HUGBIKE is a specially designed tandem bike to involve people with autism to enjoy bike riding. It features unique long handlebars so that the passenger at the front can be literally hugged by the driver at the back. Part of this tandem bike is assembled by a group of workers with disabilities, it’s a project that promotes the social inclusion of people with less opportunities, everything is done in a safe and supervised working environment.
Developed by Opera della Marca srl in cooperation with Fondazione Oltre il Labirinto onlus, HUGBIKE project involves people with autism who are assisted during the whole bike assembling process. This activity provides them with a chance to be integrated in a professional working environment.
The name HUGBIKE relates to the ethical side of this project, riding this bike also means hugging the person in front of the driver. Unlike traditional tandem bike where the person sits at the front control the bike, HUGBIKE reverses that role. People with autism, disabilities, or down syndrome can enjoy the ride while the driver sitting at the back and directing the bike. The driver’s arm also helps protect the passenger, whether it’s a child or an elder.