Free bike ride in Dubai today: When boring Saturday morning turns into beach adventure, thanks to RTA initiative

After this unforgettable experience, my friends and I decided to go cycling every week

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SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Sat 10 Jun 2023, 3:45 PM

Today was supposed to be a boring Saturday for me — until I got a call from a friend at 6am, asking if I wanted to join him for breakfast. We went to Karama and shared some delicious south Indian breakfast. Then, we decided to take a stroll on Jumeirah beach.

What we thought would be an uneventful walk turned out to be an adventure that took us back to our childhood days. We spotted some Careem bicycles — which are being offered for free!

It was an initiative that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has organised with Careem for World Environment Day. All I had to do was log in to Careem Bike App and select free ride. Then Dh20 was temporarily held from my card as security deposit.

Getting on that bike and pedalling away made me relive that childhood joy of cycling. We biked for nearly 5km along the scenic Jumeirah beach.

Memories of my first encounter with my first bicycle came rushing back. I even remembered falling a few times before learning to balance.

“It is a beautiful feeling to reconnect with that sense of freedom and pure joy,” said Sajjad Ahmed, my friend who was working as a realtor in Dubai.

The warm morning breeze at the beach swept across our faces as we pedalled on the dedicated cycling track that weaved through Jumeirah. This path ensured a safe and enjoyable ride, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Talking about his days in Bangalore, Sajjad mentioned how his friends once took part in a cycling expedition at Cubbon Park and Lal Bagh. “And it’s a similar feeling. Let’s invite other friends and go cycling next Saturday morning. It's so refreshing,” he said as we reached the next cycling station after nearly 30 minutes of biking.

I couldn't help but admire the stunning views of the beach. Upon our return, we stopped at the beach and found many people going for a dip. Interestingly, there were a few who had come as early as 5am for a swim.

The RTA's free bike ride does help promote a sustainable mode of transportation while encouraging residents and visitors to embrace an active lifestyle. It was wonderful to witness the positive impact of such initiatives on the community.

Initially, I did not notice the number of people taking advantage of these free bikes. But when I looked around, there were many of them.

It started getting hot around 8.30am, so we decided to park our bicycles at the designated stations. The journey made us realise the importance of physical activity in the busy lives we are living in. It made me understand the simple pleasures of life, the thrill of exploration, and the joy of shared moments with friends.

Embracing this nostalgic experience, we have decided to go cycling once a week with other friends from Bangalore.


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