Actually the idea of organizing bicycle culture ride came about when I was planning to organize CycleFriday Pista Ride in Batu Pahat, a long distance ride specifically for fixed gear bike, in March 2013. More on that in the coming posting. When I approached YB Ja'affar for assistance to have Dataran Penggaram Batu Pahat for the starting and finishing for the CycleFriday Pista Ride event, I was lucky to obtain 2 consecutive days approval by The Majlis Perbandaran Batu Pahat i.e on the Saturday 30th March and Sunday 31st March 2013.
So taking the opportunity of having the Saturday, 30th March to organize an event, I have decided to organize CycleFriday Cycling Culture Ride. So besides Senggarang, I have the opportunity to create awareness about embracing bicycle culture among the people in Batu Pahat town.
This ride is different from the fun ride normally organized by certain cycling groups. I forbid road bikes, mountain bikes and fixies to join this ride. Road bikes and Mountain bikes are meant for sports and recreations. Fixies has becoming more like a fashion or trend. So, they are not suitable to send the right message to the public and also to the government on bicycling as a lifestyles.We need to understand the differences between cycling as a sport and recreational and cycling as a means of transport. I also forbid wearing helmet during the ride as the bicycles they use for the ride i.e an upright riding position does not warrant for them to wear helmet for safety. Studies have also shown that mandatory law of wearing helmet for cyclists has reduced the number of people on bicycles. In fact, safety on the road when riding a bicycle is to avoid colliding with motor vehicles. You can read in lengthy about helmet issues at www.copenhagenize.com One of the articles is Helmets or Health.
What is more important is, in order to encourage more people to cycle on the road, we need to create the infrastructures that are safe for cycling. Thus, we hope that we could lobby for bicycle lanes from Batu Pahat town to Senggarang as our first step, then to Rengit, Benut and to Tanjung Piai, Pontian (The Southernmost Tip of Mainland Asia). This is actually a cycling tourism route. When people are feeling safe to cycle from Batu Pahat to Tanjung Piai, it will definitely increase the number of tourists on bicycles, thus helps in terms of cycling tourism particularly in Johor. We also hope that the government could built more camping sites for cyclists to stopover in Rengit, Benut and Pontian in line with this. It.will also help in the higher rate of occupancy for homestays and hotels. Not to forget, the people that operate food stalls along the way will also benefit.
So, come and support us for the first time ever, CycleFriday Cycling Culture Ride in Batu Pahat, Johor. The first step towards getting more people on bicycles. Just ride your ordinary bicycles and wear your daily clothes. This is not a normal fun ride, it's a ride with a clear objectives in mind.