Excessive use of automobiles in cities in Iran has cause pollution, too many death, and stress. It seems more people want to ride bicycles in Iran but there isn’t seem be much of planning for bike lanes. City government of Tehran tried to encourage people to ride bicycles by putting up posters on large advertising boards earlier this year. There was a political backlash on social media for it’s illegal for women to ride bicycles in Iran. Thereafter I didn’t see any new pictures of such posters on the social media.
Obviously the City of Tehran should not stop advocating bicycling. You see, I don’t believe bicycle advocacy means advocating to change the law. What’s important is that men as well as women be able to commute freely and safely with bicycles or bicycle-like modes of transportation. Even if the laws change in Iran there are conservative families who will not allow their daughters to ride bicycle to school or college.
New bicycle-like modes of transportation can be designed to pass the conservative religious points of views so women have the freedom to get out of cars and move about to and from school, work and recreation. But most important people need to feel safe coming out of their homes on bicycles and commute without facing the extreme danger of getting hit by a car and constantly worrying about cars.
Bicycle advocacy is needed in Iran and it could happen without threatening a segment of the population. We need advocates and advocacy groups in Iran to give talks and presentation about the need for bike lanes and improve the quality of life in the cities. I’m willing to this work starting with a bicycle tour. I was born in Iran and have lived in the United States since 1977 with a long stay in Iran in 2007 and worked in tourism.
My initial thought was to fly into Iran and do a solo bike tour on my own and talk to people in towns and villages I travel through. After some research on the routes and on choosing the right touring bike I wondered; What if I start the trip from the Netherlands, a country with the best infrastructure for bicycling, or Copenhagen, rated the top city? Traveling on Euro Velo bike routes which connects cities and counties I can take pictures, videos and share stories presentations in Iran.
At this point this whole project is an idea which I need support in several ways to make it happen. From small and large international bicycle and urban mobility advocacy groups I need to know what they would like to see from me so they’d be interested in giving me moral support. And in general I’ll need places to stay in Europe and through Turkey which can provide vegetarian food and quite time in the evening and morning for meditation. It’ll be good to have riders joining me in different parts of the trip from one hour ride along to one week or more.
-a little taller than normal-
Touring Bicycle? read more
To get in touch with me click here or through my email post.