Immigrants on bike! project has provided cycling beginner and advanced courses, maintenance courses and coach training from 2018 onwards.
In the training period between 2018 – 2019 we had amazing results:
- 400 people trained
- 63 beginners’ courses
- 9 training courses for coaches
- 4 fixing courses
- 2 basic courses
- 55 new trained coaches
- 13 municipalities participate in the project.
Courses have been organized all over Finland: Helsinki, Tampere, Espoo, Hyvinkää, Jyväskylä, Vantaa, Kotka, Lappeenranta, Joensuu, Oulu, Kristiinankaupunki, Lohja and Turku.
Around 90% of the participants learned how to ride a bike successfully. Motivated by this great experience, they are eager to learn more. And the courses are equally enjoyable for coaches!
Who attends cycling beginner courses:
- The course participants are adult immigrants with no cycling skills
- About 80% of the participants are women.
- For many, the beginner’s course is the first time on the bike
- The beginner course lasts two days
We received great feedback from the participants of our courses:
- Finally, I did it!
- Now I can ride with my family on Sundays.
- I never would have thought I could learn to ride a bike
- You taught me how to ride a bike, I will never forget you!
- Thanks, now I can move freely!
- I had to wait for 71 years, but now I’m cycling, thank you!
- This is incredibly liberating!
The coaches have been really enthusiastic when they see the reaction of their students, as they gradually grasp the importance finding their balance and learning how to pedal. It is rewarding to see the bright smiles on the faces of the participants as they overcome their initial fears and misconceptions. From then on even the coaches find it hard to stay in pace with their students as they begin to find their freedom and start biking faster and further.
The goal to develop our project in the future is to organize our courses on a 5-session training as well as a Bicycle repair training. We believe that this format will not only enable our participants to learn how to ride, but also to really be able to use biking as a means of transportation and recreation by providing them with the necessary skills to do so in a safe way.
The new 5 sessions training is structured as follows:
The participants learn how to balance on a bicycle, to pedal, to use the brakes as well as learn the basics of maintaining control of the bicycle. ( 2 x 90 minutes )
Participants learn about traffic rules and safety, about the bicycles different parts and to adjust the bicycle seat, brakes, etc. During the course we go biking together in the city and ensuring that the participants become responsible cyclists (2 x 2 hrs.)
City and nature bike tours
Tours enable participants to become familiar with bicycling in urban settings as well as in the nature while simultaneously remaining aware of traffic rules and safety. The tours can also be tailored to the different groups’ according to their needs by, for example, biking in a specific area so that participants become familiar with that area and the services available there. (1 x 2 hrs.)
In addition, we also organize bicycle repair course where participants fix and maintain a donated bicycle that they can keep as their own at the end of the course
If you would like a cycling course in your area, contact the project coordinators! Fabrizio Turci will be responsible for the project from January to April with Federico Ferrara.
tel. 044 2445 849
tel. 040 3608 473
If you are interested in this project and its activities and would like that our courses be organized in your area as well, please get in touch with Fabrizio Turci, till 10.4.20, and after 10.4. with Federico Ferrara.
Immigrants on bikes! project in media
EFC: Free Cycling Lessons Empower Immigrants in Finland
Writing by Federico Ferrara on the website of the European Cyclists’ Federation.
Helsingin Sanomat: Kahden pyörän varassa.
Anthonia Noruwan learned to ride a bike in a beginners course. (In Finnish and behind a paywall.)
Yle: Marokkolaisnaisen haave pyöräilystä toteutui Suomessa
With the help of the project, about 300 immigrants have received help with cycling. (In Finnish)