HUB Cycling and Red Fox empower Indigenous and Racialized Youth with new Greenest City Biking Program
November 12, 2021
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike?
Joseph, who works as a program coordinator at Red Fox Healthy Living Society remembers that time vividly. “I was 4 years old when I learned how to ride a bike”. He also recalls the joy he felt learning essential biking skills. “My dad taught me so many valuable things such as how to change a tire, how to true spokes, and how to navigate the streets of Vancouver”.
From his own lived experience and through his work with Red Fox leading physical literacy programs to children, Joseph knows how important it is for children to be active and learn new skills. He recognizes that when a family doesn’t have the means to buy something as essential as a bike, children miss out on that simple childhood joy and opportunity to gain the confidence and independence that comes with cycling in their neighbourhood. That is why he feels such satisfaction in being a part of the Greenest City Biking Program - a new collaboration between HUB Cycling and Red Fox.
This program teaches Indigenous and racialized children aged 8-14 living in East Vancouver how to ride a bike, and how to cycle safely and confidently around the city. Participants learned how to access all of Vancouver’s great community resources and places, while making new friends. With support from the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City grant program, Red Fox and HUB Cycling came together in 2021 to deliver two 8-week sessions of the Greenest City Biking Program.
Kaydenze, a biking youth leader shares, “Being a leader in this program has given me the opportunity and confidence to share my love for biking with the kids. Their faces light up every time they learn something new. I love this program so much!”
The Greenest City Biking Program has trained ten Indigenous and racialized youth to be assistant bike instructors to help staff deliver the program to 35 children from Britannia Community Centre and Strathcona Elementary School. At the end of the 8-week program, each participant got to keep the bike they learned on, and they each received a brand new helmet and bike lock.
The first cohort with 14 participants at Eagles in the Sky Out of School Care program completed the program in June.
HUB Cycling and Red Fox just wrapped up delivering the program to their second cohort, serving 20 Indigenous and racialized children at Strathcona Elementary School. Their graduation ceremony was held on Thursday, November 4th. Check out their excited faces below when they received their certificate of completion along with their new bike, helmet and lock!
HUB Cycling and Red Fox Healthy Living Society see this initial collaboration as the first step of a successful partnership. We thank the City of Vancouver for their support and for their confidence in our ability to provide such important experiences to children and youth in Vancouver’s inner city.
If you’re looking to support the future success of this program, we’re always looking for bikes! Some of the bikes used by students were donated by generous community members via the Metro Vancouver Bike Match Program. If you have an extra bike you’d like to donate, please fill out the Bike Match form here.
You can also support the development of programs like the Greenest City Biking Program that support communities throughout British Columbia facing social, cultural, and/or financial barriers to cycling by donating to HUB Cycling at bikehub.ca/donate.