Twelve kilometers from the Jordanian capital, Amman, and on the way to Queen Alia International Airport, a young entrepreneur has started building his dream for years, a “cyclists’ village”, an entire community for motorcycling enthusiasts.
The village includes a training center for professional motorcycle driving, dealerships and stores specializing in the field of bicycles, in addition to restaurants and cafes. Read also Made of wood.. Check out this new Hyundai car Video: German Porsche enters the Guinness Book of Records with the longest intentional slip of an electric car in the world A car in Damascus is sold for the equivalent of the salary of a government employee for more than 960 years In Gaza, a young man makes an electric car out of scrap for people with special needs
Al Jazeera Net visited the village and spoke to the owner of the idea of the project, Samer Hassouna, the cyclist and trainer approved by the American company “Harley-Davidson”, about the goal behind the project, which is the first in the Middle East.
to start late
Samer says that his love for the bicycle hobby started late, as he is basically the owner of a contracting company, and he had nothing to do with this hobby, which was prohibited in Jordan according to the laws, and cycling was limited to government and private institutions and not to individuals. With the opening of the field in 2009, Samer was one of the first to buy a bike and start training on it.
Desire to get better
When Hassouna began training bicycles, the training was simple and limited to small bikes that are not actually bikes that cyclists own. They are designed to deliver orders and do not enable the owner to drive confidently on crowded streets and face various situations.
After experiencing a minor accident in 2010, he felt the need to take care of specialized training, which prompted him to search for qualified and specialized centers in this field, but he did not find such centers in the region, so he resorted to searching for training videos on the YouTube platform, and there he discovered special trainings for the American police On Harley bikes.
These videos inspired him with the idea of convincing the Jordan branch of Harley of the necessity of holding advanced qualification courses, in cooperation with specialized centers abroad to recruit trainers.
After helping the company to hold several courses, he was asked to work as a volunteer trainer accredited by the Jordan branch of the American company Harley, and he obtained accredited certificates in 2016 from the company in the Safe Rider Training program, which qualified him to be a certified trainer not only In Jordan, but in the Middle East, where he was the only Arab trainer who could issue a training certificate approved by the company, which qualified him to hold many courses in Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and Kuwait.
Novice riders problems
Many riders lose their lives on the streets every day, and most of these deaths are the result of not receiving sufficient training to enable them to deal in different situations, where the difference between life and death is just a fraction of a second to make the right decision.
From here, Hassouna focused on building a “Skills Training Center” that would be based in the riders’ village.
Regarding the difference between training to obtain a bike driving license and training in bike driving skills, Hassouna says, “The training we get to pass the license is like any primitive training, which only qualifies you to ride a bike legally, but not professionally.”
He added, “The difference between a car and a bicycle is that you may be able to improve your driving after a short period, because as a machine that helps you in addition to the presence of modern safety factors, while the bicycle depends primarily on the skills of the cyclist, and then the technology in it to a lesser extent.”
He continued, “Therefore, improving these skills rests with the cyclist and his goal of riding a bicycle. The skills of a cyclist who takes a bicycle as a daily means of transportation, is different from the skills of those who take a sport and aspire to use it in races, and the skills needed by a cyclist who seeks to travel with his bicycle differ from those who wish to use it within his city Just”.
That is why the training program at Maharat Center is based on two training programs: the Safe Driving Program and the Advanced Driving Program, which are Harley-approved programs designed specifically for cyclists.
Bad driving causes accidents
Hassouna says that these courses focus on recognizing and avoiding bad driving habits of cyclists, and focus on people more than skills, as some may have good driving skills but are weak in safety skills or vice versa.
He believes that every cyclist has driving habits that he acquired during practice, and they are not necessarily correct habits, and the cyclist can only know these habits sometimes when he is exposed to a dangerous situation, and that is why the expert trainer must observe them and train the cyclist in a practical way on how to improve them.
Village no training center
Hassouna believes that the idea of the village is not limited to training, but seeks to change the convictions of citizens in the street about the cyclists and their hobby, and aims to familiarize the community with this hobby and those people who are considered by many groups of society in the Arab world to be mere annoying or reckless.
“Through this project, we would like to gather the riders and their families, in addition to other groups who would like to learn about this hobby, in one place that provides training, entertainment, awareness and even tourist trips to know different regions of Jordan,” he said.
Hassouna believes that he needs society to remove the stereotype about cyclists, and he knows that driving a motorcycle is a hobby and it is the duty of community members to help make it safe, and the beginning is through awareness, and pointed out that this is the main goal of the cyclists’ village and not the financial aspect.
Tourism and relaxation
Hassouna owes his hobby of motorcycles to getting to know different places in Jordan that he did not pay attention to when he was driving, and he remembers his unique experience of going to the lowest area in the world “Dead Sea” on a bike for the first time, which was completely different when he was going to her by car. .
Samer mentions how his friend, the psychiatrist, wanted to research the effect of cycling on the psychological state, and found in a questionnaire that this hobby helps its practitioners relax and focus, as it requires full focus on the safety of the cyclist and the condition of the road.
The future of the village
Hassouna aspires to generalize the experience of the riders village in the Middle East countries, and to form a class of riders and trainers that can transfer the idea to its countries and work with the community to provide a safe environment for practicing this hobby.
He says that the goal is to build a community for cyclists and educate other members of the community about the reality of this hobby, not material profit. As for the economic aspect of the project, he does not see it as feasible when compared to his work in the field of contracting.
He added, “The important thing is to improve the skills of our cyclists, brothers and fathers, to give them the opportunity to practice their favorite hobby in an atmosphere of safety and understanding, within a community that is aware of and encouraging this sport, and so that they can return to their families and homes in safety and joy after practicing their hobby.”