Bicycles rule rainy Pattaya Car Free Day

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Bicycles ruled the day as city officials and cyclists marked Pattaya Car Free Day with a rainy trek through the city.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome kicked off the week-long “car free” event, although a protracted downpour left many realizing why they drive instead of walk or bicycle. Still, cyclists persevered, peddling through Pattaya for two hours to highlight the environmental and health benefits of leaving automobiles at home.

Young BMX tricksters also entertained those attending with flips and jumps on their custom cycles.

Created by the Europe-based World Carfree Network, the environmental event is observed globally each Sept. 22. Pattaya, with the Green Leaf Foundation, decided to hold its event a week early in an attempt to raise more awareness in advance of the global day.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (on ramp left) and Chatchawal Supachayanont (on ramp right) set off this year’s Pattaya Car Free Day event. Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (on ramp left) and Chatchawal Supachayanont (on ramp right) set off this year’s Pattaya Car Free Day event.

Backed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Region and the Pattaya Cycling Lovers Club, Car Free Day is a chance to reduce gas consumption, air and noise pollution, automobile traffic and accidents, Itthiphol said. Thailand has participated since 2000, with each province encouraging residents to leave their cars at home and enjoy outdoor activities.

“I hope that the cyclists present today will encourage their relatives and friends to cycle since Pattaya has projects to make ways for cyclists in Pattaya parks and around Pattaya Beach soon to facilitate those using cycles for exercising and tourism,” Itthiphol said.