Build a Bicyclist delivers real freedom for new Canadians
July 3, 2014
MOSAIC & HUB Cycling program includes free bike, training for participants
Nine new Canadians who otherwise lack the necessary skills and resources received their own bike and road training as part of a free bike education workshop today.
Build a Bicyclist is a HUB Cycling program offered partnership with local immigrant serving organizations. It provides a refurbished commuter bike, lights, fenders, lock and helmet, as well as basic cycling skills and road rules training to people with a demonstrated need for a bike.
The workshop was delivered in partnership with MOSAIC Settlement Services, which helps newly arrived immigrants and refugees settle in Metro Vancouver by providing specialized settlement services, like Build a Bicyclist.
“Our clients have to get to English classes, to work and to see family, and they often don’t have a car or the confidence to use transit,” said Paeony Leung, Settlement Worker with MOSAIC. “Riding a bicycle gives them the ability to explore the city and feel more at home. “
Leung says that bikes are very familiar to many people who come to MOSAIC. “In some cultures, such as China and Viet Nam, people have a very close relationship with bicycles,” she said. “When our clients find themselves in a completely new environment, having the familiarity of a bike is a very important. And it represents your freedom, which is sometimes more meaningful than the time or financial savings.”
The City of Burnaby provided financial support for this Build a Bicyclist course, to benefit newcomers who settle in Burnaby. HUB also recently delivered Build a Bicyclist to Vancouver newcomers with support from the Vancouver Greenest City Grant.
“There are probably thousands of people in Metro Vancouver who could use a bike for commuting, for their health or to see family, but don’t know how to start,” says Tim Welsh, Director of Programs at HUB Cycling. “Thanks to the generous support of our funding partners we’re able to help a few dozen at a time to overcome their challenges in getting on two wheels, and getting more active in their communities.”
HUB also delivers bike education courses and workshops through community centres and bike shops across Vancouver, including ‘all ages and abilities’ private and group cycling classes.