Expat view

When I came to Finland, I had a ToDo list in my mind that I wanted to learn here. And one of them was riding a bicycle.

I used to ride one while growing up, with training wheels attached to it. Everyone thought that I would eventually find my balance and manage without that support. I did not. As in life, I should carry over the plan when I could not succeed. I did not try hard enough.

The same thing happened with my car driving lessons. I knew how to change gears and when to release the clutch, the foot pressure required for the accelerator, the simple demands of the steering, and the much-dreaded brake. But in the end, I succeeded with both driving a car and riding a Bicycle.

This year when summer just started, I got to know about a Facebook event, “Immigrants on Bikes” organised by the Finnish Cyclists Federation. Their motto was "Let’s Ride". The event offered free courses to immigrants. The course includes teaching cycling in the beginner stage and rules and regulations for cycling in the advanced stage. I enrolled myself to achieve my dream as I did for car driving. When the beginner course started, it was a two-day course. After the first day, I remember I was the one who couldn’t even start paddling. I came with a heavy heart but on the other side, I got motivated by all the coaches and other people, and on the second day I started paddling. Woo! That was really a great moment for me. After the course, I received the certificate from Let’s ride. 

Overall, the experience was great. Finland and let’s ride gave me this amazing opportunity to boost my confidence once again in learning to ride a Bicycle. Being a very social person, I always wanted to meet new people and be part of a community, and this gave me another chance to get to know people. I am where I am supposed to be. I am happy that I was able to cross one item off my ToDo list by learning to cycle.


Tania Islam

The author is a software engineer and passionate developer. She loves to do social work and organize events. She recently started writing a medium about programming and developing topics. 

This is a "Viewpoint" opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of The Helsinki Times.