Freedom Bike Ride 2016
Ride For Your Rights
Source: Freedom Bike Ride
Cyclists from Russia rode approximately 250km from Vyborg, Russia to Helsinki, Finland - Europe as part of the Freedom Bike Ride 2016. With overnight stops in tents along the kings road, the Freedom Bike Ride is in solidarity of the Russian LGBTQII communities path to their freedom. In 2015 the inaugural bike ride went from Voyborg, Russia to Stockholm, Sweden.
Source: Fredom Bike Ride - Russian Medieval Castel
Freedom bike rider Alexandr Agapov said "The Freedom Bike Ride is a new project. We launched it in 2015 and it was highly important to us to carry it out this year as well. Fortunately we did it! There is no need to be a super professional biker to participate in the project. On the contrary, our idea is to involve ordinary people who wants to experience something new. There is no gender, age, or sexuality restrictions. Though there were no foreign participants so far, we more than welcome them too. Because during the ride we learn each other better, we share our experience and feelings what, in the end, helps Russian participants to emancipate and become more open. I hope, the next ride will have more participants and will be international."
Source: Freedom Bike Ride
When I asked Alexandr Agapov about one of his memorable ride moments he said "on our way to Porvoo, I had to repair a back wheel. The tire got a tiny hole and I had to put a patch on it. It was raining cats and dogs. My sneakers were full of water just like a sponge. I wore a rain coat and only my face and hands were open. But neither hard rain nor the rain coat could protect me from annoying and hungry for blood mosquitos. They were flying around and biting my hands and forehead. It was very hard to concentrate on repairing the wheel when a dozen of mosquitos are trying to suck out as much blood as they could."
Russian Channel 47 News reported "Gays take Vyborg on bikes!" & "Non-traditional men in tights." I would not describe this news article as supportive of the Freedom Bike Riders. The nervous correspondence by father Dionisy was disappointing as well but not surprising.
Source: Freedom Bike Ride - Rider Alexandr Agapov
Source: Freedom Bike Ride - Alexey Liskin
The freedom bike riders arrived in Helsinki for the EuroGames 2016. Alexey Liskin participated in the 9.5km PRIDE Run the morning before the Helsinki PRIDE Parade. I encourage everyone to read(translate online if needed) the Channel 47 news article. The Freedom Bike Riders are more then just athletes on bikes, they are courageous LGBT athletes and leaders.
Freedom Bike Ride - Facebook
Russian Channel 47 News - www.47news.ru