Cyclists have right to use roads too, says Abdul Karim

Abdul Karim (centre) speaks at the press conference while Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak (MYSS) acting permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi (left) and State Youth and Sports director Lamat Nyalau look on.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Sept 21: Cycling enthusiasts in Sarawak have the right to use the road like other road users, and confining their cycling activities to a certain area will only frustrate them and deny them satisfaction.

In stating this, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah expressed his belief that it is unnecessary for the authorities to set up a special place for leisure cyclists.

“As a cyclist myself, if we love to cycle not for competitions but as a leisure (activity), I wouldn’t want to be confined to just a small spot, for instance, being restricted to cycle only at Mountain Bike (MTB) Track of Bukit Siol in Jalan Semariang.

“Of course we would be able to achieve what we want in terms of carrying out recreational activity but it will be quite boring.

“That is why cyclists have their own groups and go cycling together over a long distance such as cycling to Lundu this week, cycling to Serian next week and cycling to Bau the week after,” he said at a press conference in Bangunan Baitulmkmur 2 here today.

He was answering a reporter’s query on whether the State government would consider setting up a special lane or place for cyclists in view of the rising number of cycling enthusiasts in Sarawak.

Abdul Karim who is also the Asajaya assemblyman further advised cyclists to avoid narrow roads such as the road stretch from Kuching to Damai (Santubong).

“Try to avoid such narrow roads. If you still wish to cycle to Damai, use the new road which passes the Sungai Bodoh Besar Bridge along Jalan Lingkaran Samariang. That road doesn’t have many vehicles passing through,” he added.

On competitive cycling, Abdul Karim said the State government already has plans to set up a velodrome. However, it is still at the planning stage. — DayakDaily