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Women empowered with cycle workshops

Cycling workshops for migrant, former refugee and low income women are coming to local communities with an aim to empower people with a safe, low cost form of transport.

Greater Wellington Regional Council is teaming up with ReBicycle EkeRua – a charitable community organisation which ‘upcycles’ donated, second-hand bikes.

Greater Wellington Travel Choice Coordinator Hilleke Townsend says a number of these free-to-attend workshops will take place in Wellington and Lower Hutt over the coming months.

“The workshops will start off with a cup of tea or coffee and a chat, then we will ease into the cycle skills.

“The aim of these workshops is to give people more choices around their daily routines and to empower them with the confidence to ride a bike,” Hilleke says.

ReBicycle has given 753 bikes away over the past three years, a third of which were given to former refugees.

“We found a large majority of these bikes were being requested for men and children, but very few were being requested for women. We discovered a real need endsfor women’s cycling workshops.”

Trained female instructors from Pedal Ready (Greater Wellington’s cycle skills programme) and Workshops for Accessible Cycle Care, along with volunteers from the community, will teach skills such as road rules, bike maintenance and how to remain confident on the road.

“These sessions offer a nice chance for people who are new to the community, and who maybe feel a bit isolated, to come along and meet their neighbours.”

Bikes and safety gear will be fully provided on the day of the workshops, and at the end of the day attendees can sign up to be on the waiting list for a free bike, along with a helmet, bike lights and safety locks, gifted by ReBicycle.

- For more information, to register for one of the upcoming workshops, or to volunteer to help out visit www.rebicycle.nz/wcw2019


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