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28 February 2022, 11:09

Cycling: Inseparable part of life in central Turkiye


KONYA, 28 February (BelTA - Anadolu Agensy). - Cycling is mostly seen as a sport either in amateur or professional way that requires allocating particular time, but it is also part of a culture and an inseparable part of life for most people in Turkiye's central Konya province that starts in childhood and continues a lifetime.

Thanks to its large plain and flat topography, along with many lowlands and plateaus, cycling can be attractive for residents.

Also, infrastructure works, carried out by the government and local administrations, such as long cycling paths, repair stations, and parking areas, play a vital role in making cycling part of the transportation culture for people from young ages.

According to Konya Metropolitan Municipality, the province ranks first in Turkiye with a total of 550-kilometer (341-mile) long bicycle paths.

Konya has 35 repair stations as well as many more parking areas and bike rental stations across the city.

The province's technical opportunities, encouragement for cycling, and terrain make Konya a "cycling city" as it was also pointed out during Turkiye's first Climate Council meeting held in the province on Feb. 21-25.

Many paintings with the theme of cycling in Konya were exhibited in the Selcuklu Congress Center during the event.

"Taking steps at the individual level such as cycling has a positive impact to fight climate change at the macro level," Abdullah Bugrahan Karaveli, the head of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Environment at the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, told Anadolu Agency.

"We always talk (about climate change) on a macro scale, but the story is actually on a micro scale, (but) we cannot achieve what we aim at macro scale unless we implement needed practices at home, work, school, in the office, or on the street," he noted.

Stressing the key roles of individuals on the issue, Karaveli added that the rise in the use of bicycles or types of transportation that emit less carbon will take us to a better place on a macro scale.

'Lifestyle, main sports'

Also speaking to Anadolu Agency, Hasan Tuna, a 38-year old resident, defined cycling in Konya as a "lifestyle" and a "main sports (activity)."

"The city's flat terrain and availability of roads also have an effect on this, but especially recently, incentives and infrastructure for bicycle use have also become widespread," he added.

The construction of new paths is also underway, Tuna said, adding that he would be very happy to see more cycling paths in the city center.

Ibrahim Yilcagli, a barbershop owner in the province, said he uses the bike as the main transportation to go to work and that he has been cycling since his childhood.

"Although it is used for sports purposes, most people also cycle for commuting," said Yilcagli.

He also noted that bikes are widely used for delivery courier purposes as well as by students as an alternative to school buses.

"Cycling is beneficial in many ways, there is no problem of repair, parking, and fuel costs, it is also environmentally friendly," he said on the advantages of cycling.

Stressing that cycling is a vital part of life in Konya, he said he believes more people will use it soon due to the increase in fuel prices.

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