City of Genk seeking Bike Buddies “to combat loneliness and make people more mobile”

The local authority in the Limburg city of Genk has launched a new initiative that aims to make cycling more than just good exercise and an environmentally friendly way of getting from A to B. The Bike Buddies project helps cyclists in Genk find another cyclists with whom they can go out on bicycle rides.

The scheme allows people to get to know their local area while at the same time making new friends.

The idea for Bike Buddies comes from the local cycling school that offers cycling lessons to adult women.

The Genk City Alderman responsible for social cohesion and talent development Anniek Nagels (Christian democrat) told VRT Radio 2 Limburg that “We have noticed that many members of the cycle school are looking for buddies to go out on bike rides with. Because they had learned to ride a bike but had no one to go out with them on rides”.

All you need to register as a Cycle Buddy is a bicycle and plenty of enthusiasm. “You will have to adapt your pace to that of the other person, but beyond that nothing else will be asked of you. Both men and women can register”, Ms Nagels said.

"With this initiative we can help drive away loneliness and make people more mobile. Cycling helps you become freer”, the city Alderman concluded.  

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