[On aime] The first graduates of the Ecole du Vélo

The first bike school! Young cyclists aged 5 to 12 were awarded their diploma on Wednesday November 9 at La Plaine in Marseille by Didier Jau, the sector mayor. It was the Vélos en Ville collective that had been selected by the town hall of the 4e and 5e districts to teach children to ride a bike in five sessions, Wednesdays and Saturdays at Place Jean-Jaurès. None of the five children registered for this first session had ridden a bike before, and they are now all able to easily follow their teachers for a great ride around town.

The children follow a volunteer from the Vélos en ville collective to La Plaine. (Credit: Lisa Défossez)

We made them do exercises, agility courses, games or even an introduction to the highway code. We lend them bicycles, vests and helmets that we store in the premises located near the Plain », Details Zacharie Ter-Minassian, bicycle mobility educator from the Vélos en ville collective. ” We were contacted by the town hall who made a call for tenders. We had already introduced children to cycling, in particular within the framework of the city’s policy ‘A vélo les minots’, but this is the first time that we have done so with the town hall of 4e and 5e boroughs “, he adds.

Zacharie Ter-Minassian, bicycle mobility educator from the Vélos en ville collective. (Credit: Lisa Défossez)

Didier Jau: “A means of transport that is good for health, the environment and the wallet”

Didier Jau explains this choice to create the School of Cycling: “ I wanted to do a cycling school in La Plaine. There was high demand: next week’s session is already full. The goal is to expand that and go way beyond that. We would like to offer back in the saddle for adults (especially women) and repair courses “.

Himself arrived by bike highlights this means of transport ” efficient, good for health, the environment and the wallet “. The sector town hall decided to focus on children because “ they have a strong capacity for persuasion, it is they who bring home a desire to change habits. We train the cyclists of tomorrow “explains the mayor. But he deplores the lack of cycling infrastructure in Marseille: “ we need more security and infrastructure worthy of the name because they are currently too rare, poorly placed and poorly thought out “.

A lack of infrastructure in Marseille

Emmanuel Ferrier, deputy for urban ecology and energy transition at the sector town hall, also recognizes this lack of infrastructure: “ you can’t wait to have a complete network of cycle paths to start cycling. We believe that little cyclists are in danger, that’s why we train them in the rules of the road “.

Anne Vial, assistant in charge of sport, affirms like Didier Jau now want ” focus on learning to ride a bike for women “. It highlights the two associations Cyclotopia, recently distinguished at Cycling and soft mobility meetings organized by Gomet’and Ecrew-screw who work together to make learning to cycle accessible and, for example, offer repair workshops. ” Beyond cycling, the goal is also to occupy public space “, explains Anne Vial.

Anne Vial, assistant in charge of sport. (Credit: Lisa Défossez)

The children enrolled in the learning sessions testify: “ At the first session, I didn’t think I was going to be able to pedal, but I finally got there. We would like to continue, we will try to get our own bikes says Ayoub, 12, who took lessons with his little brother Youssef. They seem to have understood the interest of this means of transport: when the mayor asks them ” do you know that cycling is good for your health? “, little Assyah replies” it makes you exercise and grow “.

Cycling school:JI didn’t expect it to be so fast»

A mother is delighted with the sessions: “ I enrolled my sons because they couldn’t ride a bike and I didn’t know how to teach them. I didn’t expect it to be so fast. I’ll buy them bikes so we can ride together “.

Useful links :

Registration: https://www.marseille4-5.fr/infos-mairie/lecole-du-velo/
Cycling plan: “The Metropolis will not achieve its objectives in 2024” (Bicycles in the city collective)
Thomas Chaussade (Bicycles in the city): “The development of cycling in Marseille is urgent”
[Tribune] Bikes in the city: for a deconfinement that is not a discomfiture
Sector mayor Didier Jau asks for new coronapists from the Metropolis

[On aime] The first graduates of the Ecole du Vélo – Gomet’