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Monday September 28, 2009

Only for cyclists

IN an effort to promote cycling, the state government is planning to implement two dedicated bicycle lanes – one from Gurney Drive to Tanjung Bungah and another around the George Town heritage enclave.

State Local Government and Traffic Management Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the initiative was aimed at promoting cycling as a healthy lifestyle activity and sport.

Chow (right) flagging off participants of Colours of Malaysia Bicycle Ride as Ong (second right) and Teh (third right) looked on.

“It is an ongoing process by the state government and will also raise awareness on the benefits of cycling among the general public,” he told newsmen during the Colours of Malaysia Lantern Bicycle Night Ride at New World Park on Sunday. Chow was later joined by State Youth, Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi and Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu in flagging off 39 participants of the lantern bicycle ride, who turned up with beautifully decorated bicycles, tricycles and trishaws.

Organised by the Penang Cycling Lifestyle Association to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, the fun ride took the participants from New World Park to Esplanade, the heritage enclave of George Town and back.

The cyclists, getting ready for the word, 'go'.

While some were content with simple lanterns hanging from their bicycles, others opted for more eye-catching displays of light and luminescence.

As night fell, the gathering area came alive with flickering strobes of neon, LED lighting and coloured bulbs of every shade imaginable.

Tan Boon Heng, a committee member of the association, drew many curious glances with his recumbent tricycle, adorned with colourful strip lighting and several glowing lanterns hanging overhead.

“Although I had planned how to decorate it much earlier, I only started decorating last night. This kind of bicycle is very popular in other countries, as the rider is in a more relaxed position,” Tan said.

Ong said there are currently several state-organised activities to get people involved in cycling, among them the Penang Heritage Experience on Wheels held every last Sunday of the month which takes participants to many major attractions in the heritage enclave and the Bicycle Joy Ride, held every second Sunday of the month.

Tan Wei Kiang, four, admiring a colourful lantern on one of the bicycles.

The ride will see participants cruise from Gurney Drive to Teluk Bahang, stopping at every hotel along the way to enable others to join the tour.

Beginning November, there will also be a Burung Hantu Ride every Saturday night at 8pm at the Municipal Youth Park.

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