Promote the use of bicycles


Al-Jazirah newpaper

Every Saudi woman must have been happy when the government announced that women could now drive. Shortly after this good news, the authorities announced that women would be allowed to drive trucks and ride motorcycles just like men. Although it would be premature to decide whether women need to drive trucks, I was glad that the choice is left for women to decide.

Riding bicycles is still not common in our country. If you see a man riding a bicycle on the street, you would look at him strangely because he would be doing something unusual. However, in advanced countries, people ride bicycles all the time and use them as a means of transport. By the way, bicycles were used in France for the first time in 1791 as a means of entertainment and exercise.

In other countries, even political leaders and company managers ride bicycles to work and do not feel stigmatized. Denmark’s Ambassador to Austria Liselotte Plesner rode a bicycle to Austria’s presidential palace to attend a meeting there. Prime Minister of Holland Mark Rutte rides his bike to weekly cabinet meetings. In fact, many Parisians cycle to work every day.

Saudi women could ride bicycles for short errands. Riding a bicycle for 15 minutes every day could prevent the emission of 23 kilograms of carbon monoxide every year. It could help burn 36,000 calories a year. The authorities should promote bicycles as a hobby that would help both men and women stay fit and healthy. It would also improve one’s mood and be energy efficient.

It is important for the Traffic Department and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to coordinate with one another to provide bicycle lanes so that people can easily ride their bicycles.