Archive for August, 2010

Diplomas for “Cycling For Everyone” participants in Bräcke

 

on the open road

 

Our first cycling course for adults in Bräcke is over and it’s time to pack up the bikes and move on to the next course starting soon in Gothenburg.

I find it hard to believe just how quickly the last two weeks have passed and just how quickly our wonderful pupils have improved. We are moving on from Bräcke leaving behind five competent cyclists. Two weeks ago five women were wobbling around a school yard balanced precariously on shining new black bikes. Now the bikes aren’t quite so shiny but the wobbling is a thing of the past.

 

We were visited by a local journalist and we had a hard time explaining to him that just a few days previously these women were “non cyclists” he thought we had cheated and were only pretending to teach people who were already proficient cyclists.

 

 

 

Diplomas for everyone

 

Teaching someone to cycle is just a small part of the business. Learning to ride is the hard bit, having the determination and the courage to keep at it. To pick yourself from the ground after falling off and to get right back on the bike and try again and again and again till you get it. We had a few spills in the beginning but not as many as one might expect. Riding down hill was the biggest challenge. Sitting on a bike and peddling is one thing but when the bike starts to accelerate on its own down a hill is quite another.

 

 

 

Kristina Johansson, probably the best cycle coach in Sweden

 

Kristina who took charge of the lessons also deserves an ovation. The way she patiently gave encouragement and inspired confidence throughout the course was at least as inspiring as watching the students rapid improvement.

 

There was a time, at the start of the course when I will admit I was a bit worried. What have we started rolling? But now at the end all of my worries are gone. I’d even go as far as to say that our graduating pupils look a lot safer on two wheels than many experienced cyclists I regularly see randomly rolling down the roads.

 

The project’s name is fitting, cycling is for everyone.

 

If you’re interested in learning to cycle, know someone who is interested or have a bit of spare time to help and to be part of a truly inspiring project and live in the Gothenburg area, leave a comment on this post and we’ll get back to you really soon.

We would like to give Bräcke council a big thank you for helping to make everything work and for donating helmets as a graduation presents.

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The first of our planned cycling courses is now under way in Bräcke, a small town in the beautiful Northern Swedish province of Jämtland. Now after three lessons all our incredibly  motivated pupils are cycling on their own without any assistance. For an adult who has never cycled before learning to keep their balance after just three short lessons is impressive. As a teacher it would be nice if I could take a small amount of credit for this, but I can’t. The courage and determination of all the participants is impressive. All the credit is theirs. Here are five women who have proved that they can do whatever they set their minds to.