The spring night ride of Velonotte (taken from the Italian word for “bike-night”) is coming to Istanbul this year, with participants cycling through the city on the evening of May 18.
The ride will be attended by various prominent speakers, and will also feature a number of special events. Speakers will include Turkish and international historians and publicists – İlber Ortaylı (Galatasaray University), Afife Batur (Istanbul Technical University), Philip Mansel (London), Mikhail Meyer (Moscow State University), David Abulafia (Cambridge), Andrew Saint (London Survey), Natalia Ultchenko (Russian Academy of Sciences).
The event particularly aims to raise awareness of the decreasing number of bike routes and the chronic traffic situation in Istanbul. It is supported by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the Russian Consulate in Istanbul, the City of Moscow, the Istanbul Bike Association, and Russia’s Higher School of Economics.
After Istanbul, the event will continue in London on June 22, where it will have a special “Victorian” theme. In London, the bikers will ride through the West End – Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster.
Starting from Buckingham Palace, the night will focus on everything conceptually Early-Victorian – from the London Underground to the 1851 Exhibition and the Crystal Palace, from public museums to poetry and engineering, shopping and private cemeteries.
The Velonette was started in Moscow in 2007 in order to discover and promote urban design, landscaping, and to inspire citizens and decision makers about history. Around 100 riders joined the first ever Velonotte to roam areas behind the Kurski Station, a masterpiece of Konstantin Melnikov.
However, it was not the first such event in Moscow, as one year before Velonotte was Veloday, which took place in the famous Khodynka field area. Khodynka is one of the birthplaces of Russian air manufacturing, one of the first airdromes in Russia, and also the location of the Khodynka catastrophe during the coronation of Nicholas II.
The logo of Moscow Velonotte was created by Yuri Gordon, one of the most prominent Russian designers. Katya Kozhukhova is author of the Velonotte Pietrogrado logo, Italian drawer Manuemme and inCubetto made the design for the London Velonotte, Valentin Dyakonov designed Velonotte Rome, and Vadim Degtev designed the logo for Velonotte New York.
Velonotte is an annual non-profit event that aims to present secret places, key monuments and hidden landscapes to hundreds of thousands of people.