Newcomer Programs

HUB Cycling offers a range of courses and programs targeted specifically to recent immigrants and refugees to Canada. These programs provide the support needed for newcomers to build the skills, knowledge and motivation to give cycling a try in their new home.

The programs below are delivered in partnership with immigrant serving organizations and agencies across Metro Vancouver, such as the Immigrant Services Society of BC, MOSAIC and local Neighbourhood Houses.

Download our Newcomers Guide to Cycling in Vancouver here.

Newcomer Bike Host Program

The Vancouver Newcomer Bike Host Program is a collaborative program between HUB Cycling and the Immigrant Services Society of BC, modeled off of Toronto’s CultureLink program. The first of its kind in Western Canada, the program matches recent immigrants and refugees with local “host” volunteers for companionship and cultural orientation to Vancouver’s active transportation lifestyle. Newcomers receive city cycling instruction, and have the opportunity to spend time with their host volunteer getting oriented to Vancouver's cycling routes, rules, and culture, while having fun exploring Vancouver by bike together.

2018 marks the second year of the program. In 2017, Bike Host reached 59 newcomers to Canada from a variety of backgrounds and 39 volunteer hosts took part. Participants gained a variety of skills throughout the program and reported numerous successes. To learn more about the 2017 Bike Host program, including participant success stories, read our Newcomer Bike Host Program Final Report

Follow along with us this summer, as Joming Lau, HUB’s Bike Host Program Coordinator rides along with a few Newcomer Bike Host program matches to share what it’s like to participate in the program.

  • Read about Karin and Tina's ride along the North Shore Spirit Trail on our blog. 
  • Read about Bibigul's experience becoming part of the local bike scene on our blog.

Volunteer intake for the 2018 program is now closed. Thank you to all who showed interest in taking part!

The 2018 Newcomer Bike Host Program is generously funded by TransLink, Westbank and QuadReal Property Group, Vancity and the Hamber Foundation. 


2017 Media Coverage

Roundhouse983 Radio Aug 14 2017 ‘Sense of place with Minelle Mahtani

Canadian Cycling Magazine Aug 13 2017 ‘The success of a Vancouver program that familiarizes new Canadians with city by bike

Metro News Aug 7 2017 'Newcomers jump into cycling culture with bike orientation program'

CBC Online Aug 6 2017 'New Canadians learn to cycle the city in Vancouver bike host program'

City TV Aug 4 2017 'Breakfast TV coverage of the program' (starts at 3:45)

The press release of the program can be found here.

Immigrant Learn to Ride Courses

HUB delivers targeted cycling courses to introduce immigrant and refugee newcomers to Metro Vancouver cycling culture, infrastructure and rules.  Starting in-class and moving to on-road, Immigrant Learn to Ride Courses are a fun, practical and hands-on way for any newcomer to become comfortable riding for transportation in Metro Vancouver. These courses are specialized for newcomers, and delivered at various skill levels - from participants who are just learning to balance and pedal for the first time, to those who have basic cycling skills and are ready to learn about riding safely and joyfully in the city. HUB provides bikes and helmets for instruction. We work closely with service providers to recruit and engage immigrant newcomers and ensure that our courses are meeting their unique needs.

Course participants learn:

  • How to balance on, pedal, steer and brake on a bicycle
  • Basic cycling skills including straight-line riding, turning, braking, shoulder checks, and hand signals
  • Canadian and Metro Vancouver city cycling culture an trends
  • How to ride legally and safely on urban roads and bike routes in a Canadian context
  • Information about Metro Vancouver urban cycling infrastructure and safety equipment
  • How to communicate effectively with other road users
  • What to wear to be safe and seen, and to cycle in different conditions 
  • The dynamics of bike storage, security, and theft prevention
  • How to assess a bike's condition, and make basic adjustments to keep a bike operating well
  • How to access and use Metro Vancouver route planning resources.