Sunday, May 29, 2022

Cycling for fitness and environmental friendliness

Everyday exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and in recent years, public awareness on cycling has constantly been on the rise.

Bicycles are as good for the air that humans breathe as they are for their bodies; and they have other environmental benefits too.

Someralang Tikologo, based in Extension 4, has an initiative called ‘Cycling to save the Environment’.

Keneilwe Moseki, Executive Director at Somarelang Tikologo said, “Our initiative is part of an intervention to help combat climate change effects. Experts are saying motorized form of transport; which includes cars, produce harmful gases which are part of the greenhouse gases.”

“Among the greenhouse gases, the most notorious is carbon dioxide, thus the level of it needs to be reduced from the atmosphere to reverse its effects and so I strongly recommend people to use non-motorized transport such as cycling and walking in order to save the environment,” she said.

Batanani Nkhumisang, General Manager at Gym Active explained that cycling is important and more advantageous than driving as it helps reduce heart problems by increasing heart function and its ability to pump more blood thus decreasing body fat due to utilization of fat as energy.

“A routine cycling is the trick to sticking to good healthy ways,” he said.

Moseki explained that in 2009, in collaboration with Gaborone City Council (GCC) and Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS), they had a bicycle race in Gaborone with the donation of bicycles from GCC.

“During the race, we had Tshekedi Khama as the chief cyclist. The public had responded well, males, females and children of all ages were present and the winner was awarded a bicycle,” she said.

Moseki stated that another race was organised last year but it had to be postponed due to the economic meltdown. She added that it is still in plan and has been phased to October this year, but with the same sponsors intact.

Although the climate changes naturally on its own, humans contribute heavily to pollution of the environment. A better bicycling infrastructure in Botswana must be provided for everyone that includes both on-road and off-road bikeway facilities and secure cycle storage at activity centers. This infrastructure should be properly designed and properly maintained.

“Plans are at hand to build bicycle lanes in some of the roads that do not have them. So far we have cycle lanes at Tsholofelo, Nyerere, and Independence drive,” explained Seeletso Lekgaba, Public Relations Officer at Gaborone City Council.

In relation to promoting cycling, GCC has provided support to organizations such as Somarelang Tikologo, Red Cross, Botswana Teachers Union, Department of Transport and Tebelopele.

Lekgaba revealed that during open-days by GCC to demonstrate to the public how to drive on bicycle lanes, they have had a very positive public response with other cyclists even bringing their own bicycles, and this indicated that Batswana have interest in using Non-Motorised Transport.

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