North Route Team

  • Feridun Ekmekci Age: 51
    Years cycling: 40

    Feridun is the main pedal force of the Bike for Europe North Team as he has pedalled over 100,000km in his life. He likes to work on projects related to environmental protection, healthy lifestyle, cycling and walking as well. He heard about the NowWeMOVE campaign in 2012 and contacted the coordinators to find out how he could transfer the campaign to Turkey. This is the reason he decided to become a member of ISCA and a part of the NowWeMOVE team as the National Coordinator for Turkey. In this role he has already undertaken two previous cross-European bike tours, in 2015 being part of the “All Routes lead to Brussels” tour, and in 2016 being part of the “Journey of Hope”.

    Feridun was born in Akhisar, Turkey, has a professional background in energy management and is part of the academic staff at the Mugla Sitki Koçman University Electric and Energy Department. Feridun has 30 years of experience in the education sector.

    He has been a National Eurovelo Coordinator for 7 years and is project advisor for the CBCE. Feridun is also the president of the ENVERCEVKO - Energy Efficiency and Environment Protection Association in Mugla.

    He is a member of Scientists for Cycling (S4C) network - ECF, the Development Committee of GEKA - Southern Aegean Development Agency, and member of advisory committee of the SivilDuşun programme of EU Ministry Turkish delegation, transport and Tourism section.

  • Adnan Cangir Age: 54
    Years cycling: 23

    Born in Bodrum, Adnan was a slightly late starter when it comes to cycling, having only bought his first bike in 1995, but once he started he caught the bug and has never stopped, rarely going more than a day or so without cycling, especially as it his main form of transport for his commute to work! A testament to his passion for all things two wheels is that in 1999 he started a cycling community to encourage cycling for commuting, sport and leisure at the University he works for, a community that is still going strong today.

    From here he expanded his cycling resume, working for the Turkish national EuroVelo coordinator ENVERÇEVKO since 2013, becoming a board member the year after, his passion in this area also meant he has worked with the NowWeMove national coordination team to get more people moving, and actively took part in the “All Routes lead to Brussels” tour in 2015, and in 2016 being part of the “Journey of Hope”. He has also shown his passion for sustainable urban areas and transport, and given back to cycling by translating a guidebook called “Enabling Cycling Cities” into Turkish. The guidebook aims to provide decision makers with knowledge on cycling strategies, and it is his hope that this can help influence policy in his homeland.

    Outside of cycling his background is in English language teaching, having first taught in secondary education, before moving into lecturing at University level.

  • Laura Eylen

    Laura grew up in the beautiful region of southern Lithuania, surrounded by trees and nature, and fell in love with cycling at a young age. She was so protective of her bike when growing up that if she saw shards of glass on the path she was cycling she would be compelled to get off and clear the way so that she, or other cyclists, would not suffer a puncture. This childhood passion would one day result in her being involved in cycling on a more professional level.

    Her passion for Turkey led her to study Turkology after graduating from school, and during a stay in Hatay became involved in their cycling society. She would later move to Turkey full-time, and due to her passion to cycling and links to ENVERÇEVKO participated in World Bicycle Day events in Muğla. At this venture she became interested in the NowWeMove project, and the natural progression due to her love of bikes was to want to get involved in NowWeBike!

    She is passionate about the idea of using cycling to promote a healthier lifestyle, and to support others in need. Outside of cycling she cares deeply about healthy lifestyles, and animal and nature conservation. Laura also loves to run, canoe and ski, and also has musical abilities, playing both piano and guitar.

  • Miroda Otto Age: 35
    Years cycling: 9
    Favourite place to cycle: New Zealand
    Dream cycling destination: Italy
    Favourite thing about cycling: I love all the places I have seen with cycling and all the amazing people I have met along the way
    Life-motto: We regret more the things we didn’t do than the things we did
    Favourite cycling quote: Eat some cement (jokingly means you need to toughen up!)

    Miroda Otto loves sport and adventurous activities. She does cycling, running, scuba diving, mauythai and bodyboarding. She is especially passionate about mountain biking and has been cycling for 9 years. Races that she has completed include amongst others, The Cape Epic and Transpyr, which are rated as some of the toughest mountain bike races in the world. She writes articles for a mountain bike magazine in South Africa is actively involved in promoting cycling especially amongst women.

  • Tomasz Szkwarek Age: 38
    Years cycling: 30+
    Favourite place to cycle: Anywhere with mountains
    Dream cycling destination: New Zealand
    Favourite thing about cycling: You can go wherever you want
    Life-motto: Think positive!

    Tomasz has been cycling since he was 5 years old, and ever since then a bicycle has been constantly present in his life in a number of guises, be that for recreation, transportation or sport! Since finishing his studies in Germany and Finland he uses a bike throughout the year, even in the harsh Polish winters. He also loves getting out into nature and cycling with his wife and two small children. Outside of cycling he is a big sports fan as well, especially football, speedway and badminton. His pastimes also include hiking, sailing and travelling with his family.

    In his day-to-day life Tomasz manages the municipal projects department in Wroclaw, supervising varied projects in the health, social, cultural and sports sectors, giving him a great overview of the wider field of sport, culture and society. After hearing about the NowWeMOVE campaign in 2012 he was integral in getting his employers involved with ISCA, and in 2013 Wroclaw as a result got an award for the best city of Move Week in Poland! Tomasz has also been involved in previous NowWeBike events, having helped to organise a side event for the Journey of Hope in 2016.