21/01/2022

FietsFriend: from bike lessons to bike courier


One of the most important parts of feeling at home in Groningen is knowing how to cycle safely.

That’s the idea behind City Central's FietsFriend project, where we offer workshops to teach newcomers the rules of the road, one-on-one lessons for complete beginners or folks who haven’t biked since they were kids, and monthly outings to the hidden gems in the province.

We wanted to share a happy story today from a former One-on-One participant, Sherhryar Ejaz: after learning to get back on his bike in Groningen, he felt so comfortable that he became a part-time delivery person for Thuisbezorgd.

Sheryhryar, or Shery as he is also called, moved to the city in August 2021 to do his masters in media studies at the RUG. “Coming from a (not so bike-friendly) Karachi, cycling was a completely new phenomenon for me”, he wrote in a post about his new side gig on LinkedIn. “The last time I cycled was probably somewhere back in grade 6.”

“I did not know how to bike at all. I come from Pakistan, and biking isn’t really a thing back home, we don’t have bike lanes and all.” So, he signed up to do one-on-one lessons with one of City Central’s FietsFriend volunteers. “I picked it up with time”, he says, and by November, he had signed up as a part-time bicycle courier for Thuisbezord.

In a LinkedIn post about working as a bike courier, Sherhyar also described a customer experience that seemed destined to go wrong, but turned out to be a moment of decency:

“Last night, I accidentally spilled iced tea for a customer while the rest of the order was fine”, he wrote. “The customer wished me good luck and said, man, this happens, it’s pretty cold outside, have a good night.”

“I just compared this to the way we treat riders back home, regardless of their company association. Maybe we can start from here by treating each other with respect and considering that the other person is a human being.”

Contact us at hallo@citycentral.nl if you’d like to schedule a one-on-one lesson (corona restrictions permitting). And be sure to follow us on Instagram and Eventbrite to be the first to know when our next Rules of the Road workshops and monthly Outings will be held!



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