May 2017: “PowerUp” is a sports magazine in Bahrain with the backing of some rather high profile sports competitors of which ‘cycling’ plays a major part. Along with a sports shop “TriLife” and the “Bahrain Cycling Association”, the initiative now is to change years and years of highway ignorance basically, whereby to instill the notion that cyclists have every right to safe passage on roads, just as anybody else. There is even a move to persuade the government to add cycle lanes in as many places as possible. The latter is a tall order, but Bahrain is small enough and definitively flat enough to incorporate this mode of transport to the benefit of the nation.
As is, cycle sport is quite well patronized in Bahrain and there is plenty of wild terrain out there to satisfy the rough riders. However, very few if any don the helmet and cycle to work as they might say in London or Berlin, the latter of which sports cycle lanes on almost all roads. Not only that, but it is as hot as hell for 9 months of the year in Bahrain, so by the time you got up to a reasonable speed to create a decent cooling draft, you’d be dead from exhaustion.
If they succeed with this project, part 2 will be keeping ‘me first’ arrogant motorists from storming up cycle lanes, to overtake traffic queues, or simply parking in them with gay abandon.
This is a very good initiative and one hopes that this team stick with it. They have some influential voices within, so what is now unquestionably a pretty dangerous activity cycling on Bahrain’s roads, they are out to make change. To add to those woes, low paid, uneducated labourers and workers generally making up the number of cyclists who often come at you on the wrong side of the road with not as much as a reflector to warn you; will it make a difference?
Sure, there are ‘hate cyclists’ brigades all over the world, with complaints that they don’t pay road tax, so why go to all this trouble? Behave now; most cyclists also own a car.