Monday, September 23, 2013

Malaysian 2013 World Car-Free Day:600 cyclists mark car-free day

A child riding his bicycle in deserted Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
KL MAYOR'S SUPPORT: Organiser hopes to make it a monthly event due to enthusiastic response

KUALA LUMPUR: THE World Car-Free Day, initiated by the Malaysia National Cycling Federation (MNCF),    saw   600 people come out for   a fun-filled morning yesterday.

"I am overwhelmed with the support everyone has given at such short notice.

"It is also great to see the mayor (Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib) supporting us as he believes this is a good lifestyle change for city folk to come together to improve their health and the environment," said MNCF vice-president Datuk Naim Mohamad.

This maiden event was aimed at creating awareness and making people more environment conscious, he added.

Naim said Sunday was a good day as the streets of Kuala Lumpur were congested on working days, with vehicles releasing carbon and other emissions.

"MNCF hopes this will not be just an annual event, but also a monthly activity for all. Perhaps it can be increased to once a week, just as Jakarta has done in Jalan Thamrin and Jalan Sudirman since 2007."

Among the activities held in conjunction with the event were the Kuala Lumpur Mayor's Cup race, which is part of the Sentul Race Series for amateur and professional cycling enthusiasts.

Kuala Lumpur Mayor's Cup race organiser Mark Cheong, 30, said the event aimed to educate locals on alternative forms of transport and get them outdoors to experience the city in a different light.

Though they received 100 per cent support from local authorities, Cheong does not want it to hinder people's lives and disrupt their livelihood as people need to adapt first before making it a regular activity.

Andrew Lanham, 47, said he enjoyed the event as it was a nice change, adding that the highlight of the day for him was when he had the chance to cycle a lap with the mayor during the race.

"I had a great time. It was a well-organised race and the marshals were fantastic.

"I'll definitely join again in the future," said Jasmine Johnson, a 38-year-old freelance teacher from Taiping.

Firdauz Azhar, 32, who runs a shop selling skates in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, said he and his crew took this rare chance to skate freely in Kuala Lumpur.

"We normally skate at night when the roads are free, but skating safely in daylight like this is definitely more fun. We also made new friends here."

The World Car-Free Day was held in a 4km loop around Bukit Nanas, from Jalan Dang Wangi to the Golden Triangle area via Jalan Ampang, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail.

*Taken from NST Online

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