With our fast-paced lives and our environment becoming ever so delicate, it’s the going back to basics that reminds us of what’s important: taking in the simple pleasures our universe has to offer, the small investments that allow us to feel the freedom of being a child again – and while there are many of these we can think of, the one we are speaking of is biking with Charicycles!
We can all relate to the amazing feeling of riding a bicycle… the breeze against your face, feeling the movement of all of your muscles, a sentiment that makes you appreciate the freedom of being on one.
Since the 1800s, many different versions of the bicycle have been created, deriving from the French word bicyclette. German Baron Karl von Drais, a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany, created what is considered to be the first verifiable bicycle.
He patented his design in 1818, which was known as the first two-wheeled, steerable, human machine, called the “velocipedes, hobby-horse or dandy horse”.
In the beginning, bicycles were seen more so for the elite, as it was an expensive hobby, so to speak. As soon they were becoming more and more popular and production started to increase, they became a practical asset. Women were soon riding bicycles, and with that came the change in fashion with bloomers in and corsets out!
And while evolution may have changed the frame and wheels of the bicycle, today we can still see traces of the first bicycle made, although ours just carry a little more pizazz.
While some of you may think that Dubai is still not so friendly for biking, things are starting to change! A new initiative was recently launched called #cycletoworkuae that encourages everyone to start cycling. If you haven’t already, there are some cool spots to check out that we highly recommend.
“In the heart of Dubai, the Nadd Al Sheba Cycle Path offers 8km, 6km and 4km loops that are just for cyclists. These are floodlit at night and have amenities like showers to use afterwards. Further out of town, the Al Qudra cycle path is an 86km cycle route through the desert. The UAE’s burgeoning cycling community has found ways to make this a civilised affair: their regular Saturday morning ride to Bab Al Shams resort beside the cycle path.”
With Dubai investing a lot in building more cycling paths and the coolest bicycle shop in Dubai opening on Ananasa.com, it seems our life of bicycling in Dubai is just beginning! Lucky us!
Charicycles is a rare bicycle store, simply due to the fact that they carry vintage bicycles all made in Dubai and created from up-cycled frames.
Owned by two incredible women who strive to give back wherever they can, they started this small business from wanting to create their own vintage bikes – bikes that had baskets, bikes that they could paint whatever color they wanted, from cotton candy blue to macaroon mint ice cream – and that they did!
Descending from a historic lineage of the Japanese bicycle, they find bicycle frames that have been forgotten about or put aside and restore them into the beautiful bikes they once were with an added vintage twist. The beauty of up-cycling is an art in itself. Why add waste to the environment when you can make something old perfectly new again?!
Giving each and every one of their bicycles a renewed heartbeat and home, they also give back to the community. With every sale made, Charicycles ensures a part goes towards contributing to funding bicycles for children in refugee camps in the Middle East. Embedded in their culture is the simple thought that every child deserves to feel that sense of freedom we all feel when riding a bike.
To add to that culture, as much as we think breakfast is important for a child’s brain to function, the way a child gets to school is just as important. Recent research found that children who walked or rode their bicycle to school did much better on tests than their peers who rode the school bus or got a lift.
A child can learn both balance and coordination skills when riding a bicycle, while increasing stamina. Starting to build your muscles at a young age and moving your hip and knee joints only helps you later on as an adult, especially if you continue riding.
For both children and adults, going for a bike ride can do wonders for the mind. It is also considered to be one of the sports that causes less injury and strain to the body even while working all your muscles.
With that being said and the weather being perfect in Dubai, now’s the time to head out to the Corniche, where you can cycle from Jumeirah Beach Hotel to Sunset Beach – a gorgeous view that will have you smiling the whole ride.
You can also use the dedicated track that’s approximately 1.5 km, riding up to Jumeirah Open Beach at the top of Jumeirah Beach Road, right next to Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa.
There are many cycling groups out there and some specifically tailored for women. For example, @uaecyclingforgirls on Instagram meets on weekends for recreational cycling around Downtown Dubai, Emaar Boulevard, Dubai Cycling Course and Dubai parks. The Extempore Abu Dhabi Ladies Bicycle Group in Abu Dhabi meet on Fridays to bike, have coffee and enjoy a beautiful day of cycling in the capital.
With over a half billion bicycles in China and approximately 100 million bicycles manufactured worldwide each year, it’s time we in the UAE step up our cycling game!
The only thing that’s left is for you to customize your very own Charicycle and you’ll be riding in style with your favorite colors, and let’s not forget your basket! The best part!
Voila! You are on en route to a gorgeous up-cycled vintage bicycle that you had a hand in making and, more importantly, had a hand in making a child smile.
Happy cycling with #Charicycles!
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