Wednesday, August 13, 2008
“At first my workmates considered me weird. However, since they knew me as someone who usually have weird hobbies, they no longer gave a damn on my biking to work.”
This was what Pak Wargo—one pioneer of bike to work in Semarang—said. He further said that he started biking to work in 2005, the same year when ‘bike to work’ community was first established in Jakarta. The basic reason why he biked to work at the very beginning was because he loved traveling. Another reason was to do exercise to keep healthy since he didn’t have spare time to do that. By going to work by bike, he did not need to spend special time to go to a gym, let’s say, or a swimming pool. He just had to wake up earlier, to go to the office earlier than when he went to work by car. He considered 35 kilometer distance from his house in Klipang—one eastern part of Semarang to his workplace in Mangkang—the most western part of Semarang as a challenge. Practically he biked around 70 kilometers away almost everyday. He explained that he usually went to his office on Monday morning by car, his bike was at the office. He went home by bike, leaving the car at the office. He biked to work from Tuesday until Saturday. On Saturday afternoon, he went home by car.
He usually needed one hour fifteen minutes to cover the 35-kilometer distance, by avoiding ‘hilly’ areas, such as in Kedungmundu. Instead, he chose to pass Majapahit street and directly went straight to the west, till his office located somewhere in Mangkang.
Doing exercise is indeed one most favorite reason for bike to workers in Semarang. Doctors’ claim that the safest exercise done by those who are more than forty years old are swimming, jogging, and biking is often cited. Some bike to workers said that they could not swim. Biking was a better choice than jogging because by biking people could reach further distance, meaning that they could enjoy more beautiful views, than just jogging. Moreover for people who weigh more than 90 kilograms, they say it is much heavier for their legs to support their bodies in jogging than they bike.
People’s complaint about the soaring price of gasoline can be decreased by biking to work too. They can save their money since they do not need gasoline at all when biking. Pak Wargo claimed that he needed around Rp. 300.000,00 per week to buy gasoline before he biked to work. You can imagine how much money he can save since then.
As we all know the fact that gasoline’s price soared did not only happen in Indonesia. One national newspaper stated that nowadays even in the super power country—America—more people are seen biking on the street than before the soaring price of gasoline.
The last but the most important reason for biking to work is absolutely to help reduce the air pollution as well as the negative impacts of global warming. Bicycles obviously do not produce emission gas that pollutes the air we breathe. It even makes the cyclists healthier.
So, what are you waiting for? Join Pak Wargo and the other bike to workers to save our earth while saving your money and making your bodies healthy.
It is expected that in the future, people will bike not only to go to the office, but also to go anywhere they need to do activities.
PT56 22.24 110808