The City Council of the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, has partnered with the Cicloda association, which is experienced in cycle workshops and bike lessons, to offer free cycle workshops and bicycle classes to students, teachers, parents and other school staff. The aim is to teach cyclists how to autonomously maintain their bikes and how to ride a bicycle in the city. The activities will take place between the end of April 2023 and the beginning of June over several days.
The aim of the initiative is to gain experience from piloting these cycle workshops and bike riding classes in selected schools before eventually launching a wider programme. In particular, the cycle workshops aim to train members of the school community in the most common mechanical issues (such as tuning brakes, adjusting the seat and basic maintenance on the bicycle). In these cycle workshops, participants bring their bike, identify mechanical problems and learn to solve them on the spot, relying on the experience of other bike users. As part of the pilot, the schools concerned will also be provided with the tools to encourage them to continue to hold the cycle workshops after the pilot has finished.
Those willing to participate in the workshops do not have to register, they simply need to show up on the day and time of the event with a bicycle to fix or learn to fix. Having said that, those wishing to take part do have to complete a form on Lisbon City Council’s website.
In Lisbon, there are already several cycle workshops promoted by the community. These are spaces for collaborative learning about bicycle mechanics that take place in public spaces. Examples of such bicycle workshop include: the Cicloficina dos Anjos (promoted by Cicloda); the Cicloficina da FSCH (organised by students from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa); and the Cicloficina de Belém (promoted by parents of a school).
Urban bicycle riding classes are addressed to students and their families, as well as teachers and other school staff. The aim of these courses is to teach and practice bike riding techniques in an urban environment, so as to increase cyclists' autonomy and confidence in riding a bike on their daily journeys.
Original article published by lisboaparapessoas.pt on 22 April 2023.
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