Liberia: With Masks, Social Distancing, Monrovia Cycling Club Observes World Bicycle Day

The exercise, according to the club, was aimed at creating awareness of the club and encouraging others to join its regular ride. (Photo: Monrovia Cycling Club)

World Bicycle Day, a date recognized by the United Nations in 2018 following a proposal by Turkmenistan (a country in Central Asia), saw over 30 riders from the Monrovia Cycling Club (MCC) on June 3, 2020, joined the world to observe this year's World Bicycle Day on a group ride through the capital Monrovia.

Monrovia Cycling Club is an organization comprising a group of bicycle riders that are not only concerned about riding bikes and keeping fit but is also committed to giving back to society through community services. The organization was founded in November 2019.

The exercise, according to the club, was aimed at creating awareness of the club and encouraging others to join its regular ride.

The group bike ride commenced from the ministerial complex in Congo Town to the Ministry of Transport, the European Union Delegation at Mamba Point in Central Monrovia, and back, stopping by at the Monrovia City Corporation, covering a route distance of about 25 kilometers.

Monrovia Cycling Club

In observance of the COVID-19 health protocols, bikers were required to wear a face mask, a helmet and bright color outfits that served as reflectors for other road users.

MCC does not only see cycling as a great way to stay healthy and an alternative to the gym, but also an effective way to support physical distancing and a means to relieve the burden on public transport during a pandemic.

In a statement marking this year's World Bicycle Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the day highlights the potential for transforming the way the world moves around, before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, helping create a healthier, more sustainable future.

"This year, we acknowledge the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle", Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the UN General Assembly said.

"Evidence suggests that even before COVID-19, many people turned to the bicycle as an affordable and equitable mode of transportation, leading to a longer and healthier life. Cycling has not only proven to improve physical health but also has a positive impact on mental health and subjective well-being."

Benefits of cycling include low maintenance costs of motor vehicles and ample health and fitness opportunities. Fewer cars also mean that less fuel must be imported. More bicycles, therefore, lead to a reduction in the dependence of the economy on oil.

Cyclists are regular public transport users, thus contribute to public transport finance.

Cycling friendly cities attract well-educated workers and prestigious employers, generating more jobs in the service sector.

Physical activity not only improves the health of the individual cyclist but also saves costs for health economy. Every km travelled by bicycle instead of by car saves approximately 1 Euro (1, 12 US Dollars) in regard to health spending.

Cycling is inclusive, healthy and economically beneficial. Therefore, politicians, those responsible in the administration and companies should promote the use of bicycles. Private individuals should decide to use the bicycle frequently, as it is good for you and your fellow citizens.

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