Have bicycle, will cycle everywhere…

December 9, 2010 at 11:00 am

Back in the days when Playstation2 or Xbox was just a dream waiting to come true, many kids like myself keep ourselves entertained with all sorts of activities. Cycling was one of the main activities that I really loved doing, whether by myself or with a group of friends. It was the easiest way to cover short distances in the least amount of time. A part of me felt free, free to explore anywhere I want as long as I did not cycle out of town without permission and as long as I had the stamina to keep cycling! This freedom was exhilarating for me as each bicycle ride was like a mini adventure of my own.

Family of cyclists

With the increase in number of cars on the road these days, it has becoming slightly dangerous for cyclists to move around freely, especially in town or city areas. More people are losing interest in cycling as they favour cars or motorbikes more due to convenience and speed. Therefore, when I came about an article in The Star sometime back promoting a tour of Penang’s heritage sites by bicycle, it sparked my interest. A group of avid cyclists from Penang got together and formed Knights of the Round Table, a motley bunch of people who are into mountain and road biking. This group has been organising cycling activities like mountain biking, which has attracted the participation of other cycling enthusiasts from all over the world (last count they had was 1,000 participants!) and the Penang Heritage Experience on Wheels (PHEW). PHEW is carried out every last Sunday of the month and all are welcomed to join the group, even visiting tourists who are keen to see the city from another perspective. All you need is your own bicycle and a helmet to join the party. There are also ‘side tasks’ assigned to each rider as they cycle through the streets, looking for answers amidst endangered trades and heritage sites in town.

In my humble opinion, this is a good initiative by the organisation as well as the government. For years, Malaysians’ health issue has made the headlines in our local dailies, always ending with an encouragement to stay and eat healthy. Environmental issues appears as ‘guest stars’ in our local dailies once in a while and green initiatives like reducing plastic bags for a better future are already in force. Cycling as a means to see a city is like killing a flock of birds with one stone. Not only can it be promoted as another form of tourism if it does become popular, it also goes well with the ‘Go Green’ theme and a great and fun way to keep healthy. For me, cycling allows the rider to ‘connect’ with the city on a more personal level as the rider can stop and inspect anything that catches his/her fancy. When you cycle, you can easily cover a bigger area compared to when you are walking, and this may happen without you realising it especially when you are cycling with your friends. Let’s not even get started on all the health benefits you get when you cycle.

As I have now relocated to Kuala Lumpur, I wonder if there are any groups of similar nature here within the city. Honestly, I am not surprised if I find that there aren’t any formed here. In a bustling city like Kuala Lumpur, it is really not safe to cycle around, especially with the high number of cars and motorbikes whizzing around. Everything seems to move at a faster speed here in the big city compared to Penang. Though the idea may seem fun at first, it definitely is not that safe after further contemplation. No wonder I see so many people who seem to be contented to just cycle on their stationary bike in their gym with their headsets on. I could only hope that the distance they travel on their stationary bike is only limited by their imagination and stamina.

Photos (c) fishermansdaughter, kamshots

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One Response

  1. RANA IMTIAZ says:


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