World Bicycle Day to raise awareness of autism too

3 June, 2021

The 3rd of June every year has become one of the most solemn dates in the world of bicycles after 2018 was the day designated by the United Nations (UN) to commemorate the World Day for this means of transport, a source of health and leisure that is so healthy and sustainable. Every 3 June, yes, and although many still consider the unofficial 19 April, is World Bicycle Day. To mark such an important date, the Contador Foundation wanted to launch an activity that went beyond the bicycle itself, together with the Seur Foundation, the Madrid Velázquez International Rotary Club and the Autism Quality of Life Foundation (Aucavi). Because a bicycle, in the end, is the sum of many parts and components. Like society itself.

Always prioritising the school and academic commitments of the participants, the Contador Foundation organised a route for the young people of its Plaza Éboli Cycling Academy through Getafe, a town in Madrid, where they shared pedalling with members of the Aucavi Foundation from its headquarters in the town to the Alhóndiga Park, with a lap around its lake.

Aucavi is an institution created in 2003 that works with children who suffer from some type of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families in order to improve their quality of life and ensure that they can develop it with maximum independence. Aucavi has a great team of professionals in the educational field and a network of centres where they work with specific educational projects and focus on special educational needs. The distance covered was secondary. As was the speed. The important thing was to enjoy the experience.

“The kids at the school were delighted, it was very emotional”, says Álvaro García, one of the monitors at the Plaza Éboli Cycling Academy. “It wasn’t a very long route. The distance was not important. The important thing was to share pedalling. A monitor explained to the kids what autism is and how they should behave. A lot of very interesting information, not for a bike ride, but for life itself. There is a lot of work behind this outing. “It was a very nice experience. All the children were very happy with this trip. It is difficult to find initiatives that support our children. The progress is very slow, but very important for their lives”, said Agustín Ramos from Aucavi.

“The World Autism Awareness Day takes place every April 2nd. From the Contador Foundation we wanted that, at least as far as the cycling part was concerned, it should also take place on 3 June. The bicycle is one of the instruments that allows a greater interdisciplinarity in all its aspects. From the mechanical to the competitive, from recreation to transport. On the occasion of this World Bicycle Day we thought it was a very nice idea to transfer this condition to put the focus back on autism”, concludes Paco Romero, responsible for the initiative within the Contador Foundation.