The Biking Me One handle bar, two wheels, thRee reasons

You don't see many bikes hitting the road and dragging dirts along its tracks here, in Phnom Penh, at least not the bikes that aren't used for just exercising. Grabbing a bike by the handle bars and paddling around town has stopped being a preferable method of transportation since the motorized vehicles hit the markets. There is something about them, cars and motorbikes, which is that you don't have to burn your throat and sweat your armpits trying to get to work. It ain't all that bad. Is it?

The first thing that popped right in my head is the generally crazy traffic. It's become one of those things we just have to live with. Trying to get through it is itself a headache, even if you're on a motorbike. The backache, the tired arms, the constant heat and honking from the nearby cars, it is just plain unappealing. I thought breaking sweat on a bike while trapping in this chaotic hell hole would be a giant pain. Not until, I have had my first taste.

Bikes occupy a particularly less space, letting me slip through gaps and tiny spaces with ease and comfort. And if this too goes wrong, I can just grab the bike by its body, lift it off to the sidewalk, and boom, we're good to go.

One other thing you can easily notice with Cambodia's traffic is that everyone, and I do mean everyone, is constantly in a rush. You have no idea where they're going, but constantly switching lanes and honking away anything in front and skipping through traffic lights are just those things we do. The rule here is there is no rules, well, as long as you don't hit someone. It's basically a noisy party where the cake is getting groped by whoever come first. Now, let's say that you're paddling your way in this on a turtle-potatoe which is my bike and getting in the way of the people. Scary. Totally not a so good idea, except the opposite is true.

The opposite is true, I do mean that, at least from what I've been experiencing. Motorbikes slowed down as I was crossing the street, cars letting me pass first on intersection, and there were hundred of times that I thought i'm gonna get honked at and off my bike, but it didn't happen. I am amazed. And it do feel great to see the cake is being sliced neatly and nicely for a change.

Enough with the traffic, sure, riding bike takes more drops of sweat and efforts than the engined ones where you only have to close your eyes and it's moving. But hear me out. Riding bike definitely isn't ideal on a summer day or when you have to rush somewhere, but that's kind of the points. On a bike, you're not so much just transporting from places to places anymore, rather more of you're planning your day throughout. You wake up and leave the house early, now that getting anywhere takes time. You avoid going anywhere unnecessary, and even plan the route you're gonna take. And about the heat, well, there's nothing a good cup of cold drink won't fix.

It's amazing, now, that every tall and low buildings, every lamp posts and greenish trees, and everything else is no longer just a blur, and I gotta say, so far, I'm enjoying it.

Created By
Theanchhay Bun

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