Iranian Girls and The Shame of Cycling In Iran

By Melina Mehr | My cycling experiences | 27 Sep 2020

Cycling In Iran

Yesterday I met a group of girls who shared a common pain. The girls who got married early in life, when they were very young, all had husbands and children and each lived in a corner of the city, and today their hearts want a little happiness.

Desire and regrets could be understood from the way they look.


I think I have seen these faces before. Not that they were familiar to me, but the tone of their faces and looks were familiar.

This is exactly the look I’ve seen while happily cycling, pedaling past a young girl or woman walking on the street, standing, or waiting for a car or cab.

A look that is accompanied by unbelievable regret and surprise and fake joy. A smile full of "why I don't have it" and the face that says: “I want to, but I do not have the courage to do so in a male society.”

Cycling In Iran

Some are more honest and direct. For example, a saleswoman who was friends with me and was interested in mountaineering and tourism. One day I said to her: Why don't you come cycling with me !? cycling is so much fun!

At first, she did not want to confess, but when she faced my many insistences and in the end, admitted: “no way! I am ashamed of my neighbors and people’s look!

I remember the response of a young lady who said to me, "My teenage son does not like me to ride a bike and he is ashamed of his friends!" I replied, "That was the worst reason you could have given!" "I never want to have a boy who is ashamed of my athleticism, happiness, and health!"


All I know is that being passionate, cycling, rejoicing, laughing, and enjoying life is not embarrassing, and I shout this immense joy if necessary.


As much as they do not understand, when you paralyze half of society by plunging them into worry and regret, it is as if you have destroyed a hemisphere of society's brain and no doubt a body with half its brain suffocated cannot move.

Cycling In Iran

Anyway, I met a group of girls who want to change this situation, at least for themselves, and this is a happy place.

Maybe we will have good memories …

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Melina Mehr
Melina Mehr

I'm a freelance writer, passionate about, music, books and nature.

My cycling experiences
My cycling experiences

When I go riding on my bike, the world around me becomes exciting and so elegant all at once, so despite the shortcomings, disasters and horrors… I embrace it. I know it is not just me having these feelings, but I’m definitely another nature lover looking for unanswered questions in an extraordinary manner as well. I cherish the pictures caught by my camera and the ones remained forever in my essence.

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