Learning to ride a bike with PubliBike
In Zurich, refugees learn how to cycle. Some courses use PubliBike's robust and comfortable bikes.
Those who can cycle are more flexible in their everyday lives. That's why the bike riding courses for refugees are very popular in Zurich. The organisation FriendsOnBikes offers them on a voluntary basis. Participants first learn how to ride off the road. As soon as they feel safe enough, they ride on normal roads and practice standard situations such as making turns and changing lanes.
The courses are mainly attended by women, many of them from Africa or Syria. They didn't know how to cycle because there was no real infrastructure in their countries of origin. Or because they were denied cycling for cultural reasons. For them, cycling is more than mobility: in the courses people from different countries, cultures and language regions get to know each other - an opportunity for exchange and integration.
For some of the courses, FriendsOnBikes can use bikes from the PubliBike fleet. "With their small bikes, low access, upright handlebars, adjustable saddle and sturdiness, the PubliBikes are very well suited," says coordinator Bernhard Krauss, who also supervises courses himself. In addition, the refugees learn how to use e-bikes, and there is no need to take care of the bikes. Around 40 women and men have benefited from the courses this year; on average they are firmly in the saddle after six or seven courses.