Sport is a tool people can use to let out stress and at the same time, do what they love to do in their spare time. It is different from one society to another, some societies grow on football and others on basketball or even baseball. It can be part of the country’s traditions and generations grow on playing this sport or watching it together.
In Libya, cycling became a trend recently and thanks to this group “Cyclists group” in Tripoli. It was first created on the 7th of June 2014 by Dr. Nouri Leyas when 10 guys in Tripoli took their first stroll on this day. They gather under Marcus Arch and they ride from this point up to al-Koba Samaweya (القبة السماوية – Heavenly dome) and back to the starting point.
The stroll was once a week in the beginning but it became twice a week every Sunday and Wednesday. With the efforts of guys involved in this tradition, the number of participants increased up to 80 throughout the past years and they are all from different age groups. The main goal of this group is to raise awareness of the importance of cycling and all the benefits related to it.
The group developed and started to get involved in many social events and activities like cleaning up campaigns and children activities. With this initiative, more groups were created like the mountain cyclists group and long distances cycling group. This shows the positive impact the group has created in this short period of time which encouraged people to take the initiative to begin cycling in Libya.
I asked Mister Mohamed, one of the members of this group, about women participation since cycling isn’t common among women due to social barriers and false information about the effect of this activity on women. He told me that they are working on launching a new group for women to participate in this activity and change social norms about it since all people have the right to enjoy any sport without any restrictions.
Gladly, the group is growing year after year and spreading positivity despite the country’s situation but it definitely managed to bring happiness and hope to so many people. I am glad to see such initiatives in society and it is motivating others on so many levels especially that cycling isn’t very common as a sport in Libya. Also, I hope to see the first group of women cyclists soon. I wish this group all the best of luck and I would like to thank Mister Mohamed on his cooperation and help with all the information related to this group. You can follow him for more pictures and updates of their strolls. https://twitter.com/MFHAMZA