Meet our new friends Noushin (left) and Ali, both deeply passionate about cycling and bringing all of the benefits of cycling to refugees and asylum seekers.
Noushin is the first Iranian woman to cycle around the world! Yes, you read that right- cycling around the whole world. Noushin is a cycling advocate, sharing her story and cycling journey on her Instagram page. Now Noushin is cycling around the UK with her partner Ali.
We are so happy to be supporting Noushin and Ali in their new UK cycling adventures with two amazing refurbished bikes. They will be spreading the word of the incredible benefits of cycling and encouraging others, especially refugees and asylum seekers, to join them along the way!
We had an incredible chat with Noushin and Ali when they picked up their bikes from our workshop. Read on for inspiring content:
Hi both, please can you introduce yourselves for our readers.
Noushin: Hi it’s Noushin from Iran. We’ve just been granted to get two amazing bikes to start our cycling journey in the UK for the purpose of your charity. I come from Iran in 2014, I did a big tour around the world from Iran to central Asia, to far east china, New Zealand and I cycle to south America to Columbia
Ali: I came from Germany and have been in the UK for four months as an asylum seeker. I am so happy that we can work with this charity and hopefully we can bring some enjoyment and encouragement.
Can you tell me your journey with cycling? Maybe your first memory of cycling?
Noushin: Because I cycle around the world, I learned that cycling experience is the best thing you can give people and show people because with the purpose of your project we can have lots of refugees having the…
Ali: I cycled before a couple of times but not this distance. This the first time cycling a long distance and it is a good feeling that I am going to do this for the charity.
Noushin: I think it’s going to be a really funny story. Sometimes he is realty fast but we will see how fast he is with paniers and we say we have competition and I say I’m going to beat you.
What is your favourite memory cycling?
Noushin: It is cycling right now (with their new Bike Project bikes) because we have been waiting for this bike and excited for this project. The most I think joyful was Pamir Highway because it was the most joyful one. When I left Iran in 2014 I left with my bicycle and I start my journey in Pamir Highway and because I came from that Iranian culture where women are not allowed to do this and that. It was so challenging to me. I was travelling on my Iranian passport and I couldn’t speak English.
I was being challenged every single minute, that challenging time make the most beautiful time for me to learn that you can do anything you want. There is no obstacle, there is no barriers, there is no need to be anyone special to take the bike and do what you want. That was my best highlight, it was with the hardship I learnt the most.
Now the highlight is going to be working with The Bike Project hopefully. Now for my pedalling I have a purpose for doing something for others other than just doing it for fun. There are so many people who cycle and you can take it like a machine and cycle for hours. But if you bring your soul into it, you can actually change people’s lives. It is a piece of metal but it can move your soul.
The journey for the UK is going change our lives, it will bring out ourselves from this challenge of refugee asylum. It’s so difficult for us to living in her. But we would like to come out this season. For Covid two years it was killing me, I couldn’t do anything. For us it is very important.
Ali: In Germany I did a lot of cycling. I was an asylum seeker there and it was a difficult life there. IN 2018, I did a one week of cycling and it was the best time.
Noushin: He is going to make more! We are going to make lots of good memories.
Why do you think all people, including refugees, should have access to a bike?
Ali: When asylum arrive in the country they don’t speak the language, they don’t know anything. With the free bike, they are free to do whatever they want. Asylum seekers don’t have money. With a bike they get a positive mind, they thinking less about the drama. They are going to the nature when they are feeling bad, maybe they want to escape from somewhere. It is changing your attitude. It is changing you from in and out if you really notice it.
Noushin: I think I’m going to make the world full of bikes because it’s the oldest entertainment in the world. It is the oldest machine entertainment. With anyone, any age, any weight, any situation, anyone can ride a bike. I think your project we are looking forward in doing the bike project internationally so any refugee asylum could also have the access of so many bikes in the UK and Europe which nobody uses it.
Anyone hear this listen please, we need bikes and we are going to do it! I hope this trip is going to be a really touching trip anyone join it’ll impact lives. Not just the community, but The Bike Project, hopefully we can bring a new fresh something, and more people will have access to bikes. It is greener, better, everyone knows!
Thanks so much The Bike Project!
Follow their journey on Noushin’s Instagram feed