Bike to belong

By Sarah RaparoliMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

For most, learning to ride a bike as a child comes naturally. For some, it never happened and they only learn to use a bike as an adult. Who are these people? The Lëtzebuerger Journal visited a cycling course for adults.

Not feeling excluded, being part of a group, sharing the same preferences – to fit in – all this is part of the basic needs of every human being. We long for acceptance, respect and appreciation. This feeling of belonging shapes our whole life, no one likes to be an outsider. The same is true for cycling. Yes, you read that right. Not everyone learns to ride a bike at a young age. Some never got the chance; others had a hard time leaving a bad experience behind and didn't ride at all. That is about to change for the people in this article.

Lavishka is one of the participants who decided to participate in today’s adult cycling course despite the drizzle, wind and cool temperatures. "Actually, today was really the very first time I sat on a bike", she says. Her eyes sparkle, her joy can’t be overseen. What is the most normal thing in the world for us outsiders is a very personal highlight for Lavishka. "I tried it once. I fell down, hurt myself and never tried again." A friend tried to support her at the time. "He couldn't give me the advice I needed along the way. Understandable, because he is not an instructor. But I needed those tips and tricks to overcome my fear." During our conversation, Lavishka seems to be full of adrenaline, incredibly happy that she was able to ride her bike for the first time a few minutes ago.

Partly responsible for this is Monique Goldschmidt, president of the cycling association ProVelo, which organises these courses together with the city of Luxembourg. "She is very professional", Lavishka says, "and knows exactly how to teach us what to do. She managed not only to take away my fear, but also to teach us so much in general about the bike".

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