Bike riding in Cairo

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LivinginLuxor
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Bike riding in Cairo

Post by LivinginLuxor » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:44 am

A good article in G2 today, comparing cycling in various world cities. Seems Cairo comes a close second to Delhi as a bad place to be on a bike!

Tell a local that you cycle in Cairo, and more often than not you will be met with a wide-eyed stare. Driving a car is dangerous and frustrating enough, with 42 annual road deaths per 100,000 Egyptians, according to the World Health Organisation. Britain has just 2.75.

Cairo's roads are chaotic, with cars paying little attention to road markings, and gridlocked streets common by mid-afternoon. Lane discipline is not a recognised concept, drivers often reverse down multi-lane highways, and cars will not stop for pedestrians seeking to cross a road until they step out into the speeding traffic.

In this environment, there is little concept of cycling as a means of getting across the city. Needless to say, there are no cycle lanes. Many deliverymen do use bikes to pedal around their neighbourhoods – perhaps Cairo's most fearless road-users are the cycling bakers who careen through traffic jams balancing vast trays of bread on their heads. But very few commuters cycle, put off by the perceived danger and the lack of infrastructure. For some professionals, bikes are associated with the working class, and so have a social stigma – while some female cyclists report harassment from passersby.

But the city's few energetic bike advocates say that cyclists are slowly on the rise. When the Cairo Cycling Club was founded five years ago, it had just four members. Now it organises weekly recreational group rides through quieter districts that have sometimes attracted hundreds of cyclists. In two provincial cities near Cairo, the authorities are planning to encourage more cycling along some main roads.

There are no exact figures, either for the number of Cairene cyclists or the number of annual cycling-related fatalities. But Ahmed el-Dorghamy, one of Cairo's most vocal cycling proponents, says there are more than 20,000 users of Egyptian online cycling groups.

"The idea we want to get across is that it's not just a sporting activity," he told the BBC last year. "It can also be a means of transport in some areas of Cairo."

Full article at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... r-cyclists


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Re: Bike riding in Cairo

Post by Who2 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:59 am

I believe the worst City for bike deaths seems to be London according to The London Evening Standard.
212 alone in 2012…. 8)
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Re: Bike riding in Cairo

Post by Hafiz » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:30 pm

LivinginLuxor, I'm sure you're right but some in Cairo do try and there are several clubs which ride regularly. One of them is http://cairocyclists.wordpress.com/.whose members are brave souls. There is, if you are interested, a bike shop in Maadi selling expensive bikes to the brave and reckless. I've read of a serious bike ride in Luxor several years ago which seems to have been a one off.

In a poor country like Egypt bikes could be an alternative to cars except that the awful roads would make riding near impossible. However an example of where it does work, notwithstanding bad traffic and road surfaces, is Delhi. In places with less traffic like Luxor it might work.

There is an Australian charity which recycles bikes for the 3rd world and maybe there are similar organizations in other countries http://www.givenow.com.au/otherways/bikes http://www.bicyclerecycling.com/15.html.

Would there be Luxor organizations who would want to participate in such a program, assuming there is a need? If there is a need and local organization I would be happy to do the work at this end. The problem of bad road surfaces might be overcome with hybrid and other bike types with front 'shock absorbers.

If someone can approach a Luxor organizatio and do some work at that end then it might work.

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Re: Bike riding in Cairo

Post by carrie » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:30 pm

I had a bike and went out on it three times, each time I took my life in my hands, it's not just the state of the roads here it's the other road users. I honestly wouldn't like to promote cycling here don't want to feel responsible for even more deaths.

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Re: Bike riding in Cairo

Post by Who2 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:45 pm

They used to call my sister Rebecca the Bedford Bike, 'never could understand that, she never had a bike….:cool:
the one that got thrown out of Girls Ashford, Maidstone Covent School for Young Ladies and The Girl Guides, I kid you not!
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