Palau’s United Nations Ambassador Ngedikes Olai Uludong told Island Times that although she would encourage cycling in Palau for sports purposes, she said that she is not for it as a mode of transportation because Palau’s sidewalks are not built for it.
Uludong, who was responding to media’s inquiry if she would support bicycle tourism as part of the country’s move to reduce carbon emission, said that cycling is not part of Palau’s traditions and that most Palauans, including her, would not ride a bicycle because of the climate here.
Uludong added that in promotingcycling, there needs to be a good educational component and good urban planning, among others.
“I would encourage cycling in terms of sport activities like triathlon, cycling competitions, but [as] a mode of transportation, I would not,” Uludong reiterated.
Belau Triathlon Federation Vice President Paul Zipagan also agreed that Palau’s sidewalks are indeed not built for cycling commuters but as a sports enthusiast, he said thatthey are treating cycling as a serious sports and are in fact enjoying cycling to the mountainous areas in Babeldaob.
“We are not taking cycling for commuting because of our sidewalk and narrow street,” Zipagan said but he added that there are some individuals in the country who use bicycles to commute to their workplace while others also do it toprepare for upcoming triathlon competitions.
Zipagan also said that every member of the Palau Cyclist and the Belau Triathlon Federation is a sports enthusiastand they always cycle to train hard as they do not take their sports for granted.
Zipagan even said that they will continue to encourage everybody in Palau to make cycling as one of the sports to consider. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)