Are you one of the several frustrated drivers in Malta who spend the best part of an hour and a half every morning driving just 10 km to work? Did you know that, at that speed – about 6km/h – you may as well walk? That would have to be, at least, more entertaining and more beneficial than sitting in a car, cursing, and polluting the planet.
Traffic in Malta has become ridiculous; it doesn’t take much to acknowledge that. We are not speaking of rush hour, it is an all-day problem. It is clear that there are just too many cars on the road, each carrying a single person.
While car pooling has been suggested, few people are actively participating in this initiative to reduce the number of cars on the road, mostly due to added frustration when it would appear that nobody else is car pooling and the traffic stays the same, no matter whether there is one of four of you in a car.
What most of us want is a quicker, independent solution.
And Ryan Saliba has not only found it, he is doing everything possible to encourage others to follow suit! Taking to the road on a bicycle, Ryan discovered that, at an average speed of 15 km/h, it takes him roughly 20-30 minutes to get to wherever he needs to go, saving further time on finding parking, while the longer routes could take up to 40 minutes. It is also much more cost effective.
On Saturday 10th October, Ryan conceived the No Traffic 4 Me – Malta facebook page, which immediately spread like wildfire. One week later, the page already has near 2,000 likes.
While the page was originally intended for cyclists to share the easiest and safest routes, many commuters are also getting inspired to leave their four wheels at home and ride a bicycle to work. Ryan thus made himself available to answer their questions and offer advice. Meanwhile, he continues to encourage other drivers to take up his initiative by whizzing past them on his bicycle with #NoTraffic4Me pasted to his backpack.
“Two years ago, when I tried to say the same things, people rejected the idea, but now the traffic situation has become so bad that they want an alternative and are willing to try anything. The advantages of cycling outweigh the disadvantages big time, and being fit is not a pre-requisite as our body adapts and we become fit by the very act of cycling! I feel very pleased that people are evidently taking up the initiative and I want to continue addressing any issues or obstacles so that more and more people feel inspired to try this out,” said Ryan.
It doesn’t take much to try, no? Why don’t you have a go?
Cycling in Malta pros:
- Quicker to reach destination
- Easier parking
- Saving on fuel cost
- Less pollution
- Reduction in traffic on the roads
- A great source of daily exercise
How to deal with Cycling in Malta cons:
- Safety – liase with other cyclists on the No Traffic 4 Me – Malta facebook page to determine the safer, alternative routes
- Sweat – a change of shirt and quick refreshment should be sufficient
If you are willing to try it out for yourself, feel free to contact Ryan Saliba on Facebook for advice.