By Chloe Elizabeth Hill
Hello, my names Chloe and Im a cyclist. Im not a professional athlete or anything; in fact, Im actually rather slow. But I enjoy cycling. It not only gets me from A to B but it wakes me up in the morning and it keeps me fit (to some degree at least). I get to see, hear and smell things that other people dont on their daily commute, and it is a fantastic way to explore a new city.
My love affair with bikes began in 2012 when I moved to Copenhagen, the city of cycles, where 42% of people commute to work or school using the designated and highly developed bike lane system. The high tax Denmark sets on vehicle purchases, petrol and parking means that biking just makes sense. Biking is everywhere and is even perceived as being fashionable.
After moving back to Australia, and later Germany, I took my love of biking with me. Now Ive started biking in Tacloban, where traffic is far more chaotic and certainly not for the faint-hearted but somehow more of an adventure. Although Tacloban initially seems like a less than bike-friendly, the compactness of the downtown area and the close proximity of shops, services, markets and sites mean that biking is one of the fastest modes of transportation. However, as I biked I began to realise that not only were there tricycles, Jeepneys, multicabs and sneaky pedestrians to contend with but also brand new SUVs, Hiluxs and other luxury cars.
Despite the many benefits of riding and the surprising high number of bikes in Tacloban, there is also a large and seemly growing number of these new luxury cars. Perhaps the lack of available public transport is forcing people to find other forms of transportation, be it more sustainable or much less. Of course, biking isnt for everyone and isnt always convenient. Lets hope the development of our solar-powered transport fleet can provide a better alternative for all those non-bikers out there.#
In the first photo: Me, finding my wheels in Tacloban while having to dodge more than 10 vehicles during a