Let’s Cycle!


Let’s Cycle!

Yesterday we bought new bicycles for the kids as I think no childhood is complete without a bicycle. Who can forget the scary moments when one learns to ride a two wheeler sans the training wheels or the pride when you actually float down the lane without falling after you realize that your parent/sibling/friend has let go of you and you are going solo and then the shame when you wobble and fall on your side. These cycles made me nostalgic as I remembered my childhood when my brother and I used to cycle down the lanes of Bradford, racing through the public park like “CHiPs” and taking turns to haul the bike up the hill we loved on – aaahhhh those were the days.

 

 

 

Apparently people living in smaller cities and villages still use cycles as the main form of transport if they have to travel around. Of course others do it because they are health conscious. Oh how I wish I could cycle down the road once again.

 

 

 

You know my elders used to say always be cautious what you wish for because you never know when it might be granted. I used to think this was just a saying but as it turned out they were right.

 

 

 

A day after my kids’ bikes were bought, I found out the very next morning that: “Petrol prices increased by Rs8.02.” I couldn’t believe it (well actually I could because prices of POL products are spiked too often here. But I had to keep in character and complained and vented and acted all surprised and angry). But it was amazing how the spiritual Prime Minister granted me my wish soon of reliving my childhood days of riding a bike. With POL prices spiralling out of control, I guess most of us will be cycling to commute. Thank you dear PM, thank you!

 

 

 

There is no shame in cycling, the Chinese do it and China is not only a great nation it is a healthy nation too. And who says our government doesn’t plan ahead. By increasing POL prices, and making cycling the rage, not only will our people be slimmer and fitter, they might qualify for the event in the up-coming Olympics – as it is we have nothing to show for the thousands spent over the last four years to train sportsmen/women to represent Pakistan in London. This maybe our ticket into the Olympics. Maybe one of our cyclists will actually bring home gold.

 

 

 

You know what I think the POL prices are genuinely to improve the country’s image which has become tainted over the years. And maybe the government was inspired by the ‘Sixth Earth hour’ which was observed on Mar 31 and decided to make Pakistan an environmentally friendly country. With a large number of people pushed under the poverty line, there will be a decrease in the number of smoke-, fuel-emitting vehicles on the roads – lesser environmental pollution. There will be a decrease in population and things will look brighter for those who have survived the comet of petrol prices, which unlike the Haley’s comet, hurtle to planet Pakistan every other month. And every time more and more people find themselves struggling as their money becomes a pile of useless paper in their bank accounts.

 

 

 

On the bright side, it seems that the government has realised the advantages of such steps, well are advantageous – at least to those who matter. It probably realised that with lesser people able to afford petrol, let alone a vehicle, the number of vehicles will decrease and therefore there will be lesser traffic jams. Yahoo! This will allow more room for the large number of ‘royal’ cavalcades with huge expensive, bullet-proof cars to easily manoeuvre around the cities. The rare trips made to remote and underdeveloped areas are made by air in helicopters, mainly because the danger zone for our top crust comprises pretty much everything outside Islamabad, Multan, Lahore and the Governor House and Bilawal House in Karachi.

 

 

 

So am going to by a second hand bicycle for myself, before the budget makes that unattainable for a salaried person like me. See ya…happy cycling.



Lubna Jerar Naqvi

The writer is a senior journalist and writes regularly on human rights and women issues with special focus on social media. She tweets @raiseqalam

Related articles

  • Sajjad Zaidi

    We should promote cycling in Pakistan

  • Shezay

    Pakistan has a very hot climate , unlike china so I guess bicycling would not be good idea as many will die of dehydration!So thx but no thx PM