Cyprus Sunshine Cup thinks green

Mountain bike race organizers support environmental protection

Organizers of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup mountain bike race series have launched a "Think green, act green" environmental protection campaign to plant trees and motivate people to use bicycles as a means of transport. Noting the intuitive connection of mountain bikers to nature, the organizers want to use the popularity of mountain bike pros and their series to draw attention to its new environmentally-oriented programs.

Race participants and organizers, in conjunction with the Forestry Department, will participate in a tree planting activity. Each rider will be supplied with a tree in a certain area near the race venues. Riders will be able to hang a small card with their names and the date of planting on each tree.

Organizers will also sell green wristbands, with proceeds going to support renewable energy source projects.

The campaign aims to encourage transportation by bike to work or school or market. In particular, they will back a "Bike for Life" initiative to help children ride to school safely. The initiative is already underway three times per week in Limassol, and expansion to other areas is anticipated soon. Doing their own part, organizers are riding to and from their offices several times per week. For more information on the Bike for Life project, visit www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=156981773945.

Finally, a 2010 summer ecological camp will be run in the Cyprus mountains for boys and girls ages 10 to 16. Campers will learn about environmental protection.

The Cyprus Sunshine Cup begins February 21 in Voroklini with a cross country race, then includes the Afxentia Macheras Mountains stage race on February 26 to 28 and a final, the Amathous-Agios-Tychon cross country on March 7.

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