The organisation has a unique approach to teaching cycling to grownups , Source: David Marcu / Unsplash

Women can learn to cycle for free in Vienna

Women can learn to cycle for free in Vienna

The initiative is open to all ladies, but it is especially aimed at those with an immigrant background

Recently, the Austrian Automobile Club (ÖAMTC) and the Vienna Mobility Agency (Mobilitätsagentur Wien) launched their latest offer of free bike lessons aimed at women in Vienna. According to a press statement, the lessons are primarily for non-native Austrian residents, who may come from regions where cycling is not as popular or even where women are forbidden from cycling.

Nevertheless, Vienna locals are definitely not barred from participating, as the organisers claim that they want to rekindle people’s childhood joy of riding a bike or offering those who may have missed out on it the opportunity to pick up the skill.

Additionally, considering that Vienna is moving more and more towards sustainable mobility in the form of public transport and cycling infrastructure, knowing how to ride a bike is becoming an essential skill of the future.

Other European cities, especially those with a pervasive cycling culture, have similar initiatives in place to better integrate new and foreign residents.

Bike training for adults

According to an official press statement, the free lessons are structured in a way to best suit adults. Kids, by comparison, do not experience so much fear and anxiety and pick up cycling a lot easier. For adults, however, the Austrian Automobile Club is implementing a gradual approach, with lessons once a week for three hours.

During the lessons, participants will first ride scooters, then switch to electric bikes and on the third day – to regular bicycles. According to the organisation, it usually takes people three lessons to get the hang of it.

Furthermore, the organisation says that it has managed to train over 700 women since it started similar initiatives in 2014.

Cycling and women

According to officials, the main reason why the project targets female cyclists is that women with immigrant backgrounds can become quite marginalized regarding bikes. This goes doubly true for women who come from countries where cycling is not widespread as a means of transportation or even where it is forbidden.

According to a study published in 2021 titled “Cycling behaviour in 17 countries across 6 continents: levels of cycling, who cycles, for what purpose, and how far?” regions where cycling is less common see disproportionately fewer women cyclists compared to men. This imbalance can travel with immigrant groups who settle in areas where cycling is more common, as the skillset is missing from that part of the population.



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