Velo-city 2024
18-21 June 2024

Cycle with us


Promoting cycling through high-quality services: introducing the Cycling Embassy of Ghent

With five bike rental and repair points, six bicycle parking garages, a bike depot, 1000+ rental bicycles and a lot of enthusiasm for the fiets, the Cycling Embassy of Ghent is well on its way to getting every Ghentian to cycle. Their 2023 annual report confirms this once again with impressive numbers. Read on to discover how the Embassy’s services are connecting people, places, industries and different modes of transportation in the city of Ghent.  

In 2017, the City of Ghent founded the Cycling Embassy to fulfill its commitment of implementing an integral cycling policy that goes beyond better infrastructure and communication. The Cycling Embassy delivers on this goal by offering a diverse range of bicycle services, including rentals, parking, repairs, lessons and coaching. Additionally, they drive innovation through various projects.  

Cycling for all 

The Cycling Embassy stands out for actively promoting inclusivity in its cycling services. They rent out rickshaws, tricycles, tandems, cargo bikes and wheelchairs for those with special needs, and discounted bicycles (including electric ones) for students. Moreover, they offer a bike taxi service, aiding the less mobile people in Ghent with door-to-door trips for increased independence.
Numbers from the Cycling Embassy's annual report (2023)

For newcomers, the Embassy's cycling lessons facilitate a joyful integration into Ghent's cycling culture. In ten lessons, both adults and children can learn to cycle independently in their neighbourhood. Additionally, five more lessons are dedicated to practising traffic rules and cycling in more challenging city traffic. The lessons are conveniently held at various locations in the city to ensure accessibility.
With these efforts, the Cycling Embassy manages to truly connect all people and communities in the city, from working moms to students and those just learning how to ride a bike.
Numbers from the Cycling Embassy's annual report (2023)

Parking solutions for every occasion   

The Cycling Embassy Ghent also plays a crucial role in connecting regions, cities and neighbourhoods through its innovative parking solutions that cater to the diverse needs of cyclists in the city. Besides installing about 8500 public bike racks since 2015, the Embassy manages six strategically located bicycle parking garages that are equipped with essentials such as bicycle pumps, vending machines with bicycle lights, lockers and toilets. For those who do not have a safe and dry space that shelters their bicycle at home, there are bicycle boxes and communal bicycle sheds available for an affordable annual fee. Communal bicycle sheds are even being created in private buildings where owners are willing to make room for them. The first one was opened in 2023. Furthermore, the Cycling Embassy’s adapted parking spaces accommodate different-sized bicycles, from e-bikes to cargo bikes.  

In addition to its day-to-day offerings, the Cycling Embassy demonstrates a commitment to promoting cycling during large events such as the Ghent Festivities. For these occasions, they provide temporary bicycle parking spaces to address the increased traffic and ensure convenient and secure parking for the attendees.

Like bike lanes, parking is part of the necessary infrastructure that makes cycling an ideal mode of transport. Free bicycle parking at train stations also connects cyclists with other modes of transportation, even enabling car-free living.   

Sustainable commuting  

Cycling is not only a solution for individuals but can also help industries and sectors to reach their sustainability goals. The Cycling Embassy Ghent offers companies and organisations special bike rental packages for employees, including maintenance. During the SPITS test caravan scheme employees can even test various e-bikes in real life and experience the impact and convenience of sustainable commuting.  

Cycle and recycle 

The cycling industry itself also faces the challenge of becoming more sustainable and circular. The Cycling Embassy Ghent has taken on this challenge by setting up various projects that promote the reuse and repurposing of bicycles and their components. One of their activities is collecting the bicycles that are left on the streets. The Embassy stores these neglected bicycles at a bicycle depot and finds them a second purpose if they are not picked up by the owner. In cases where a bicycle cannot be fully repaired, the Embassy reuses or sells the good components.  

Recently, the Embassy started a project where citizens can actively contribute to the Embassy's circular efforts by bringing their unused bicycles to dedicated bike-wreck areas. Moreover, citizens can choose to have their bikes repaired with second-hand parts. By offering second-hand bicycles and bike parts, the Cycling Embassy not only provides a cost-effective solution but also encourages sustainable consumption practices. 
Numbers from the Cycling Embassy's annual report (2023)
Got some interesting ideas out of the Cycling Embassy’s services and want to know more? Make sure to read their annual report (with the help of an online translation tool) or visit their website for additional details. Even more enticing, you can experience their services firsthand at Velo-city 2024 in Ghent. 

Velo-city 2024 is co-organised by the Cycling Embassy of Ghent, together with the European Cyclist Federation and the City of Ghent. Velo-city 2024 centres around the theme ‘Connecting through cycling’. Delve deeper into the theme and subthemes and join us in Ghent from 18-21 June to discover more best practices, engage in discussions and network with cycling experts from all over the world. In other words: to connect through cycling.