ABU DHABI // Thousands of people will take to the saddle on Tuesday for The National’s second annual #cycletoworkUAE day.
For some of you, it’s how you get to work every day, or how you spend some of your leisure time. For many, it’s a rare break from a sedentary lifestyle, driving to the office and not moving much when you get there. For everyone, it’s a healthy dose of fresh air, exercise and community activity.
Cycling knows no boundaries of social position, income or employment. Look around you as you cycle and don’t be surprised to see a sheikh, a taxi driver, a business tycoon or an office messenger.
Many of them are our Cycle to Work Ambassadors, leaders of society who see the long-term benefits of our initiative and are devoting their time and energy to support it.
“This campaign is a beginning. The infrastructure is not here yet but we have to start somewhere,” Brian Lott, Mubadala’s executive director of group communications, said when we launched this year’s campaign.
“Cycling is a joyful thing to do if it’s safe. If you look at big cities like New York, London or Copenhagen, hundreds if not thousands cycle to work and it’s great to watch because it’s a way of life.”
Salma Ganchi, a dietitian and keen cyclist, says many people function better when they exercise. “They do it to stay healthy, but it’s also a great pick-me-up if you’re feeling down. I can’t imagine my life without it.”
The National’s Editor-in-Chief, Mohammed Al Otaiba, who will cycle to work on Tuesday, says encouraging young people to exercise is one of the campaign’s aims.
“Healthy living is definitely one of the benefits of our #cycletoworkUAE campaign. But it is also about spreading awareness that people need to do something to get physically active.
“In this country, there is a high incidence of obesity and diabetes. Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise, and it can be a convenient mode of transport too.”
His main message for Tuesday is: “Everyone must be safe – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. If today shows that we care about discovering our city, we care about our neighbours and looking out for them, and the UAE cares about being active, then it’ll have been a success.”
Source: uae news