Canada embassy workers saddle up

Embassy staff said the journey was not as dangerous as they feared and motorists were generally friendly to them.

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ABU DHABI // Canadian embassy workers who took part in the #cycletoworkuae event found it so worthwhile they will make it a regular event.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our journey, especially today as the weather is so nice,” said Edwin Franklin, regional human resources officer for the embassy.

“We are planning to make it a practice that at least once a week we use our bicycles to commute to work.”

Mr Franklin was joined on the ride by embassy counsellors Marc Andre Lorrain and Claudio Ramirez, and mission property manager Vincent Hampton.

Mr Ramirez said they had planned the route a few days before the ride.

“All four of us started our bike journey from our homes and joined up at one point before Al Bateen interchange,” he said.

“From there, we bicycled together to our office, which is in Abu Dhabi Mall.”

They arrived on time to start their day at the office.

“I left home 20 minutes earlier than my scheduled time to avoid any distance and timing miscalculations,” Mr Franklin said.

“All of us were able to gather at our meeting point at the right time and reached our office on time.”

Mr Hampton said other road users had been polite.

“People in cars were glad to see us on the bicycle and waved at us in excitement,” he said. “Many were kind enough to give us the space around our bikes too.

“There were few cycling lanes on the roadside and where there weren’t any, we were riding on the extreme right side of the road.”

Mr Ramirez said they passed other cyclists on the way.

“We waved at each other,” he said.

He thanked Abu Dhabi Mall management for providing them with places to shower and park their bikes.

“We often talk about the unfriendly roads for bicycle riding, but it is equally important to allocate space to park the bicycles and shower facilities,” Mr Ramirez said.

“After an hour’s journey in open air, riders want to freshen themselves before starting work.”

The four praised The National for initiating the campaign.