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Govt urged to set up exclusive cycling lanes

July 25, 2023

Islamabad:Senior Vice President of Islamabad Cycling Association (ISA), Haroon General has urged the government to setup the exclusive cycling lanes for the promotion of healthy activity of cycling.

Talking to APP here on Monday, he said the social behaviour needs a shift as cycling is not a poor person’s transport but a healthy lifestyle. Cycling is tagged with lower socio-economic status, he said adding that bike riders, cab drivers, and even citizens do not give way to the cyclist due to the shallow trend of bicycle lanes in the country.

“Ten per cent of societal behaviours cannot be overwhelmed by the majority and this social behaviour needs to be changed,” Haroon said. He said that roads are expanding but cycle lanes seem to be out of strategy. Talking about professional cycling, Haroon said athletes are being trained on 73 years old velodrome and such practices would not bring medals to the countries.

He said Pakistan has only one cycling velodrome which was built in 50s and has a 333 meters track, while international level velodrome are 250 meters long. “To train our athletes for international events we need to send them abroad which will equip them with modern techniques," Haroon said. He said that international bodies can help in building an updated velodrome here but a strong determination is required from concerned bodies.

Talking about the ‘Tour de Khunjerab’ Cycling Race, he said that it was one of the most successful events in the country’s cycling history. Foreign cyclist terms it the most favourable area for cycling events, he added.

Haroon informed that the ‘Tour de Khunjerab’ race started from 2500 meters above sea level and ended at 4700 meters. He said that due to the high altitude, the said area was a nightmare for many cyclists, as oxygen level was low even for running. He said the lack of sponsors is the main hurdle in organising the mega races. He urged the private sector to come forward and play their role to uplift the sports in the country.