On September 19th, 2021 more than 150 cities around the world including Istanbul, Paris, Vancouver, Berlin and London hosted the most vivid women created event for the 9th time in a row known as The Fancy Women Bike Ride (FWBR).
What started as a casual bike ride (Süslü Kadınlar Bisiklet Turu in Turkish) among close friends 9 years ago has evolved into a big movement in a record amount of time, the cause behind the movement being validated by women around the world from various social and economic backgrounds: providing women the opportunity to be visible in the society and allowing them to show their true colors as well as raising awareness to create safe bike routes in cities.
The FWBR was initiated by Sema Gür whose goal was to challenge the male-dominated cycling world in Turkey. Sema, a teacher from Izmir, created a Facebook event and invited all her friends for a collective bike ride one Sunday afternoon. She chose the event day intentionally as the same day as the World Car-Free Day during European Mobility Week. Since then the “Fancy Women Bike Ride” takes place every year in late September.
FWBR expanded to more than hundred cities after a few years following its launch in 2013. Volunteers all around the world showed their support by organizing all women bike rides simultaneously. In 2021 Fancy Women Bike Ride celebrated its 9th anniversary with more than thousands of women joining in with their fancy attire and decorated bikes in a total of 150 cities all over the world.
Women in 150 cities reclaim the streets:
“The women’s bike ride is successful because the event welcomes everyone, the message is clear and it is organized by intrepid and independent women.” says the coordinator of the Fancy Women Bike Ride, Pinar Pinzuti.
The event is organized by women who are enthusiastic about convincing their peers to cycle every day. Organizers want to create awareness to increase safety on roads, create urban cycling infrastructure and plan bike-friendly services.
Although the event itself is held once a year, women peer-to-peer initiatives continue all year around. Women organize cycling courses in their communities, group rides for the weekends and cycling events for families with small children.
“The Fancy Women Bike Ride is an opportunity to experience the soft power of femininity on the streets where women boldly exhibit their inner colors on their eco-friendly transport: bikes. Once a year we offer people a chance to leave their stinky cars yet look fabulous all the same, on their bikes. If you enjoy cycling once a year, you probably keep on cycling every single day” Pinar Pinzuti explains the efforts behind FWBR in a nutshell.
Join the community by following the instagram page: @fancywomenbikeride
Cover image: Milano Fancy Women Bike Ride_Gegi
Source: Fancy Women Bike Ride
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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai