Media and Communication lecturer Leandro Lima never learned to ride a bicycle in his youth. “And as an adult I was a bit unsure whether I could actually learn it,” he says. “But the trainer is very reassuring and teaches me from the basics.” To his surprise, he was already able to cycle in his second lesson. “I was so happy when I cycled for the first time. I thought I would never be able to do it, ”he says. “But I still have to learn to balance, make a turn and cycle in a straight line.”
Employee Arwa Yaseen also participated in the lesson, along with her daughter. “I would like to cycle safely, for exercise, but also so that I can take my children to school by bike.” She has lived and studied in Saudi Arabia. There, the bicycle is not one of the usual means of transport. “They travel mainly by car,” she says. “It may sound weird: I can drive very well, but I can’t cycle.”
Diving head first into the Dutch ways: International students learn to cycle on campus
Erasmus University organised cycling lessons for new students to prepare them for the…
The lessons are provided by volunteers from the Fietsersbond, says Bram Hakkenberg from the Campus Bike bicycle shop. “We can teach people to cycle on campus, that’s easy. But the real challenge, of course, is to participate in Rotterdam traffic,” he says.
Leandro agrees. “I get nervous when I come across cyclists or pedestrians. Can I dodge them in time? ” Cycling is hard work for him. “I now understand why Dutch people have such muscular legs, it is so hard to cycle.”