A commuter last year cycled a distance equivalent to walking from Malta to Denmark.

Thirty-eight-year-old David Mamo, a PE teacher from Iklin, covered 2,630km in 2022 while commuting to work in Dingli.

According to Google Maps, this is the distance between Malta and Denmark on foot.

Mamo switched to an electrified bicycle after being forced to scrap his car due to mechanical issues.

“I didn’t plan on using the pedelec for my commute at first, but quite quickly I noticed how good it made me feel,” he said.

I get to work feeling pretty zen- David Mamo

“It reduces my stress, puts me in a better mood and actually takes the same amount of time as I used to spend in the car… I get to work feeling pretty zen.”

A pedelec is a type of electric bicycle which uses a small electric motor to assist with pedalling at lower speeds.

While initially costing around €1,700, Mamo said the money from government grants for car scrappage and the purchase of new electric bicycles reduced this figure to “basically zero”.

Though he initially planned on using the scrappage scheme to purchase a motorbike, a lack of availability and a rapidly approaching expiry date for the scheme led him to opt for a bicycle instead.

Mamo reports that the pedelec has reduced his commute time rather than increase it, and that he is even able to arrive before co-workers also based in Iklin.

Despite the benefits, however, he admits to not always feeling comfortable on the roads.

A picture posted by David Mamo showing the distance and equivalent trip he covered in a year.A picture posted by David Mamo showing the distance and equivalent trip he covered in a year.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” the father of two told Times of Malta. “I consider myself very lucky not to have had any accidents or near misses, but my wife is very concerned.”

From July to September last year, 13 cyclists were injured on Malta’s roads, with six suffering grievous injuries according to data from the National Statistics Office.

Daniel Vella, president of cycling advocacy group ROTA, believes that multiple issues need to be addressed before cycling can become a more popular form of transport.

“Safety is the main deterrent to cycling in Malta and regarding cycling as an afterthought is not helping our cause” he said.

“The solution to tackle the safety problem must be multi-faceted and requires legal, policy and infrastructural changes… Our small size affords enormous potential for saving people’s time, all whilst improving their physical and mental well-being and our environment.”

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