Competition winners ready to put wheels in motion with prizes

The winners of the #cycletoworkuae competition came to The National's office to pick up their prizes, vouchers that can be put towards a new bike at Tamreen Sports.

Mohammed Al Otaiba, Editor-in-Chief of The National, with Liju Mathew, a winner in the Cycle to Work contest. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // Coming from Hong Kong, Lai Fan Chan says she is used to seeing people commute to work on bicycles.

Ms Chan, 49, was a winner in The National's #cycletoworkuae competition and is now considering cycling to work here.

“It’s a very healthy way to commute,” said Ms Chan, a four-year resident of the UAE. “Biking is the most popular mode of transport back home. We are used to biking while going to work. I am glad to have won as we will be able to relive our memories again.”

By chance, her husband Chi Ho Lee, 50, was also a winner, pocketing a Dh7,500 voucher that can be used towards a bike at Tamreen Sports in Abu Dhabi. To win the prizes, they had to text in cycling safety tips.

Liju Mathew, another winner, said he was delighted to have won, but believed the city needed more cycle lanes before he would consider commuting by bike.

“I am used to cycling a lot back home, especially when I was studying,” said the 45-year-old Indian. “I feel Abu Dhabi has to improve its road infrastructure to convince people to ride a cycle while going to work.”

The fourth winner was Mark Wheatley, 46, who cycles in his home country of Australia. He said: “I would want to do the same here as well. But with the present road conditions, it is not safe enough.

“Hopefully one day soon I will be able to use my bicycle while going to work. There are many good biking tracks in the city. I wish our roads would also be good enough for bicycle riders.”

The winners received their prizes on Sunday at The National's offices from Editor-In-Chief Mohammed Al Otaiba.

Al Otaiba said he hoped more readers would be inspired to cycle. He said: “The idea of ‘Cycle to Work’ is a part of our Healthy Living campaign. We realised that there is an appetite among our readers to find ways to improve their well-being in the UAE. Hence we came up with the idea #cycletoworkuae.

“Cycling to work not only helps you improve your health but also raises awareness about the environment. A bicycle is a zero-carbon and zero-pollution two wheel vehicle.”