Biker finishes journey from London to Istanbul for autism
Grant Cameron-Smith, known as South Africa’s self-styled “CrazyBikeGuy,” has completed his bike journey from London to Istanbul.
And he has undertaken this challenging journey covering a distance of 8,800 kilometers for a worthy cause – to raise awareness of autistic people in need.
Cameron-Smith has completed his ride at Istanbul’s famous Taksim Square in the Beyoğlu district. The biker, 56, spoke with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, saying that he had been on the road since March 13.
Cameron-Smith said that no one among his family and close friends is autistic, but he was dissatisfied with lack of awareness about autism worldwide. He said that he targeted two things with his initiative.
“First, I did this activity to draw attention to children, youth and adults who have autism who have been left in the background in the countries they live in and to have more attention worldwide show on them. Secondly, I did this activity, by drawing attention to this issue, to raise funding especially for the autism association in South Africa,” he told the agency.
“Before starting this initiative, I could not have imaged how people on all of the routes I have passed through would be so sensitive and good people. Despite me being a foreigner [to them], everyone in the European countries that I have pedaled through have hosted me in their houses. Although most of the people were people who could scarcely make ends meet, they did not stay silent to be sensitive to this [issue] and support this activity with even a little share,” he said.
“The greatest contribution of this journey for me is that I have seen that there are people in the world who are very special, very different and sensitive to such issues,” Cameron-Smith said.
The biker also said that through his journey, Turks were the ones that showed the greatest interest in this initiative. “In the last two days since I have passed the Turkish border, the number of people who stopped me, talked to me and tried to understand what this is was the most through my 8,800-kilometer-long route,” he said.
Cameron-Smith, however, also said that Turkey was the “most dangerous” that he had encountered through his journey in terms of being a bike-friendly country.
“Truck drivers are not normal. I have to be honest here. And there are no roads that have been designated for bikers. In this sense, it is not a trustworthy country,” he said.