Bicycling on the seaside has become very popular, especially during winter when the weather is pleasant. But it’s rare to see people using bicycles to head to work, mainly due to the extremely hot weather in Kuwait most of the year. One of such people is Nadal Casenove, a 41-year-old French resident, who cycles to work not only in winter, but during summer as well. What is more impressive is that it’s not due to not owning a vehicle or a driving license, but for it being a faster way to reach office and a form of exercise too.
“Most days I use the bicycle to reach the office, but sometimes I choose to walk. By bicycle it takes me around 10 minutes, and 15 minutes by walking,” Casenove told Kuwait Times. “I very rarely use my car to get to work, as it takes me 20 to 25 minutes due to the traffic. I also save time when I use the bicycle as I don’t need to spend time looking for a parking spot, which sometimes takes around 30 minutes, as my office is downtown, which is always packed,” he said.
Casenove is able to use the bicycle as he lives near his workplace. “I live in Bneid Al-Gar and work in Sharq in Al-Hamra Tower, so it’s easy for me to bear the summer heat. I have been bicycling to work for about a year and a half. As the trip is short, I can wear a formal suit too and don’t need to carry an extra outfit,” he pointed out.
“I used to cycle back home in France before coming to Kuwait, and I enjoy it. Riding a bicycle is good for my body, and it’s less stressful due to the traffic and parking. There are around three other people who cycle to work at Al-Hamra Tower but not in the same company, so we have a special space to keep them,” he said.
Sometimes, riding a bicycle can be dangerous. “Once a driver almost hit me and I fell off the bicycle as he overtook me and made a sudden turn without bothering to see that I was there. People here are not used to cyclists on the roads and are not careful. Also, the roads are not meant for bicycles unless on the seaside. I hope the authority in charge of roads considers the needs of cyclists and makes practical arrangements to use a bicycle,” stressed Casenove.
The bicycle doesn’t need much maintenance. “I bought my bicycle for KD 400, as it’s of a good quality. I only change the tires every six months. Apart from using it for work, I ride the bicycle during the weekend with my wife and kids, who all have their own bicycles,” he said. “I advise people to try it. If more people use the bicycle as their means of transportation, the authorities will make it easier for us. Also, it’s a way to exercise on a regular basis. I encourage people to cycle, with precautions,” concluded Casenove.
By Nawara Fattahova