3 reasons why Lagosians should embrace bicycles to withstand the Okada ban

02/27/2020

Posted by: Henry Egan

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The ban on commercial Okada and Keke Napep came as a rude shock to million Lagosians. Millions are groaning and feeling the effects of the ban, but have you ever thought about the seemingly humble bicycles? Let's explore if it is a good alternative means of transport for Lagosians!

The state government's ban on commercial motorcycles and tricycles, commonly referred to as Okada and Keke Napep, took effect on the 1st of February, 2020 affects about 9 LCDA's and 6 local government areas. The reasons the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy gave was:

"The figures (of road accidents) are scary"

and

"The rate of crimes aided by okada and Keke NAPEP keeps rising"

okada-on-duty-in-lagos

The ban on tricycles and motorcycles came into effect and many suffer from it

However, the ban came as a rude shock to million Lagosians. Truth is, we never saw this coming!!! Millions are groaning and feeling the effect of the ban. A young investment analyst with a federal parastatal expressed his thoughts with the following statement:

"I live in Lamgbasa area of Ajah. Normally, i leave my house, do a short 7 minutes’ walk to Owode road and then join a Keke down to Ajah under bridge before i enter a bus down to my work area. Now i have to trek like a mad man so i can even get to Ajah under-bridge before i join a bus that will take me to my office'.....Which kind Nonsense be this"

This young man's pained statement mirrors how millions of Lagosian feel, pained and unhappy with the government's decision. As a result, Lagosians' interest in other modes of transportation spiked. Although the Lagos state government recently launched the Lagos State Ferry Services, this can not take care of the laboring trek millions have to make to even be able to get to the ferry station.

However, one mode of transportation seems to be getting very little buzz and attention is Bicycles

Lagos has always been a hugely populated and bustling city. In the old days, many Lagosians favored the use of bicycles as a means of transport as is seen in the photo below. But the younger generation seems to see cycling as some form of punishment. The truth, though, is that a bicycle is a very healthy alternative means of transport with numerous benefits that you will see down below:

lagos-traffic-back-in-the-time

Third Mainland Bridge Lagos in the old days

1. You easily beat the traffic with bicycle

While getting a car is okay, trying out cycling is so much better when it comes to beating traffic. You already know how crazy Lagos traffic can get sometimes. In fact, the traffic status is sure to get worse as more and more people will resort to buying themselves cars to help reduce stress. Bicycles thus offer a sure means of beating this crazy transport wahala. With your bike, you can easily meander around very little spaces and if there seems to be no space for the bike, you can easily raise it up and walk past the traffic and off you go again.

So you see how easy your bike can take you out of a traffic jam that can leave motorists stuck in there for several hours and sometimes the whole day. Several car-centric cities like Manila, Los Angeles and numerous European cities are reaping the benefits of embracing bicycles as a means of transport over cars.

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2. Cycling is very good for your health

Cycling has numerous health benefits that should motivate Lagosians to try it out. The World Health Organisation WHO, as well as the United Nations see cycling as a healthy and adequate form of transport, no wonder why these organizations celebrate the World Bicycle Day of the 3rd of June every year since 2018. The following are the health benefits of cycling:

  • It keeps your heart and brain in a healthy condition. 
  • It increases your productivity at work since you always feel fit and sound as a result of the feel-good hormones released by your body when you exercise.
  • It reduces your chances of falling sick by improving your health and immunity system in general
  • It manages your body fat, thus keeping you lean and fit
  • It helps in reducing stress, keeping away triggers of anxiety and depression, thus boosting your mental health
  • It can improve your body's posture 
  • It improves your awareness for much of the day
  • It can also help build your bones and stronger muscles
  • It helps in keeping your body's joints in good shape

nigerian-cycling-competition

Bicycles are not only very mobile but also of health benefits

3. Cycling saves you more money

Using the bicycle as a means of personal transport will surely save you money that would have gone into paying transport fares and possibly car maintenance. Moreover, bicycles don't cost that much to get a brand new piece and are much cheaper and easier to maintain. Compared to a car, the cost comparison of both transport means is so far apart, with overall bicycle cost being just about 1/4 or less of that of a car.

When you consider the cost of maintaining a car, from expensive spare parts to N145 per Liter of petrol, you can easily agree with me when I said bicycle's overall cost is dwarfed by that of a car. For a bicycle what might give you a bit of headache might be the chain and sprockets which are not so expensive.

Video: Nigeria Cycling Club: Riders push for more space in bustling Lagos

Conclusion

All you need do is be determined to stay healthy by cycling away that stress and excess fat. Maybe you will sweat a little, but we still sweat in those stuffy Molue buses, so why not sweat it out in a good way. Just put an extra towel and deodorant in your bag, so you do a little clean up when you get to work before you resume your duties.

What are you waiting for Lagosians, let's go get our bikes!!!

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Henry Egan

Henry Egan

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Henry Egan a poet, essayist, content writer, blogger and technical writer who is willing to read just that last material to develop the best content possible. Henry feels he is more of a new generation writer with a sassy and swanky style. You can be sure you'll get all the facts in and never get bored with his articles.

He has got a flair for technical reviews on automobile and cars. He studied Mechanical Engineering but his first love remains Literary Art.

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