A huge bicycle race, devoted to the 50 day countdown to the Asian Games-2017, was held in Ashgabat on Saturday, 29 July.
From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. all roads were cordoned off and it was impossible to exit the yards blocked by traffic police. Since 29 July was a workday, residents had to get to work. There was a shortage of taxis and on some public transport routes people had to wait for buses for several hours. Residents were urged to walk to their work places in the 40 degrees heat.
Correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan report that because of the event all surgeries had been cancelled since personnel were late for work 3 to 4 hours. Almost all major hospitals are located on the outskirts of the city and are not within walking distance. It should be mentioned that the cancelled surgeries were all emergency cases and were scheduled to be performed despite the fact that it was Saturday since there are a lot of patients from the provinces, the majority of whom are admitted to undergo a course of treatment.
Relatives, who managed to get to the hospital in advance, had to take care of the patients until nurses and medical doctors arrived.
As regards the event itself, about 10 bicycle rental companies are operating in Ashgabat. They are quite popular with the young people and because of strong competition the rental fees are quite affordable � 20 manats ($5,7 at the government-established rate or about $3 using the black market rate) for 4 hours. Bicycles are rented only in the evening as it is impossible to ride outdoors in 40 degrees heat.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan