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Hijabs and Helmets: The cycling program that’s helping Muslim women take on Toronto

Hijabs and Helmets: The cycling program that's helping Muslim women take on Toronto

Marvin Macaraig Being a newcomer to Toronto can be a frightening experience, but there’s a cycling program to help make things a little easier for…

Wednesday, Mar 02

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Marvin Macaraig Being a newcomer to Toronto can be a frightening experience, but there’s a cycling program to help make things a little easier for Muslim women.

Hijabs and Helmets was launched in 2019 after an Access Alliance programmer noticed a lack of women wearing hijabs cycling in the city. Now, they’re flipping the script of what a stereotypical cyclist in Toronto looks like.

“This shouldn’t be something that’s so rare, this should become a normal part of Toronto’s cycling scene,” said Fei Teng, a manager at Access Alliance who came up with the idea for Hijabs and Helmets.

Hijabs and Helmets is run by Scarborough Cycles which operates under Access Alliance . Access Alliance is a health and community hub that addresses systemic issues faced by refugees and other newcomers to Canada. You might also like: Their plan to create more spaces for hijab-wearing cyclists is working. Teng said that at all of their organized rides, whether Hijabs and Helmets or not, hijab-wearing cyclists join in. The goal is to help build a community for newcomers, promote physical activity, and help people get around their new city. While they hope to be able to offer weekly group rides this summer, they offer extended sessions at various times throughout the year.

The program is open to all skill levels. They’ve recently received funding to purchase accessible bicycles so newcomers with disabilities can join the rides, too.

“We are fully prepared to teach them. We’re fully equipped and skilled, and we have all of […]

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