Turkish family visits 30 countries on bicycles

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Imagine a mom, dad, and son head out on an adventure on their bikes across the globe! That’s the Sarıhan family, and they have been pedaling in different parts of the world since 2005.

This family is made up of father Soner, mother İnci, and 12-year-old Tibet Çınar. When the wandering couple was cycling around the world, their son joined the team in 2011 when he was only 22 months.

They go on two-month tours every summer and have visited nearly 30 countries. They call themselves a family who is fascinated by nature and bicycles, as well as ecologists.

The adventurous parents also are “teachers in their mid-40s who try to leave a mark on children by working as a village teacher.” In an interview with the Anadolu Agency on the occasion of World Bicycle Day, Soner and İnci Sarıhan talked about their journey.

“Pedaling is not a goal. Bicycle is a tool to get to know and feel the world, people, earth,” the couple said.
They went on to say: “Bicycle is the most beautiful, the most enjoyable, the most innocent, egoless, and exhaust-free miracle to get rid of the effects of the boxes we are stuck in (home, work, school, shopping mall) and the frames (smartphone, tablet, television) we can’t get out of.”

Recounting how traveling by bicycle, they said: “So to speak, it is one of the keys to being a traveler, not a tourist. Traveling by bike is very good for the soul, body, and mind.”

“We are not saying emotionally, the bicycle is one of the few most important inventions of humanity,” they said. “Apart from that, we think using a bike is a way to repair the huge hole we’ve opened to the world,” they added, referring to global climate change and environmental disasters.

Talking about the benefits of cycling, the couple noted: “On a bike tour, your life becomes in order. You have to eat healthily, consume more water, lose weight and keep a routine every day. Even if you are not on tour when you start cycling regularly, you start to feel that your life is disciplined.”

The couple said, “All doors open to a bicycle traveler. You get invited to many tables. It is easy for people to empathize with you as it is something they have always wanted to do. Bicycle is a vehicle that gets positive discrimination. Discounts are offered for bicycle tourists at accommodation and restaurants.”

They added that Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark are incredibly advanced in terms of bike lanes and cycling culture. “Respect for cyclists is very high in Nordic countries.”

“Berlin is one of our favorite bike-friendly cities,” they stressed.

Unfortunately, the Sarıhan family could not continue their tours in the past summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe that every crisis is also an opportunity. We hope that this situation will increase the desire to spend time in nature and make us realize the importance of protecting the environment.”

Hurriyet Daily News

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