The Financial Express

Youths' preference for bicycles

Youths' preference for bicycles

The long coronavirus-triggered shutdown has prompted a number of changes to the lifestyle of people in the country. The urban areas dominate the scenario. Apart from learning to adapt to passing days inside home, the city residents have, apparently, got used to many pandemic-related obligations enforced by the government. The list also includes many new modes of life --- especially social distancing and recognising the hazards of being in crowd. Among the general people, it is the educated youths who have been identified as the group most responsive to the pandemic-related bitter truths and the requirements to fend off the corona scourge. They, apparently, took it upon themselves to ensure that they and the other city residents abide by the rule of maintaining  social distancing.

A photograph printed recently in the FE speaks eloquently about the youths' eagerness to meet this corona-time requirement. The photo shows young people, evidently the intending buyers, thronging a shop selling bicycles. It is understood that the prime  reason the youths are opting for this non-motorised transport is comfort in movement in this gridlocked city. By riding cycles along the fringe of roads one can avoid being in close proximity with mixed crowds, and save oneself from dreadful exposures to corona infection.  As seen in the present easing of the corona-preventive shutdown, the general people seem to be least bothered about 'social distancing'. 

There are a lot of ways to respect this particular order in the densely populated city of Dhaka. It should begin at one's own community. After that it is expected to be followed in the streets before reaching people in the commercial areas. Except a few venues reserved for the educated and enlightened classes, social distancing still remains on paper only. Enforcing this highly crucial measure has veritably emerged as an impossible task due to the nonchalance of the pedestrians and others going out on urgency. If lifestyles in Dhaka and other cities go on in this reckless style, the post-shutdown period might witness a pandemic phase worse than seen at present. The younger people couldn't have chosen a riper time to opt for bicycles. They have not only proved themselves anxious to see a Bangladesh and its capital free of the scourge of Covid-19 by resorting to the non-mechanised bicycles, they have, in fact, created a physical bulwark against the pandemic. 

With the continued entry of trendy motorcycles, the once-popular transport of bicycle has disappeared in course of time. At one time, its use became limited to fixed-income people who needed speed in their commuting. With the advent of new times, bicycles found themselves paled before the newly arriving awe-inspiring and high-speed motorbikes. As decades wore on, the dominance of motorcycles on the roads kept increasing. Thanks to their menacing style of movement, the motorbikes are now viewed as a dreadful presence amid the Dhaka traffic. In this very context the courage shown by the youths to travel by cycles on the roads of Dhaka is a bold attempt. Youths have in the recent years been found opting for state-of-the-art bicycles on even long-distance travels. Many reasons have been identified. The dominant ones include bicycles' user-friendliness, non-polluting and non-disturbing character. In consideration of the global presence of the corona pandemic, cyclists in Bangladesh are, evidently, throwing a challenge to the virus in a unique  way


Share if you like