Save money, beat traf­fic

Those who cy­cle to their of­fice not only sur­vive, but thrive.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Active - By MING TEOH star2@thes­tar.com.my

MORE of­fice work­ers are cycling to work, to beat the jams and the ris­ing costs of fuel, park­ing and road tolls. Here’s how they do it.

Safwan Sid­diq, 28, me­dia con­tent pro­ducer

He started cycling to work some­time last year.

“I was pre­par­ing for a 160km cen­tury ride. It was hard to get enough train­ing dur­ing the week­ends,” he ex­plained, adding that he could eas­ily clock 30km a day from com­mut­ing.

To stay safe, he ad­vised go­ing through hous­ing ar­eas where pos­si­ble.

“These roads are typ­i­cally less con­gested com­pared to the main roads, es­pe­cially dur­ing rush hour, but not too quiet (and dan­ger­ous),” he said.

Safwan, who hails from Shah Alam, Se­lan­gor, car­ries as lit­tle as pos­si­ble when bike-com­mut­ing, say­ing he keeps his lap­top at the of­fice. But he does bring his of­fice at­tire and shoes with him, and he also keeps ex­tra work cloth­ing at his of­fice.

“I’m for­tu­nate enough to have gym fa­cil­i­ties at work, so I just shower be­fore I clock in,” he said.

“If the weather is re­ally bad, I will take the car. But if I get caught in the rain while cycling to work, I have a rain­coat and also rain cover for my back­pack plus bright lights,” he ex­plained.

To pre­vent his parked bi­cy­cle from get­ting stolen, he keeps it in the of­fice. He said that show­er­ing fa­cil­i­ties in of­fice build­ings would re­ally help peo­ple who are con­sid­er­ing cycling to work.

“I’m sure em­ploy­ers would ap­pre­ci­ate health­ier em­ploy­ees who ex­er­cise, right?” he quipped.

He also noted that there have been more cy­clists since bike lanes were set up in parts of Pe­tal­ing Jaya, Kota Da­mansara and Shah Alam.

Safwan uses a cy­clocross bi­cy­cle, which is a hy­brid be­tween a road bike and a moun­tain­bike, to get to work.

“It’s stur­dier than a reg­u­lar road bike, so it can han­dle pot­holes and go­ing on or off road kerbs eas­ily. It can also be fixed with racks to carry bags,” he ex­plained.

Hav­ing said that, he added that al­most any bi­cy­cle can be used to cy­cle-com­mute.

“When I was in univer­sity, I used a cheap RM200 sin­gle-speed bi­cy­cle to get from cam­pus to class. I al­ways tell peo­ple that the best bi­cy­cle for cy­cle-com­mut­ing is the one you al­ready have at home,” he said.

— Pho­tos: SAFWAN SID­DIQ

Safwan clocks roughly 30km daily when cycling to work.

This is how Safwan packs his bag for his daily bike com­mute to work.

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