#WORLD BICYCLE DAY
Gökhan Kutluer is a digital marketing expert, specialized in social media management, SEO optimizations, photography and PR. He is also a writer and published his first book ‘Cloud Factory’ including 17 short stories which later got adapted into a theatre play in his homeland. His second book talks about his migration story, titled ‘Leaving Turkey: A migrations story heading to Italy’ will be out soon. Above all, he is a Cyclist and Brand Ambassador for several brands including Fizik, Veloflex Scicon and Stelbel with 33K followers on instagram.
Which was the first bicycle you owned?
The very first bike I had was a Dino (an old Italian brand specialized in kids bikes), which was a gift from my family when I was a kid. But if we don’t count the childhood era, the first bike I had was a Specialized Sirrus. I’ve been working in an incentive travel agency and I used to ride it for commuting and touring.
You are more fascinated with Road Bikes, what excites you about them?
I have serious aesthetic obsessions. I like the curves and geometries of the road bikes. Since I’m not a pro rider, all I care about road cycling is the pleasure side of it. Being closer to the nature, enjoying my time with the other cyclists, collecting memories on the road and so on.
Have you ever done bikepacking trips?
The idea of being on the road is always tempting. It’s always in my mind. However I’ve never found enough time for it. Living alone is not an easy deal. I try to keep my performance aligned on my different career paths. I’ve finished my books, while I was working at different bicycle brands. So I couldn’t have enough chance to be on the road.
In past I’ve ridden from Oslo to Copenhagen in ten days but I was on a tour bike.
From your experience, which place have you found the best for cycling and why?
People have different tastes. Some of them like flat roads next to the sea whereas some others enjoy the mountains. I’m a huge fan of the view you see when you reach to the top. Therefore the northern side of Italy is my favourite destination. Especially the routes around Dolomites are great.
You started your career in Istanbul. How has that experience helped you grow in cycling industry?
I used to work for the Turkish distributor of Specialized bikes. My onboarding process was in the store and I’ve learned the core of cycling there. I was lucky because my colleagues were both passionate cyclists and good friends. Then I started to work at the office but I never cut my ties with the store. Once I’m done with my office duties, I was going to the store in order to observe the consumer behaviors. In the meantime I continued to improve my skills on different areas such as photography, copywriting, and social media.
After a while I’ve decided to publish a blog for the beginners at cycling. My posts were all about answering the basic questions and talking about some bikes and gears. In that moment my knowledge on digital marketing helped me a lot and my blog became a bit popular in Turkey. Magazines, newspapers, some interviews, documentaries, joining to the races.. My digital fame was increasing. After I’m done with the cycling industry in Turkey, I had an offer from the first cycling magazine in the country and I started to work there as a senior editor. However the market was quite tight and I wasn’t able to show my skills in better ways due to the financial restrictions both in the cycling industry side and the press side. In the end I decided to leave Turkey and moved to Italy because I used to believe that Italy is the home of road cycling. In the beginning I was there with only a tourist visa but I never gave up and always believed in myself. Finally I’ve found the chance of working at 3T, Basso and then, for almost two years, at Stelbel.
As you already know my adventure in Italy has finished and I’ve just started to work for Canyon as the new social media content and community manager. We’ll see how long I’ll be here in Koblenz.
You have published a lot of material around cycling, can you elaborate more on your writing projects?
Cycling has an important role in my life. It gives me the motivation to move on and inspires me. That’s why I wanted to write a book including short stories about cycling.
My second book is about my migration process. The name is ‘Leaving Turkey: A migration story heading to Italy’ it’s not a book about cycling but of course there are some pages where I highlight the importance of my bicycles. In the end I migrated to Italy thanks to cycling.
On the other hand, I work for some magazines, which are related to the outdoor sports and travel. Writing is a pure passion for me.
I hope my books will be translated into different languages one day.
Being a trained photographer yourself, which is your favorite cycling photograph?
It’s too difficult. I cannot choose only one but I’d like to say that I really love the shots with some beautiful architectural backgrounds.
You are considered as a Fashionable Cyclist from Italy, did this happened by chance or was it planned?
A road bike on the road is just too cliche for me. I like surprising the eyes and showing road bikes in the middle of cities. Once I’m in the city, I’m usually with my daily clothes. I guess this is the right explanation for you question.
As a Cycling Model on Instagram, how tough it is to maintain popularity?
Actually I wouldn’t call myself as a cycling model. I don’t like these new-age titles such as influencer, model, ambassador, entrepreneur etc. If you already say that you’re influencer in your bio, you cannot influence anyone. You just fool yourself.
I’m just a regular guy who aims to be a successful author one day and working in the cycling industry in order to earn some money to survive. All I want to do is writing and riding my bike as long as I’m alive.
Coming to your question – You create your own audience. If you are natural and willing to share your journey with honesty, people understand and they start to build up some connections with you.
I don’t have a proper strategy. Sometimes I post what I see and some other times I post my silly face or poses with my bikes. It’s totally random.
As a writer, observing different lives and behaviors – even on digital platforms- is essential and Instagram is such a great place for it.
A Writer, Photographer, Cycling Model and a Marketing Specialist…What next you plan to achieve?
Having a small and peaceful life with the woman I love.
*| Without stopping to travel and to live in different destinations 🙂 |*
Ways to connect with Gokhan Kutluer:
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai