Cycling away from worries about fuel prices

September 09, 2022, 01:15 pm

Last modified: September 09, 2022, 04:07 pm

Photo: Mumit M / TBS


Photo: Mumit M / TBS

A Facebook post shows a cartoon of a father riding his son’s bicycle. The child is crying because he does not want to be separated from his two-wheeled bicycle. His mother comforts him by saying, “Don’t cry. Daddy will bring you your bike back as soon as the price of gasoline goes down!”

This little bar, a humorous look at record-high fuel prices, has become a reality as many people across the country turn to bikes in hopes of easing the strain on their wallets.

Some even chose to replace their motorcycles with bicycles!

Fuel oil prices in Bangladesh have risen 75% in two phases since November last year. As a result, transportation costs have skyrocketed, affecting people from all walks of life.

In the midst of these turbulent times, two-wheeled bikes have become a saving grace.

Cheaper and cleaner

Imran Hussain Tibo, a resident of Sarulia district in Dumra, Dhaka, works at the Fulbaria branch of Uttara Bank.

He bought a motorcycle to drive to his office 11.5 kilometers from his home.

However, he faced a problem due to the sudden rise in fuel prices.

At first he tried public transportation, but her condition freaked him out. Daily quarrels between passengers and bus staff about the extra fare, unbearable overcrowding and traffic jams, along with illegal passenger stops, all left him late for work every day.

That’s when Imran switched to bicycles. For a couple of weeks now, he’s been avoiding everyday hassles.

Photo: Mumit M / TBS

Photo: Mumit M / TBS

Photo: Mumit M / TBS

In a Facebook post at BD Cyclist, a popular Facebook group, he wrote: “Going to the office by bus costs 90 Tk. Then in these 10 days I would have spent 10 x 90 = 900 Tk. I saved 900 Tk. Using my bike. Besides saving Money, it also keeps the body healthy. So, if we try to give up public transportation and start using bikes, it will save money, and make us fit.”

Aside from the monetary and health gains, Omran says it also saves about half an hour of his commute time.

He wrote, “You don’t have to get into traffic jams if you ride a bike. If you’re stuck at a signal, you can cross it by walking. It took about the same time as when I was on my motorcycle,” he wrote, adding as there was no police harassment.

Abir Hassan Simanto, a resident of the city’s Mirpur district, has a similar story. Software engineer by profession, Abeer’s office in Bennani.

Cycling has also begun to avoid public buses amid rising fuel oil prices.

He used to spend about 100 taka a day on auto rickshaw and bus fare to go to the office, but now that cost has been saved and he gets to work faster.

“Cycling is good exercise too. I sleep better at night. I want more people to be interested in cycling regularly. It’s the best form of transportation in this city. You won’t realize it unless you start using bikes,” he wrote.

“One can start with a bike that costs NT$10,000-12,000. However, you should always be aware of the possibility of theft as there are no bike parking spaces anywhere.”

However, he mentioned that Dhaka roads are very risky for cycling as there are no separate lanes for bikes while other vehicles often go recklessly. Always recommend a good helmet.

Semanto made an important point about safety.

A total of 10,504 road accidents occurred in Bangladesh between 2018 and 2020. Of these, 259 were bicycle-related, according to the Accident Research Institute of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Between 2019 and 22, there were 13 deaths in Dhaka alone using bicycles.

freedom to ride

Sultana Lea from Narayangang has been cycling regularly for three years. A trainer at Novera, a volunteer organization that helps girls ride bikes in the area, said, “Bikes preserve one’s personal freedom. On public transportation, anyone can be a victim of harassment. But with bikes, that problem doesn’t exist. Cycling is also It makes people feel better because of physical exercise.”

Photo: Mumit M / TBS

Photo: Mumit M / TBS

Photo: Mumit M / TBS

Arif Rahman Khan, a well-known face in the BD Cyclist Facebook group and a company official by profession, has been riding the bike for nearly 16 years and swears by it.

As a student, he bought a bicycle to save time to go to education. Although he went through various phases of his career, he never quit cycling.

According to him, there is no better solution than cycling to solve physical, mental, financial and environmental problems.

Arif Rahman told TBS, “You never have to get into a traffic jam with a bike. Cycling also keeps the heart healthy. It’s also very cost-effective.”

Regarding the cycle recommendations, he said that one should choose a bike based on the size and shape of their body. “If you do not use the bike according to your body structure, after a long time you may face various problems such as back pain and abdominal pain.”

Arifur also gave some tips to keep a few things in mind while commuting to the office by cycling. “You should go out on the road a little earlier than usual and put on a cycling jersey. You should also rest for a while in an open place to avoid excessive sweating.

He added, “Keeping some clothes in a closet in the office might be a good option. Otherwise you have to carry the clothes with you. If one can follow these few things, cycling will not cause any trouble for the job holders.”

Aside from all that, there are also the economic advantages of bikes in the country itself.

According to Eurostat data, Bangladesh is currently the third largest exporter to the European Union and the eighth largest in the world. About 80% of exports go to the 27 countries of the European Union.

Currently, crippling traffic jams, yearning for a healthier lifestyle and even the emergence of several delivery services have led people to view bicycles as the best and least expensive solution. The record hike in fuel prices may be the last alert.

#Cycling #worries #fuel #prices

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