My name is Rabin Bhurtel, a 21 year old avid cyclist. In my hometown Nawalparasi, people start cycling from a very early age. It could have also been my father choosing a bicycle as the main means of transportation that I couldn’t be untouched by this cycling culture. I regularly cycled to my school, to my high school, and now am doing so in college too.
It’s been 11 years of falling in love with cycling and it doesn’t seem possible as of now to replace that love with an alternative means no matter how much people try to convince me. And as far as they are concerned that my girlfriend can’t be a pillion rider, I shall put her on the crossbar and live a ride with a retro vibe. I have been told a few times how my age is a time for trying motor bikes. I wonder how one’s age should define their comfort and choice.
In our society, bicycles are taken as either fitness equipment or a means of transport symbolic to people of lower socio-economic tier. This attitude often keeps us from shifting to this economical, fast, environment-friendly and healthy means of transport. This mindset often reflects in the way drivers of fuel vehicles treat bicycle riders on the streets. The lack of cycle-friendly roads and policies in Nepal is another hurdle in promoting bicycle preference.
My cycle has been my partner and a very reliable one at that. There sure are pros and cons of every transport but as long as an energy-efficient means can do the job, why opt for more pollution?