During the first week of working in Riyadh I tried to commute on a daily basis on my Brompton but I quickly realized it’s certainly not the safest option, it’s too stressful, and it isn’t the smartest thing to do. It seems all drivers are on their phone and don’t use any of the hands-free options no matter what they drive – sedan or eighteen-wheeler. I witnessed a driver talking on the phone, gesticulating with the other hand while steering the wheel with his left knee. How do I know? I was the passenger. While cycling, drivers generally give me a wide enough berth passing me by, with one caveat: when they’re not on their phones and actually see me. Local drivers also have a couple of other annoying habits: they like to drive on the shoulder and take the right exit at the very last moment from the left lane not even bothering to turn the blinker on. To sum it up: they are unpredictable. That’s why I opted for commuting by bicycle only on Fridays as it’s the local day off and there are fewer cars on the roads I take.
This week in numbers:
209 km — distance cycled
4 — TGI Friday’s restaurants in Riyadh
1.38 — cars per Saudi household
4618 — deaths resulted from road accidents in 2020 in Saudi Arabia