveling 65 km, João was welcomed in Vila Real. This was the perfect opportunity for peer to peer communication with the local Mobility Councillor, Adriano Sousa, along with a fun cargo bike try out session in front of the council building.
Day 2 – 26.11.2019
João continued his journey to Santa Marta de Penaguião where he was greeted by the local Mayor Luís Machado. The Santa Marta City Council Executives could not resist to try-out the cargo bikes.
Afterwards, it was time to continue the adventure, which lead southwards towards the city of Viseu, crossing the river Douro and climbing the Montemuro mountain. Despite, heavy rainfalls and strong winds at an altitude of 1000m, the team reached their destination. Upon their arrival, it was time for another meeting with Viseu’s Municipality Vice President Conceição Azevedo.
Day 3 – 27.11.2019
The morning began with the departure from Viseu. After some kilometers, João made a small detour to Coimbra, the 3rd largest Portuguese city. A Peer to Peer meeting was held with Regina Dias Bento, Mobility Deputy Mayor for Coimbra. The meeting was of course followed by a cargo bike try-out session at the Dr. Mário Mexia sports hall. As the night fell, it was time for João to continue the journey to Góis.
Day 4 – 28.11.2019
After an early wake-up call on a misty day, the journey let up the Lousã mountain. CCCB Lisboa received a warm welcome from António Borges, councillor of the local Mayor in the Municipality of Sertã.
The day ended with a display of cargo bikes by the river Tagus, the biggest one in Portugal. Representatives of the Abrantes Municipality joined the meeting and it was time to explain the CCCB project to the local councilmen Luís Dias and Paula Grijó.
João Félix camped in a beautiful place by the river and slept in a tent he had carried all the way on his cargo bike.
Day 5 – 29.11.2019
After leaving Abrantes, João Felix experienced a completely different landscape. Hills became scarse now that he entered Alentejo’s prairies. In no time João arrived at Montemor-o-Novo. The CCCB Lisboa team was received by the representative of the local Municipality, Maria Santana while a photoshoot session was held at Montemor’s Castle.
Day 6 – 30.11.2019
João Félix leaves Montemor-o-Novo and heads south. First stop, Torrão where local the parish president and coffee shop owner met the team. After lunch, the team headed to Almodôvar where a cargo bike try-out was held in the public garden.
Day 7 – 01.12.2019
Last day of the adventure! From Almodôvar to Faro, João Félix crosses the last mountain. He is received in the city center where the last cargo bike try out is held.
The trip ended with a photoshoot in Faro’s Boat yard.
João’s story shows that a cargo bike is not only an excellent vehicle for everyday use but an ideal for long-distance journeys as well. And, of course, carrying all of his luggage was no problem at all. Everywhere he passed, heads turned and gave everyone a CARGO BIKE SMILE.