When you tell someone in Lebanon that you use a bicycle to get around Beirut, expect only one answer: a shocked silent face followed by an expression of dismay, a slow disapproving tilt of the head, and a final questioning of the state of your mental health. “Are you crazy?” “You are going to be killed if you go around by bike,” “Why are you doing it?” are some of the most common answers.

No use then trying to explain that you can get to places faster by bike than by car, you avoid sitting in traffic, and at the same time you help reduce the problems of  congestion and pollution in the city.

The answer is invariably the same: a dismayed face.

Yet, despite a deep-rooted resistance against cycling that seems to permeate the great majority of Lebanese society, things, at least for a small minority of bike-enthusiasts, seem to be slowly changing for the better. [Link]