Pedalling through the relentless rain, navigating HGV-clogged roads or being cut up by a thoughtless driver – perhaps the worst?
We asked five Guardian readers for their experiences of cycling to work: from Nairobi, where the whole thing is “a nightmare”, to Kolkata, where cycling on the city’s main roads is illegal.
And now we want to hear your stories – we’ll feature the best here at Guardian Cities at the end of our Cycle Week special. From the good to the bad to the ugly, share your experiences in the form below.
Nairobi, Kenya: ‘I saw a cyclist die because a motorist couldn’t spare two seconds’
Cycling in Nairobi is a nightmare. There are very few cycling lanes and we have to hustle alongside cars, trucks and matatus (minibus taxis). But for those who persist it’s like our own secret world; we spot each other out and about and wave.
I share my cycling experiences on my Facebook page using the hashtag #chroniclesofafatcyclist. I’m a bit on the heavy side and get lots of comments and compliments from motorists and pedestrians.
On my bike I meet kind and encouraging people who can brighten my day, but also foul-mouthed, sexist and disrespectful people (mostly men) who feel the need to put me down. Sometimes I flip them off, but most of the time I smile and ask, “who raised you?”
People have cycled in Nairobi for as long as I can remember. It’s mostly the poorer residents who rely on bicycles – known as the black mamba – to work and get around. Now you see it also being adopted by the middle classes for sport and leisure.
Meeting new people is by far the best thing about cycling, as are blissfully quiet and traffic-free Sunday mornings. The worst thing I have witnessed is the death of a cyclist because a motorist couldn’t spare two seconds, it’s so senseless and painful. Sandra Adikinyi Bwire