Two cycling enthusiasts Kareem Abdullah and Dirk Wanrooji have set up a community centre in Egypt’s city of Cairo to encourage people to take to two-wheels rather than using their cars.
The center seeks to encourage both experienced and new cyclists to learn new skills and create a supportive and social space for Cairo’s bike owners.
“I think it’s a very good initiative to start like a bicycle centre here, community, to support people to cycle. It’s of course very crowded and I guess it’s very good for the environment and I guess it’s nice to cycle, it’s healthy and better than to be stuck in traffic,” said Yvette Holdorp, a Dutch student who has lived in Egypt for four years.
The community centre also plans to screen documentaries about the benefits of cycling and the different types of bicycles available.
“We started feeling like the community needs something to access the spectrum of information, for example how to learn something related to bicycles, but they can’t find someone to teach them, this is considered a profession or a skill, and no one ever wants to teach skills. We created this space today so that if people want to come and learn, we’ll teach them, it’s not a secret,” 36-year-old Abdullah, who took a 6-month-long course in bicycle-making in Canada, said.
Cyclist communities in Cairo hope that the trend will be a lifestyle adapted by most Egyptians thanks to its healthy benefits.