Friday, February 25, 2011

Cycle Path in Qatar

Tour of Qatar Stage 5 068
What one usually thinks of when (rarely) thinking of cycling and Qatar - the Tour of Qatar race event

Web announcement (with mocked up photos) of a proposed 35 km bike path in Qatar to promote the health of the local over-wealthy, under-healthy population. Some of it seems unintentionally funny.
. . . problem is the fact that Qatar's climate is intensely hot and humid. The project group therefore came up with the idea of cooling the entire cycle path using cold ground water.
The American consultancy firm the Rand Corporation has been leading in advising the Emir on the realisation of his goal of getting Qatar's population to cycle.
Oh, the Rand Corporation, consulting on bike paths! That's . . . absurd, actually. But they are probably quite happy to take the money. And involving consultants like Rand gets you a proposal to make the thing 35 km long when a more reasonable start would be to see if anyone uses a cycle path that was 3 or 5 km long - but the longer the trail, the more it costs, and the more the consulting fees presumably are.

Another blog post refers to it as being "air conditioned" but in fact it just has a mister - like riding in the vegetable department of the grocery store. Sorta.

The Velomondiale announcement has a photo at the bottom of four "trendsetters" - cyclists in Qatar today - but these look like guest workers who can't afford other transport and not the target audience the Emir has in mind. Strange.

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