Our members and committee work on a voluntary basis as one team to lobby in favour of cycling, safe transport infrastructure and sustainable commuting in Malta and Gozo.

Rota is composed of approximately 100 members and countless followers, each sharing their views, inspiring others to cycle, or contributing directly to solve mobility-related issues thanks to their expertise in the respective fields.

From engineers to lawyers, architects, IT professionals, nurses, doctors, economists and accountants, managers and business people, social workers, students, educators, academics and researchers, artists, civil servants and politicians, we all come together as one in an attempt to shift the Maltese way of commuting.

The Committee

President

Michelle Attard Tonna

I am quite a newbie in this area because I started cycling to work in October 2017, but I have spent many happy days on my bicycle as a child and I somehow managed to retain those skills through adulthood. My profession is that of an educator and I lecture within the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. I am also married, have two kids and lead quite a busy (crazy) life. My roles as an educator and as a parent have inspired me to be an activist as I do believe that the younger generation look up to us and we can lead by example. I have always been involved in voluntary organisations to lobby in favour of the environment and I find BAG as an excellent opportunity to address Malta's traffic and congestion issues. We are a car-centric nation and oftentimes we do not seem to realise how much we are ready to give up to remain in the car comfort zone. A bicycle can take us places in Malta which no car can ever do, and I find that travelling by bicycle is a feasible, doable option to a significant sector of our population. My most frequent routes are between Zabbar and University or between Manikata to Zabbar, but with my pedelec, nothing seems too far away and I have actually gained control over my trip times to a very accurate level. My main aim, as president of this organisation, is to work with the committee to enhance the bicycle experience in Malta and encourage more people to take this up. I am also particularly determined to increase the number of female bicycle users, as this is still very low compared to male users. Our organisation is after all a small cross section of society at large so it is important that our gender quotas are more fairly distributed.

mark-trapani
Vice President

Mark Trapani

Mark Trapani is a Chemistry & Biology graduate with a Masters degree in Creativity & Innovation. He is currently living in Ghent, Belgium where he works remotely with a local film company. Mark started cycling at a very young age, but back then the bicycle was more of plaything which used to be used on weekends in controlled environments. Midway through his university journey, Mark started cycling to university (a mere 20 minute ride) out of frustration of wasting time stuck in huge lines of traffic and not finding where to park. In 2019 he purchased a pedelec and just a few weeks ago sold his car, making him car-free for the first time in about 8 years. Other than cycling, Mark enjoys reading inspiring books, being in the outdoors photographing nature and running long distance. Mark is convinced that with Malta being the size of an average European city, cycling is truly the most efficient way forward.

Secretary General

James Debono

I have to admit that the decision to shift from driving my car to work towards commuting by bike was purely a “selfish" decision – admittedly the daily drive to (and parking in) Valletta had become a major source of anxiety – which made my mornings quite sour – so I took the plunge and bought my pedelec! Cycling to work has proven to be the best investment I’ve made over the past years. Less time to commute, constant predictability of the time of arrival, and in summer you avoid the heat of walking to the office from the Floriana parking. In a week, when comparing those two modes of transport, I gained around an hour (when there’s no traffic) and saved up around €15 in parking costs. My law career is quite hectic and time-consuming – so the less time I spend in traffic the better!

…and those are the selfish reasons… imagine Malta with less cars, no traffic jams, more trees, and less concrete flyovers… Pity this shift happened in my late 20s. I joined Rota purely to help in this culture shift and convince others to take the same plunge, I took a while ago, preferably at a much younger age.

James Debono
Daniel Ellul
Policy Officer

Daniel Ellul

Daniel Ellul is 25 years old, he fell in love with cycling at the age of 17 when he started commuting to College and found it far more efficient than begging his Mum for a lift. Since then he has traveled on two wheels. When not cycling Daniel is an ELT teacher, Bassist in a rock band, and Masters Student in European Studies.

Public Relations Officer

Daniel Vella

Purchasing my pedelec in 2018 was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has changed my lifestyle, saved me countless of hours stuck in traffic, and makes for a good conversation starter when you arrive at your location with your bike! Riding a bike removes the unpredictability from travel times and it forces me to slow down and not continuously drown in a sense of false urgency. Excluding night time, when roads are empty, my commutes are faster or equivalent to the time it would have taken by car. It's good for the planet, good for my health (both mental and physical), and it's honestly so much fun to filter through traffic with your bike. I hope we can inspire you to take the plunge and commute by bike! I'm a data scientist and am also currently reading for an M.Sc. In Artificial Intelligence at the University of Malta, focusing on drug discovery. I do some freelance work taking photos and shooting videos. I also love coding, reading and learning.

daniel-vella
Treasurer

Matthew Abela

Born in November 1998, my profession is that of an Accountant and I have a great deal of interest in Auditing, Accounting and Maltese Taxation. I love cycling and basically used it as my transport means for all my errands in my teenage years. I say due to indirect peer pressure I bought a car as soon as I turned 18 and did not keep on cycling, however I quickly reverted to cycling and replaced my car with a motorcycle. I greatly believe that Malta, being such a small island, can greatly benefit from an improved infrastructure for cycling - which will in turn increase the use of cycling, not only for leisure purposes but also as an alternative method of transport used on a daily basis. It is my strong conviction that this would have a positive impact on our health, environment and air quality. I have been elected in the Rota Committee in 2020 and my role revolves around the finance section, ensuring that we meet the necessary compliance tasks required by a voluntary organization, handling memberships and making sure we have enough cash flow to meet our ongoing obligations.

Events Officer

Isaac Sam Camilleri

I am a 18 year old Pure Math’s and Physics student who has been working on environmental issues since I was in primary school, as I was always active in Eco schools and the Young Reporters for the Environment program which were under the Nature Trust Malta – FEE. During the last three years I focused my energy on reporting environmental issues through various articles which I wrote. Some of my work includes articles about milk and vegetable scheme, Work caried out by local councils, and cycling the talk. I started to enjoy cycling when I used to work as a delivery person. This job motivated me to start cycling to everywhere I go and arrive on time even when there is lots of traffic.

Isaac Sam Camilleri