Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

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xandreu
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Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by xandreu » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:01 pm

With most of Cambodia being incredibly flat, I often wonder why cycling isn't a lot more popular than it is, especially Phnom Penh.

Safety? You're no safer on a moto than you are on a bicycle. In fact, I'd say you're a little bit safer on a bicycle. Because you're going at a slightly reduced speed, both you and the SUV motorist who's doing her make-up in the sunscreen mirror have slightly more time to react when a potential collision occurs. Plus, cyclists often sit a little bit higher on their saddle than moto riders, giving both the cyclist a slightly better view and the motorist who's texting his wife that he's working late while on his way to meet his mistress, slightly more chance of noticing you.

Speed? You may ride a bit slower than a moto on a long, straight, flat and empty road, but how many of those do you get in PP? When you take into account the myriad of junctions you have to negotiate, the traffic lights, the dogs and kids running out into the road, the traffic that just appears from side roads with no consideration to oncoming traffic on the main road, cycling is not any slower than riding a moto.

The heat? One of the great advantages of cycling is that you don't have to encase your head (where 70% of your body heat escapes) in an enclosed shell. The natural 'wind through your hair' breeze you get while cycling is often enough to keep you cool. Even if you choose to wear a cycling helmet, they're specifically designed differently to motorbike helmets to allow air through. And in a worse case scenario, just slow down a bit.

I gave up my moto about 10 months ago for a bike and have never looked back. I use it every day to ride about 3km to work and 3km back again. It takes the same amount of time it did on my moto. It cost me $100 as opposed to the $1000 my moto cost me, and I can do almost all of the maintenance myself. The odd occasion I've had to take it to a repair shop, it's cost me riel as opposed to dollar. Plus I don't have to fill it up with petrol. Ever. And for those times when you're travelling with a friend, get a pass app and go halves. It doesn't come close to the daily savings you make by not having to run and maintain a moto.

I often find myself breezing down a road on my way home, wondering why more people don't choose this as their daily form of transport, so thought I'd just put it out there...?
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by sklmeera » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:04 pm

Because your sweating like a pig by the time you get to work .
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by Apexisto » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:09 pm

Because it's stupid. Much easier and funnier just to drive with a moto. What's the problem with the white people and their desire to cycle? Come on... Motos are faster unless you have to go to the rush hour in PP...
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by xandreu » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:11 pm

sklmeera wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:04 pm
Because your sweating like a pig by the time you get to work .
You're not. That's what I assumed. (Unless you're very overweight I guess). If you work a 9-5 type of job, you're cycling in the coolest parts of the day. And in the hotter months, just cycle a bit slower. I very rarely turn up for work sweating like a pig.
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by epidemiks » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:18 pm


xandreu wrote:
sklmeera wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:04 pm
Because your sweating like a pig by the time you get to work .
You're not. That's what I assumed. (Unless you're very overweight I guess). If you work a 9-5 type of job, you're cycling in the coolest parts of the day. And in the hotter months, just cycle a bit slower. I very rarely turn up for work sweating like a pig.
A Cambodian colleague, whose quite fit, cycle's to work most days. He shows us the consideration of showering at work, because he sweats like a pig on the ride.
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John Bingham
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by John Bingham » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:32 pm

xandreu wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:01 pm

I often find myself breezing down a road on my way home, wondering why more people don't choose this as their daily form of transport, so thought I'd just put it out there...?
I cycle a lot myself but mostly very early in the morning or in the early evening. It's not comfortable in the midday sun. For locals there is a lot of attachment to status and riding a bicycle is seen as relatively low-class. It also requires exertion and a lot of people don't like doing that in the sun/heat. There are quite a few students and traders etc who do cycle but you might not see so many in the city center. Cycling as a sport/ exercise has become popular in recent years and you can often see large groups of locals on high-end bikes doing trips outside the city on weekends.
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by explorer » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:20 am

I use a bicycle, and think it is the best form of local transport in Cambodia.

There are a lot of people who do cycle.

I use minivans, taxis and buses for long distance travel.
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by beaker » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:03 am

My EBike is the best of both motos and bicycle.
Image
It will do 50kms/hr and I can pedal as much or as little as I like.
It is limited to 30Km range without pedal assist but works great for me around town.

I just pop on the saddle bags for groceries.
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by Element6 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:17 am

Get yourself on to HE boulevard early morning (I pass down there at around 6am) and there are lots of very serious looking cyclists.

A friend of mine is on the Olympic committee for cycling and his wife does quite well in SEA cycling events
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Re: Why isn't cycling more popular in Cambodia?

Post by hanno » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:28 am

Cycling is becoming more and more popular, with regular races being held. As you like to make assumptions
Unless you're very overweight I guess)
I make my own: you don't get up early, do you?

I do sweat like a pig and no, I am not overweight. I do not mind sweating as I run a little, but it is not for everyone.
that you don't have to encase your head
Anyone not wearing a helmet on a bike is a moron; head injuries are just as likely on a pushbike as on a motorbike.

It is bloody dangerous as nobody expects you coming down the road on a bike doing 30 kilometers an hour. As a cyclist, you are very much at the bottom of the pecking order.
(where 70% of your body heat escapes)
The figure used to be 45% but has long since been debunked; it is more like 10%: https://www.theguardian.com/science/200 ... nbehaviour

Having said that, I do bike but it is rarely a pleasant experience.
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