Entering my car early mornings everyday, leaving home to go to work, my car is spewing carbon emissions, polluting the fresh morning breeze. While driving through our neighbourhood, and hearing the same routine roar from my car’s engine as I step on the accelerator, I always see a group of south Asian gardeners, bicycling around the neighbourhood, patiently & peacefully, at a very slow pace, in no rush.
Watching these bicyclists while listening to the sounds of birds early mornings everyday, gives me this feeling of peace and replenishment. Concurrently, I’m in awe of their daily routine ritual, which I very much envy. As I’m about to exit my neighbourhood to join all the other carbon emission vehicles heading to various destinations, to pollute every single corner of Dubai, at this very moment, I could wish for one thing only; if I could have a single day to drive a bicycle instead of a car to work, that day, for me, would be a day to celebrate the breakage of a huge barrier, practically equivalent to the destruction of the Berlin Wall, to be precise.
Being a citizen of Dubai, you can go on all day long shooting at me various reasons why it is difficult to commute via bicycle, some of those reasons are:
- It takes too long to reach to my desired destination.
- I don’t want to come to work all sweaty and smelly.
- It is difficult to carry a lot of of stuff with me, whether I’m carrying grocery items or a laptop along with maybe some office stationary.
- Dubai’s weather is too hot and humid, am I nuts to drive a bicycle in this crazy weather.
- I don’t have a bike. (This is one of those silly excuses that doesn’t make any sense, especially in Dubai, where every individual owns a car or two cars or more. If you have the budget to buy a car, then buying a bicycle for you must be peanuts).
- There’s no way I could drive a bicycle from my house to Deira, BurDubai, Jumeira, JBR etc etc. (I would’ve understood the truthfulness behind this scenario a couple of years ago, but this excuse doesn’t seem too convincing anymore, and the answer to your question is: Why don’t you drive your bicycle to the closest Metro station, so you could catch a Metro to your desired destination).
- Are you insane, It it is difficult for me to bike that far, I could get hit by a truck. (My answer to this question is: Everything is possible through practice and discipline. It is just a matter of building the habit of commuting via bicycle, and taking the necessary precautions prior to that. You just need to build the habit thats all).
- biking is for kids, and for people who can’t own a motor bike or a car. (Sadly, this is the kind of response you would get from the majority of Dubai citizens, because as I mentioned earlier, most of us own a vehicle, and we’ve been brought up with this luxurious means of transportation that, shifting from a car to a bicycle is considered, an insult).
These are just a few reasons why we opt out of picking a bicycle as a means of transportation in Dubai, I could offer you many more reasons and scenarios of why adopting a bicycle culture in Dubai is just impossible, but then the real question to be asked here is Can citizens of Dubai adopt a bicycle culture?
I deeply and emotionally understand that, for us to achieve such a goal, which if observed closely, is not practical, because of the rapid economic changes taking place in Dubai. But nonetheless, I’m happy to say that there are cities around the globe currently, whose citizens have already taught themselves and their children to passionately, confidently and proudly drive a bicycle. The Danish, with all their might and deeply rooted sporty culture, have been showing us how it is done.
If you are ambitious and adventurous enough to embrace driving a bike for your daily short/long travels, then you must be aware of the many advantages that driving a bicycle could bring to the Environment:
- Driving a bike, is like a free donation to clean the environment. It is not only a means to cut carbon emissions, but it also helps conserve natural resources that are used daily to produce automobiles.
- You can save loads of money by using a bicycle for transportation instead of a vehicle. This includes the money to buy the vehicle, and the money used to fuel the vehicle. Imagine how much fuel money you can save every month, and multiply that by 12 months.
- Biking daily can be the best means to stay fit, forever. You want to stay fit in Dubai and enjoy its delicious restaurants? well then, the answer to your query is, drive a bicycle.
It is never too late to start a new habit, or to change a habit. it is just a matter of when, either today or never.