A recreational activity. A green and convenient transport option. A fashion statement. A major issue for the next gubernatorial campaign. Take your pick, it's all the same thing: cycling.
Once a fading old-world mode of transport, or limited to some university campuses, cycling has re-emerged as a serious business, attracting a large number of urban commuters who flaunt the two-wheeler around the city. The sight of chic candy-coloured fixie riders or individuals on utility bikes has become more familiar.
Their appearance has favourably altered Bangkok's streetscape, and there has been a growing acceptance of the vehicles on the road. This is in part thanks to a series of campaigns a group of activist cyclists held last year, advocating for better infrastructure, like bike lanes, as well as greater public understanding for those using two-wheelers. Among them was last year's Valentine's Day campaign, when city cyclists showed their love by creating dedicated lanes and spraying pink images of bicycles on the left-hand lanes in the Sukhumvit neighbourhood. While not long-lasting, the signs were a success as a wake-up call, reminding other road users of cyclists' equal rights.
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