Fully being who you are, showing how you feel, and being proud of your true self. That's what Pride is all about. And that feeling of being able to be completely yourself was the thing that inspired Utrecht student Elias van Mourik (22). He came up with the idea to make the longest rainbow bike path in the world.
"These colors symbolize the acceptance of people from the LGBTQ+ community, but I rather see it as the acceptance of everyone."
Elias found support for his idea within three parties: Hogeschool Utrecht, Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. Together they brought this initiative to life. The result? A 570-meter long rainbow bike path at Utrecht Science Park. "When I go somewhere and see a rainbow flag, that’s when I feel like I can be myself," Elias explains. "The world can sometimes be a scary place, so we might as well paint it in beautiful colors to make it less scary.”
The location of the cycle path is of course also important. The three institutions that participated in this initiative want to show that everyone - students and teachers - is welcome to be who they are,” says Elias. “As a student on this campus, where thousands of people attend, I know how difficult it can be to be 100% yourself. With this statement, I want to show that everyone can be free and proud.”
What Elias hopes to achieve with this initiative? “I hope that this symbol inspires others and it starts a culture change for more diversity and inclusion.” At VanMoof, we fully support this idea. Our Team Lead Recruitment Christian Tran is part of VanMoof's internal Pride Group. He thinks it’s important to raise more awareness around difficult situations that the LGBTQ+ community go through. “Elias’s initiative inspires not only our generation, but all generations that have faced discrimination. This also indicates that we are entering a new future. A future of acceptance.”
"The world can sometimes be a scary place, so we might as well paint it in beautiful colors to make it less scary.”
People should feel like they belong, no matter who you are or who you love, and that’s our top priority. Pride Amsterdam offers the perfect opportunity to pay extra attention to this. As a company, we have therefore organized a Pride Ride, in collaboration with Pride Sports. We cycle along iconic LGBTQ+ locations throughout Amsterdam on our e-bikes. “During this ride, we want to educate our employees and tell them what happened at each location,” says Christian.
Are you ready for a ride on the longest rainbow path ever? The cycle path starts at Padualaan 97, near the colored building of the Hogeschool Utrecht. Enjoy your ride!
And with a bit of luck, you will not only see a rainbow on the ground but also in the sky. Just like us while shooting this video. ;)