On the occasion of European Mobility Week, I venture out of my comfort zone and discover the many different ways I can travel in Malta.
My childhood memories are peppered with bicycle rides. My family was lucky enough to live in a part of Malta which at the time was not over-developed (the outskirts of San Gwann; spoiler alert – it is now under-developed no more).
Our weekends and holidays were spent out on our bikes with our friends; my brother on his BMX and me on my red Chopper – oh how I miss that bike! We’d head off exploring, ride to friends houses and just enjoy the freedom.
Nowadays the landscape has changed and what we used to do then isn’t really possible now (there’s no way I’d let my ten-year-old out on his bicycle around the area where we live – way too much traffic for my liking).
After my teens, I stopped using my bike (weekends during the day were often spent asleep after late nights at Paceville and later mainly spent either working or recovering after work). About a year ago, at least 20 years after I had last ridden a bike, I hesitantly tried it again and got used to it pretty quickly again, using it in low-traffic areas only.
But it’s been a few months, so I was a bit apprehensive about getting back on the saddle, as it were, to use one of the Tallinja bikes that you see near the Triton Fountain in Valletta.
You can use your Tallinja card to pay for the use of the bike (and you get a discount if you do) on site. Then you just choose a which one you want to use, ‘unlock’ it and off you go…
Free 30 minutes will be offered on all TallinjaBike trips during Mobility Week.
Did I fall off or crash into a wall? Check out the video above to find out…
NOTE: Since I was only riding slowly near the Triton Fountain and not in traffic, I did not wear a helmet. Please be safe and wear a helmet if you do use one of these bikes in traffic.
European Mobility Week (16th to 22nd September) seeks to improve public health and quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport. The campaign gives people the chance to explore the role of city streets and to experiment with practical solutions to tackle urban challenges, such as air pollution. More information may be obtained from the website.
Photos & filming: Miguela Xuereb
Editing: Coryse Borg