BY: Isaac Mortey
The maiden Edition of Orange Ride – Cycle Down Carbon hit the street of Accra on Saturday 10th July 2021. It was a 6.5km ride earmarked from the Netherlands Embassy through the streets of Accra to the Osekan beach resort.
The Aim of Orange Ride is to encourage a healthier lifestyle in our fast-paced city, Using bikes as a cheaper and less Polluting form of transport. Cycling is a common mode of transport in the Netherlands with thirty-six percent of Dutch people using the bicycle as their most frequent means of transportation as opposed to a car which is forty-five percent.
According to research, Cycling prevents about sixty thousand five hundred deaths in the Netherlands each year. The streets were Dotted with bright shades of Orange as participants both young and old were on their bikes. The group bike ride organized by the Dutch Embassy is to promote a healthy lifestyle and to shed light on the use of bikes as a cheap and green form of transport.
Speaking to Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana Ron Strikker after the ride he said he is very glad about the huge turnout about the Orange Ride which is a six-point five kilometers ride through Accra and they were able to do it because they have a mission.
He continued that bike is a good thing, very good for our mindset and Personal Healthcare and they will like to see biking as an important tool in reducing Carbon Emissions and to reduce the warming of the earth.
He said that the Dutch investing in bike has yielded results.
“Yes this is about awareness and efficacy and we know how much money you will need for infrastructure and for making biking lessons and of course it starts with planning, plans for tomorrow, plans for the day after tomorrow, plans your biking lessons right now” he opined.
Speaking to the Deputy Ambassador to Ghana Katja Lasseur she said, they are hoping this event will be a starting point for a corporation agreement with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to see if they can work together and share knowledge and ideas to make Accra more Cycle friendly. She added that cycling has a lot of benefits which to her does not pollute the air but good for your health and an easier way of transport.
Finally, she said that they will try to repeat this event next year.
“I think we are going to repeat this event next year, we are in contact with other groups and organizations interested in promoting cycling and I’m pretty sure there will be some corporations coming out of this”
Christian Dogbadzi an Executive Member of Eagle Riders club a participant of the Orange Ride who has been riding a bicycle since 1992 revealed that cycling has been crucial to his health, he basically uses a bicycle as his mode of transport. According to him, Eagle Riders club is undertaking a project to educate the masses about cycling mainly on safety because people fear to ride on road, because of the attitude of motorist to cyclists.
He also made an appeal to the Cycle federation to make it a practice to make such an event yearly to bring cycling into the public domain to stop the idea of cycling a poor man’s means of transport. He continued that he wants cycling to be introduced to kids at the Basic level.
“In Britain, it is standard Practice that by six years old you should know how to cycle, so if that thing is part of us every driver who is driving on the street knowing how to cycle will take better care of cyclist, yes there is an occasional foolish driver who will not care about the cyclist on the road, but I must give commendations to the Ghanaian driver that basically when the cyclist indicate what he wants to do they recognize it but at the end of the day if every driver has an experience from Cycling there is better communication and better appreciation from cyclist on our road so it’s a good thing we take it up”.He suggested. He also said his club is undertaking a project to publicize cycling and encourage people to take cycling as a means of transport.