United Nations celebrates World Bicycle Day with pane of 10 stamps
By David Hartwig
For this year’s June 3 celebration of World Bicycle Day, the United Nations Postal Administration will issue a pane of 10 stamps with labels.
In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 3 to be the annual observance of World Bicycle Day. According to the United Nations, the day “draws attention to the benefits of using the bicycle — a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation.”
The stamps are denominated 1.50 francs for use from the U.N. post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Bicycles being used in a variety of ways make up the designs of the 10 stamps.
Three of the 10 stamps show bicycles without riders. The other seven show bicyclists alone or in groups of two or three. Some of them appear to be traveling for leisure or exercise. However, one design shows two bicycles overloaded with plants being transported by the two riders.
The stamp designs are based on photographs. The selvage of the pane also features pictures of bicycles, including a penny-farthing. Also known as a high wheel, popular in the 1870s and 1880s, it was one of the first machines to be called a bicycle.
One picture in the selvage shows a rider participating in the sport of mountain biking, and another shows a rider on a bicycle designed for bike motocross stunt riding.
A se-tenant (side-by-side) label with the U.N. logo appears to the left of each stamp. Although the UNPA calls this a “special event sheet,” customers can personalize the labels with a photograph replacing the U.N. logo by visiting the U.N. headquarters or by uploading their photographs to the UNPA website.
World Bicycle Day outlines the positive environmental impacts resulting from bicycle use, such as cleaner air and less congestion. The United Nations also states that the bicycle provides the most vulnerable populations more access to education, health care and other social services.
These services are made more accessible both through the use of bicycles as well as the routes on which to take them. According to the World Health Organization, safe infrastructure for walking and cycling provides a form of transportation for individuals in the poorest urban sectors who may not be able to afford private vehicles.
Bicycles also contribute to better health. The United Nations says that cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers and diabetes.
Furthermore, the United Nations says that due to bicycling’s promotion of economic growth, reduction of inequalities and boost in the fight against climate change, it is a sustainable transport system critical to achieving the organization’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, were agreed upon in 2015 by all 193 U.N. member states in a global effort to end poverty, ensure prosperity and protect the planet.
All 17 goals are featured in a UNPA issue of Oct. 24, 2016 (Scott New York 1147, Geneva 629 and Vienna 597).
The June 3 World Bicycle Day stamps measure 40.6 millimeters by 29.8mm each, the labels are 26.6mm by 29.8mm, and the pane is 279.4mm by 215.9mm.
A first-day ceremony for the World Bicycle Day stamps will take place June 3 at the Napex stamp show at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Va.
For ordering information for the World Bicycle Day stamps and related products, visit the UNPA website; email firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone 212-963-7684 or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.
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