ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil is set to host the second annual “Ride On!” cycling marathon on December 13, an event organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdistan 24, and cosponsored the International Organization for Migration (IOM), among others.
“IOM Iraq, with support from Asiacell, Kurdistan 24, The Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Erbil, Kurdistan 24 and the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG), will organize the second Ride On! Erbil International Bike Marathon on 13nd December 2019,” read a statement from the organizers published on Thursday.
The statement urged would-be participants to register their names to be added to the list of cyclists for the upcoming event.
Last year, the marathon took place on Nov. 30 with hundreds of enrolling to take part in the lively event. Organizers hoped the event would help promote cycling culture in the Kurdistan Region, where the activity is mostly practiced by young children and male teenagers.
Dutch Consul-General Willem Cosijn described to Kurdistan 24 some of the culture surrounding cycling in his home country. “Everybody has a bike in the Netherlands, and everybody travels on a bike,” Cosijn said, adding that the nation of 17 million people is home to “18-19 million bikes.”
In recent years, local activists, foreign diplomats, and Kurdish lawmaker and public personality Jalal Pareshan have all been working to raise awareness of cycling, hoping to make it a more standard and acceptable pastime and mode of transportation for all ages and genders.
Editing by John J. Catherine