When you get the know Aydan Çelik, you can see with a half eye that he is a laborer. He is a real and serious biker. It is precisely in the impossible city; not far from country side but not too close to the city. It makes you say “maybe the problem is not about Istanbul, it is about me”
His latest book “Sana Dün Bir Seleden Baktım Aziz İstanbul: Istanbul Bisiklet Rehberi (Yesterday I looked at You through the Saddle, Great Istanbul: Istanbul Cycling Guide) has been published by Hill Publications.
When you see the name, there is something that perfectly identifies with Istanbul. You are the person who associated Istanbul and bicycles together. When you think about this, it is kind of an activism. How did this happen, from your perspective?
Istanbul and bikes are not far from each other. When Istanbul became the capital of Europe, I wanted to give her a present so I took the road with a brand named Sedana. I think we can say their names because they did not create this brand for commercial usage. We wrote a story based on which we drew and illustrated the body and some parts of the bike with Istanbul. There is Galata Tower from which a bike named Hazerfen flies from. Istanbul’s story consists of bike pieces. My signature is somewhere in there too: “He brought two lovers together: Istanbul and bikes. And his biggest dream is that one day they will love one and other.” I really hope they will someday.
But the task of being a kind of guide continues for you. What about the book? Is your book also a guide? You suggest alternative routes and courage people to go on a long journey with bicycles. And these are the experiences you gained over the years. Is that true?
Yes, but as Boudelaire says: “When Louis Bonoparte turned the city upside down, he says; this mortal’s heart cannot compete with the changes of this city.” Everything changes so fast not by years but by days and weeks. I also use the routes of North Highway and it’s changing day by day. I wrote a guide, but on the other hand, we are talking about a city constantly moving. Istanbul Cycling Guide is actually more of geography book. Because they are walking-oriented and they wander in the center of the city, most of the travel books are kind of history books. My book goes up to the ends of Istanbul boarders so it goes to the real geographical boarders of the city.