Everyone knows the advantages of a bicycle: it does not require gas and does not emit pollution. Riders have time to look around the city while training their health. However, those who ride bicycle sometimes are discriminated against in big cities in Vietnam.
When I was a student, I cycled to school. After getting a job, I was able to buy myself a scooter. However, since my workplace is close to home, I started to ride a bicycle again. On the first day, everyone at the company quickly learned about me cycling to work and started to ask various questions, embarrassing me.
People were doubtful on hearing that I opted for a bicycle to cut down on gas and do morning exercises. Only after a month did my cycling to work become normal in everyone’s eyes.
Riding a bicycle, I cannot wear a skirt to work or go out with colleagues who only ride motorbikes. At the Gia Dinh People’s hospital, they put out a sign: “We do not take bicycles”.
It is indeed difficult to search for a place to park. Last month in the evening, I paid a visit to a friend in a hospital. When I arrived, I was told that there was no more space for bicycles, while those on scooters could easily get in. I tried to park on the pavement but got a polite refusal, although there were both prices for bicycles and motorbikes written on their sign board. In the end, I went back home and rode a bike to the hospital!
Now, whenever I go to a new place, I do not want to ride a bicycle anymore for fear I may have to spend a lot of time looking for a parking lot.
Earth Hour is not the only event during the year that suggests riding a bicycles. In my opinion, these activities are just formalism, as they simply have groups of cyclists riding around the city. There is as yet no way to apply the campaign to daily life, such as encouraging employees of a company to cycle to work for a day.
In developed countries, locals go to work on bicycles and there are roads reserved for cyclists. In Vietnam, there was a time when people rode bicycles on the street. But now, there is only discrimination for those who ride this eco-friendly vehicle.