05 Aug 2019
Amman, Jordan
Sustainable Tourism, Sustainable Transport

Cycling Jordan, a bicycle store and sustainable tourism operator, can trace its origins to the chivalry of a single Jordanian university student. Years ago, Sari Husseini would surrender his seat on packed morning buses to female students, often making him late for his classes at Amman’s University of Jordan. 

After a while, Husseini’s impressive gallantry reached its limit. Fed up with the lack of transport options, he fixed an old bicycle and started cycling to university. “It made a huge difference to my travel time,” said Husseini. “I went from spending an hour searching for a vehicle, to riding my bicycle for around seven minutes.”

Husseini’s pragmatic commuting solution morphed into a lifelong passion. Now the managing partner of Cycling Jordan, Husseini promotes his favorite sport as a wonderful tourism experience for visitors and a rewarding lifestyle change for locals. In addition, Cycling Jordan’s efforts can help address Amman’s serious air pollution problem by providing a sustainable alternative to driving.

Established in 2006, Cycling Jordan operates a successful business for selling high-quality bicycles. The outfit has also branched out into running sustainable cycling tours, identifying an opening the market. “Jordan is now booming in the eco-friendly, adventure travel sector,” Husseini said.

Cycling Jordan runs a variety of group activities for people — Jordanians and foreigners alike — with a shared passion for cycling. Customers can take a day trip, an overnight stay, or even join a cycling odyssey over several days from the country’s north to south.

Husseini believes that joining a bicycle tour is the best way to explore another country. Cycling Jordan aims to provide an “immersive” experience for its customers, ensuring that they meet Jordanians and spend money at locally operated businesses. What is more, watching Jordan go by on two wheels is a pleasure in itself. “Ten people cycling through the best parts of Jordan can hardly avoid having fun!” Husseini said.

Husseini is also implementing non-profit initiatives to encourage Jordanians to start cycling en masse. Cycling Jordan has coordinated an after-school program aimed at teaching 6-16 year olds how to cycle. The lessons have been running in two schools over the past three years, and the concept is apparently getting plenty of attention.

Husseini recently tried to roll out the after-school teaching idea for Jordanian society at large, with a bicycle education initiative called CycleTrans. Unfortunately, his team has not been able to find sufficient funding for now, but they remain open to investment proposals.

This level of altruism should come as little surprise from Husseini, who nominates his favorite Cycling Jordan moment as seeing someone cycle for the first time. “I believe this seed will grow and make a huge improvement to Jordan’s cycling industry,” he said.

 

Learn more about Cycling Jordan through the website, Facebook and Instagram.

Photos courtesy of Cycling Jordan

Since completing his MA in Middle Eastern Studies two years ago, David has worked as a freelance writer based in Cairo and Beirut.David Wood
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