My bike is a pampered thoroughbred. She gets the best of everything and the slightest scratch to her gleaming paintwork is a national disaster. Not all bikes are treated so. I’ve just spent a month in Morocco where bikes still serve their original purpose as ‘the people’s nag’, carrying riders and their loads as they go about their daily business. Most bikes in Morocco are French, a mixture of vintage Peugeot or Motobecane 10 speeds, modern Decathlon hybrids or mountain bikes, and a few Dutch roadsters. Open frame designs are particularly favoured as they are easier to ride in the traditional Moroccan djellabah. I spent a month in Agadir and never saw a woman on a bike. In other towns we visited there were a few young women cycling but the overwhelming majority of cyclists were male.
Typical Moroccan cycling garb
Bicycle and moped repair shops are on almost every street and hardware stalls on markets also sell rear mechs, brake blocks and puncture repair patches which come in a long roll to be cut to size.
A busy bike shop
There are no limits to the quantity of people or goods that can be carried on a Moroccan bike.
I think this is animal feed. Its more usually carried on a donkey
There is very little that can’t be carried by bike
A mobile orange juice stall
The crate holds cartons of drink for sale
Its a very different cycling culture from the one I’m used to. I found it fascinating – hope you did too!