Bicycle tracks painted red, traffic signs and lights for bikes, bicycle parking seats, bicycles on the streets, sidewalks, squares, even by the river. We are in a place where people’s life is spent on a bike. The town we’re talking about is Trikala, the Greek capital of bicycle.
Traditionally, Trikala is a bicycle-friendly place due to the flat terrain, the small streets and the short distances, with thousands of bicycles overwhelming the town daily. Residents use the bicycle in all aspects of their everyday life, not only as a hobby or a sport activity but also, as a primary means of transportation or even for commercial pursuit. In total, there are more than 30,000 bicycles, that is, 1 bicycle per 2.5 inhabitants. Besides the cycle lanes, bicycles have access in all streets and pedestrian areas, while there are tailored parking spots all over the town. There is also a special police squad made up of policemen with bicycles patrolling in the city center.
Often, group bikes are organized by the Municipality of Trikala and the Cycling Association of Trikala with the participation of dozens of citizens.
Trikala is the birthplace of a number of prominent personalities of Greek cycling, including the Gold Olympic Champion Dimitris Georgalis, the Greek and Balkan champion Michalis Tamanakias and the long-distance champion Stelios Vaskos.
A very noticeable type of a bicycle found in Trikala is the traditional “Matrakas”. It is an antique model, broadly used in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, which nowadays has become popular again. A great number of those bicycles have been reconstructed and now overrun the streets, offering the town a slight taste of the nobility and charm of its past.
The best way to get to know Trikala is riding a bicycle. The Municipal Authority offers free bikes for a three-hour ride, available from the Info Point Pavilion at the Central Square.
Submit your review