Windhoek on Bike fun day
Notwithstanding taxis’ general disregard for road safety including pedestrians, cyclists and their own passengers, the Windhoek on Bike promotion was enthusiastically received by a large crowd who thought it rather funny to ride a bicycle when one can simply hail a kudu of disaster.
Windhoek on Bike started early Saturday morning with a noticeable chill in the air. The group of young and older prospective cyclists assembled in anticipation of much joy and excitement.
Physically Active Youth (PAY) in cooperation with the German Government through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and ChiNamibia had organised this event to raise awareness of two key cycling issues – safety and improved mobility. The event supported the implementation of the Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan (SUTMP), which was released in September 2013 by the Ministry of Works and Transport together with the City of Windhoek and the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.
Early on Saturday approximately 150 cyclists started a fun ride through Katutura along a set route, passing Soweto market and drawing much attention from the Katutura crowd. Numerous supporters from the public were awaiting them at the Independence Arena at the Katutura Multi-Purpose Youth Centre, where the use of bicycles was the theme for dance performances and theatre plays.
In preparation, Physically Active Youth had offered bike training to commuters who find it hard to afford taxi fares. During the weekly training sessions, participants were taught how to ride a bike safely and how to maintain it. After the ride, Annegret Al-Janabi, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy handed over 50 bikes to Councillor Kandjii of the Katutura Central Constituency for PAY to use for further cycling training.Al-Janabi said bike riding is a reasonable means of transport as it brings you directly from A to B, is cost-effective, easy to learn and bicycles are easy to maintain. In addition cyclists benefit from improving their physical fitness and contribute to a healthy environment. Councillor Kandjii promised to work with the City of Windhoek to make the city safer for cyclist.