Even though it is windy and cold on the schoolyard at Limpertsberg Lycee, two groups of people participate in the class today. For some of them, it will be the first time on a bicycle. The association ProVelo teaches adults how to ride a bike. Danielle, instructor for ProVelo, explains: “We’ve had these classes for 12 years. Usually, it is for complete beginners, but we have also many persons who just feel unsafe and want to be more confident on the bike.” Among the thirteen participants, eleven are women. Most of them tried to cycle maybe one or two times, without any guidance, others fell or had an accident and since then have been scared to get on again. “Many persons, often women, haven’t had the possibility as a child to learn it and when they start to learn as an adult, it is not so easy. Everybody says: It’s so easy, just go on. But it is not.”
Katja has made this experience. “Especially in the corona times”, she says, “it was really frustrating to not be able to go out with friends and family who wanted to do bike tours.” Katja is part of the group who today take their first steps – not yet on a bicycle; to get used to balancing, ProVelo teaches the basics on the scooter, which is lower and safer. The second group that started classes last week already draws circles in the second schoolyard. They learn how to avoid obstacles. They started the class last week. Last Friday was for many the first time they really rode a bike in their life, today, the session is about going where the person wants to go and not just follow the bike’s movements. Raluca is part of this second group. She already learned how “to start, to stop, to try at least to go in a straight line, to turn right, turn left.” In the schoolyard, she feels safe on the bicycle now, “but I don’t feel prepared to go out on the streets.”
Participation in traffic needs more practice and is not always safe, even for cyclists who are used to it. This week, Local Matters is about cycling in Luxembourg. Tomorrow, we will focus on the safety for cyclists with Daniel Erpelding, activist for “Critical Mass”.
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