The inaugural NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Annual Falcon Ride brought nearly 300 riders together to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable form of transportation. The community ride, open to participants of all levels, took place on Al Hudayriat Island, where cyclists completed an 11km loop, with some choosing to add an extra lap.
The event aligns with the UAE’s national vision of promoting an active lifestyle and cycling as a popular form of exercise and transportation. Abu Dhabi was named Bike City in 2021 by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the first location in the Middle East and Asia to receive such status. Initiatives such as Abu Dhabi 360 and Bike Abu Dhabi are designed to spearhead the emirate’s long-term cycling ambitions.
The Annual Falcon Ride contributes to this movement by encouraging community members to engage in physical activity and explore Abu Dhabi’s beautiful outdoor spaces. Participants enjoyed a scenic view of the city skyline, fresh air, and exercise in a safe and supportive environment.
As a part of NYUAD’s commitment to community engagement, the Annual Falcon Ride is one of many events open to the public. The university will host an Open Campus Day on March 18th, featuring music, food stalls, activities, and performances. Visitors can tour learning spaces and recreational facilities, attend talks with NYUAD’s world-renowned faculty, and engage with interactive research stations on topics ranging from neuroscience to campus life.
The Falcon Ride serves as a reminder of the positive impact of physical activity on both individuals and communities. Cycling is an accessible form of exercise that has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles and bones, and reducing stress and anxiety. Cycling is also a sustainable form of transportation, reducing the carbon footprint associated with car travel.
Moreover, community events like the Annual Falcon Ride promote social connections and a sense of belonging. Cycling groups provide a supportive environment for individuals of all ages and fitness levels to come together and enjoy physical activity. Such events also help promote a sense of community pride and cohesion by showcasing the beauty of the city and encouraging residents to explore new areas.
Finally, the Falcon Ride highlights the importance of creating safe and accessible cycling infrastructure. While Abu Dhabi has made significant strides in promoting cycling as a mode of transportation, there is still room for improvement in terms of infrastructure and road safety. By advocating for better cycling facilities, events like the Annual Falcon Ride can help make cycling a more viable and attractive option for transportation in Abu Dhabi.