For a country flirting with economic disaster for the last decade and teetering on the edge of environmental collapse, Pakistan has not done enough when it comes to exploring alternative ways of living. Petrol, not known as gasoline here, is still consumed widely by vehicles and happens to be the most popular type of fuel for Pakistanis. Bicycling is still a nascent activity in the country, specifically due to the attitude of the citizens towards it and the lack of roads and other transport networks for bicycling.
However, even with the prejudice against it, biking has slowly been increasing in popularity of late and happens to be gently easing its way into common public perception. Nowadays, the biking culture of Pakistan involves a number of different activities or events that involve dozens of participants. You will rarely see people riding a bike on a road, but you might catch a small group of them taking their bikes and their gear out for a ride along here or there.
Here are some places where you’re bound to see Pakistanis out biking in groups:
Trails in the Mountains
Biking groups have become highly prevalent in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Different independent groups happen to be operating in those areas and usually bike in groups on mountain trails or on the mud tracks that exist in the mountainous areas. These biking trips in the mountains also happen to be a part of a newly launched tourism program. Biking trips along the Karakoram highway and Galis next to Murree are becoming quite the common sight. Expect them to become even more common in the coming years.
Recently, many biking groups have come into existence in different major cities over Pakistan. These include both women exclusive groups and mixed ones. The former came into existence as a call for women empowerment in the country. This all started after a woman was harassed for biking around Lahore, leading to protests and women forming their own bicycle groups as a sign of empowerment. These groups have spread around the major cities of Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi. Both the female groups and others can be seen around those cities every week.
With the biking culture becoming more pronounced in Pakistani society, it is bound to see an increase in the coming years. However, its increased prevalence happens to be a necessity for the country. Fuel prices constantly fluctuate, the atmosphere is being increasingly polluted, and the traffic on the roads is unbearable. In such a dire situation the government and the public have to think of alternative solutions together. Therefore, biking is something they need to focus on together.
Biking is no longer being seen as a poor man’s means of transport and that attitude needs to further change if Pakistan has to move forward. In conclusion, biking must be given more focus and should be supported in order for the count