Hi, I guess I should start with introducing myself. I am Sema Gür. I was born in 1973 in Bandırma. I am a teacher and I’ve been working in the social sciences department of the Izmir American Collegiate Institute since 1997.
What is Fancy Women Bike Ride?
FANCY WOMEN BIKE RIDE is an annual women-only cycling event. This is women’s rally to raise awareness. First event took place in 2013 in Izmir. The participants join the event with their bicycles and fancy dresses. This is not a political event, so flag and logos are not allowed. We welcome everyone to the tour.
Scent of Perfume instead of car exhaust – Fancy Women Bike Ride | Sema Gür | TEDxTalks
What do you aim with this event?
The idea of the event is based on my personal experience. I learned to ride a bike when I was about 38 years old. If I didn’t have close friends who helped me when I first started, I wouldn’t have dared to ride my bike. I wanted to give encouragement to other women.
There were many women around me who were asking how I dared to join long distance bike tours at the age of 38. What I heard from most people was that their bikes were rotten on the balcony, in the basement etc. I had friends who encouraged me, so I thought I had to organize an event which would encourage women to ride bike. Women who knew little about cycling also complained about the male-dominated attitude of the existing cycling events; too long, too difficult etc.
I believe that “IF WOMEN GET OUT OF THEIR HOUSES THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD” . If women cycle, than their children would cycle as well. If the wife and the children ride bikes, the husband would definitely ride bike.
Why The Bicycle?
Bicycle is the symbol of freedom. Women should be free to cycle. I should be able to cycle everywhere in safety.
Our aim is give visibility to women in the society, raising awareness for women-freedom-cycling in a male-dominated country. We wish to have better bicycle infrastructure, safer roads for cyclists, encourage more people to use bicycle in the urban areas.
Why in September?
22 September is World Car Free Day.
16-22 September is European Mobility Week.
Recognize Your Path | Recognize Your Path | TEDxReset | Sema Gür
Are you being criticized?
We have been described as “discriminatory” by some male cyclists. Most of the men support our movement. Yes, we do “positive discrimination”. We’re not a feminist movement. If we have a political side, it is the “free standing of women”. Our goal is to encourage more people to choose the bike, that’s all.
Documentary: Uçuşan Teker (2016)
The personal story of Sema Gur.