ISLAMABAD: As many as 40 male and female cyclists rode around the city on Sunday to motivate people to take up cycling, which not only saves energy (fuel), but also promotes physical fitness.
As part of the Critical Mass Mega Cycling Ride, the cyclists started from F-9 Park and passed through Pak Secretariat before returning to the park after three-and-a-half hours. Participants, including foreigners, students, professionals and retired people, called cycling a “great pastime that should be adopted by everyone.
“We want to create awareness about the benefits of cycling for human health as well as for maintaining cleanliness and greenness in the city,” said Muhammad Asif, a student who was participating in the event.
Another participant, Taqi Haider, said that we should discourage the “Prado and Pajero culture” in our society and encourage such healthy activities to save energy. He opined that the wealth-based class-culture in our society has disturbed people’s social lives.
“We are very happy to take part in such a healthy activity”, said female participant, Dr Habiba. She added that such activities help people maintain their physical fitness.
At the same time, Nabeel Ahmed, another participant said that in many developed countries, even high-ranking government officials and well-paid private sector workers come to their offices on foot or on bicycles because there is no class system to stop them from adopting simplicity in their lives. “Being a poor country, we should introduce and promote such a culture to help our people and lead our society out from the clutches of superiority and inferiority,” he maintained.
Ahmed lamented that the government has failed to develop better transport facilities or establish cycle tracks and lanes to facilitate commuters. He said that absence of such facilities forces people to use cars, which create pollution and consume imported fuel, and eventually cause environmental degradation.
“We all should promote healthy entertainment activities including cycling, hiking and different sports to maintain physical fitness”, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.
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