On the sunny day of June 2, the Panevėžys Elena Mezginaitė Public Library organized the campaign “Librarian and readers on a bicycle” to celebrate World Bicycle Day. Virginijus Benašas led the bike tour, a cycling and ecological lifestyle enthusiast. During the campaign, the participants visited four cultural objects of the city of Panevėžys and communicated with the Lithuanian track cyclist Migle Lendel (Marozaitė). The excursion took place through the environmental education project “I Hear the Sound of Nature” organized by the library and financed by the municipality of Panevėžys.

World Bicycle Day is celebrated every year on June 3, but the Panevėžys Elena Mezginaitė Public Library decided to celebrate this date one day earlier. On a sunny Friday, the people of Panevėžys could see library staff, readers, and tour guide Virginijius Benašas dressed in bright vests near the library. The guide invited to make the campaign photo, and after, the campaign participants got on their bikes and went to visit four cultural objects of the city of Panevėžys.

First of all, the participants of the campaign visited the “Cloud garden” of Gintautas Šimkus from Panevėžys and were surprised by the abundance and beauty of plants. The wonderful space is located next to the apartment building on Nendrė Street, and the owner has been nurturing it for twenty-seven years! The second object visited is the “Pamatai”( Foundation) gallery, conceived and established in the basement of a residential house by the photographer and bicycle enthusiast Virginijus Benašas together with the children of the yard. And in the “Žaliarankis”(Greenhand) studio, the participants saw the transformation of discarded items and bicycle parts into works of art and discoveries. The third visit is symbolic – Gintaris Audickas bicycle collection. The campaign participants were the first to see the collection of Gintaris Audickas, which exhibits everything related to the two-wheeled vehicle (emblems, bells, lights, badges, photographs, etc.). The last – the fourth – the object of the tour was the creativity center “Pragiedruliai” which recently opened its doors in Panevėžys – the participants saw the renovated homestead of the poet Juozas Čerkesas-Besparnis, who lived and worked in Panevėžys, got acquainted with the center’s employees, spaces, and plans.

The seven-trunked oak tree near the creativity center “Pragiedruliai” has become a nice place for a picnic. After cycling for several kilometers, the participants feasted on healthy snacks and listened to Valė Bilienė poetry, a writer from the University of the Third Age (Panevėžys department), about Skaistakalnis Park. The guide of the tour Virginijus Benašas and all of the participants received thanks and everyone was given bookmarks and symbolic reflectors created by the artist Diana Masiulienė specifically for World Bicycle Day.

The campaign route ended in the heart of the city of Panevėžys – Senvage, where bicycle enthusiasts were waiting for cycling enthusiasts Miglė Lendel (Marozaitė) from Panevėžys, Lithuanian track cyclist, European track championship medalist. Delighted with the beautiful initiative, she told the participants about cycling, the results achieved, and training, and answered questions about professional sports.

All participants thanked us for the perfectly organized, fun, interesting, culturally rich initiative. And the librarian Inga Matelienė shared Peter Golkin’s quote: “My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day riding a bike to the library”. Therefore, the Panevėžys Elena Mezginaitė Public Library invites you to be responsible users – travel to libraries by bike!

Text by Vaida Žalienė, Anžela Vasiliauskienė

Photo by Virginijus Benašas, Vaida žalienė