Global Warming and Cycling in Bangladesh

Global warming is one of the burning issues and concerns worldwide.

Sudipta Chowdhury

Contributing less than a percent, Bangladesh is still in the list of most vulnerable countries. Among the adaptation strategies and awareness buildings, one is, cycling. Many people worldwide are working in this issue and Bangladesh is not lagging out.

I’m Sudipta Chowdhury from a small town called Sunamgonj, Bangladesh. I love cycling and I have been cycling since 2008. As part of the awareness building initiatives against global warming, I have planned to cycle from north-west to south-east (Tetuliya to Taknef) about 1100km in November 2010.

Before I bring you stories about that trip; let me tell you about some of my last trips.

November 2009, I have cycled from north-east to north-west (Sylhet to Panchagar, 564km) of Bangladesh. It took me eight days, at list seven hours a day of cycling. Starting from Sylhet I have paddled through Sunamgonj, Netrokona, Mymansing, Sirpur, Jamalpur, Kurigram, Lalmonihat, Debigonj and finally ended in Ponchagar.

All the districts that I have crossed are located in the border of India. This trip was tending to learn the joy of winning a fear of trying new things with uncertainty.

map of bangladesh

Along the way I have enjoyed several religious and cultural events, such as, Oras, Kirtan, Waze, New harvest celebration and Eid. The secret that was left for me to learn, was, the hospitality of Bengalis. If you are on a trip in this country and couldn’t find a hotel to stay, don’t worry, there will always be someone insisting you to stay at their place along with good foods!! During my trip I only had to stay one night under the open sky, other than that there was always someone gave me shelters and foods.

The worst experience I had during this trip was, the night I had to sleep outside I saw fox’s standing nearby. They left as I kept flashing my camera but I was afraid to sleep again.

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After finishing the above trip, I set out for another 200km trip at the end of December 2009. It was in the Sylhet-India border in Sylhet division. I started from Jaintapur and paddled up to Madhabpur (see the map picture). It took me two days, the New Year eve and the New Year day. What I have learned here was, for the people in the village those days don’t bring anything special while we (people in the city) celebrate 31st and New Year in a massive way.

The joy of winning a fear is not expressible but can only be feel. Those trips that I have made encouraged me to plane for new trips. I always set a theme for my trip and this time it would be “Global Warming and Cycling”.

the family portrait

plum juice seller fresh sunrise

Though I love cycling alone to experience the challenges, if anyone is interested they can contact me through my website.

I promise to get back to you soon with more stories, till then, hold your breath!

Sudipta Chowdhury