Welcoming Wheels | Ecology Action Centre

Welcoming Wheels

Welcoming Wheels provides newcomers with cycling opportunities to increase wellness, equity, access, connectedness, and environmental health. 

Welcoming Wheels is a program partnership that enables newcomers to enjoy the many benefits of cycling.  Through cycling, newcomers connect with their communities and gain access to services, people, places, jobs and more.   

The simple act of riding a bicycle, along with walking, increases transportation independence and is the most economical, efficient and easiest way for people to get around. Riding a bicycle as part of daily life can have positive effects on one’s physical and mental well-being throughout their life. It is a convenient way for a person to achieve the 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily activity that is recommended. 

Welcoming Wheels has two primary programs: 

 

1) Bike Buddy Program  

The Bike Buddy Program pairs a newcomer ‘mentee’ with a local bicycle ‘mentor’.  The goal of the Bike Buddy program is to help newcomers feel more confident riding their bicycle, explore the city and meet new people! 

Become a Bike Buddy Mentee (newcomers) 

You are:  

  • A newcomer (immigrant, refugee, refugee claimant, migrant)  
  • Over the age of 18  
  • Able to ride a bicycle 
  • Able to commit to 3 months of bike rides   
    • Each meet-up is approximately 1-2 hours  
    • Approximately 30 hours total commitment  
  • If needed, participants will be gifted a secondhand bicycle, helmet, lights, lock and a bell  

 

This year we are offering 3 cohorts, May-July, June-August, August-October.

Fill out the Bike Buddy Mentee Intake Survey, the Bike Buddy Commitment Form and Risk Liability and Photo Release Forms. For more information, email bikebuddy@ecologyaction.ca

 

Become a Bike Buddy Mentor (locals)  

You are:  

  • An experienced local bike rider with access to a functioning bike 
  • Interested in showing a newcomer the city, bike tips, local points of interest etc.  
  • Able to commit to 3 months of bike rides   
    • Each meet-up is approximately 1-2 hours  
    • Approximately 30 hours total commitment  
  • Includes 3 hours of Bike Buddy mentor training  

 

Fill out the Bike Buddy Mentor Intake Survey or email bikebuddy@ecologyaction.ca for more information. 

 

Click here to view & download Bike Buddy health & safety incident report form

 

2) Earn-a-Bike Program  

The Earn-a-Bike program offers newcomers the opportunity to acquire a refurbished bicycle, helmet, lights, lock and a bell. Additionally, the program provides an opportunity to gain basic bicycle mechanic skills. Interested newcomers are asked to volunteer for a minimum of 8 hours with the Welcoming Wheels repair night or other Welcoming Wheels events. (No mechanical experience necessary).  

Email bikebuddy@ecologyaction.ca to register for the Earn-a-Bike Program. 

 

How Do I Get Involved? 

Volunteer 

Welcoming Wheels is always looking for volunteers to help with any of the following: 

  • Bike triage and repair 
  • Client and event support 
  • Cycling leadership training 
  • Translation and interpretation 
  • Mentoring 
  • Photography and videography 

 

Contact us 

If you're interested in becoming involved please email bikebuddy@ecologyaction.ca 

To stay tuned to upcoming events news stay connected with us by visiting our Facebook Page

Click here to join the Welcoming Wheels email list 

Donate 

Click here to make a donation to Welcoming Wheels. *Make sure to enter "Welcoming Wheels" in the Extra Instructions field. 

Additional Resources

2021 HRM Bike Map

Cycling Safety Videos 

Learn cycling safety essentials in our Get There By Bike series! To watch the full series in English, French and Arabic, click on the YouTube button in the bottom right corner, or visit our YouTube Channel.  You can also find it on the Active Alliance website.  

     

Program Funders 

                       

 

Program Partners

 

 

 

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