Turkmenistan’s Bicycle Monument was inaugurated on June 3, 2020, as a mark of the United Nations World Cycling Day, which Turkmenistan helped introduce in 2018. Prior to the opening ceremony of the monument, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov participated in a bicycle parade with over 1,000 participants – over 12 km long. However, the number of participants is far from Turkmenistan’s world record for the largest single track bicycle parade, with 1995 Turkmen participating in one long row.
The Bicycle Monument is located at the foot of the Kopetdag Mountains close to Ashghabat and is meant to reflect the country’s rich history as well as international contributions in particular to physical exercise and sports. The composition of the sculpture itself involves the olive branches to symbolize the neutrality of Turkmenistan. On the monument are placed figures of cyclists, and below are a number of gilded Akhal-Teke horses in leap.
Turkmenistan, through their focus on and contribution to spreading cycling worldwide, has received the highest status by the International Bicycle Committee, UCI – ‘The UCI Order’ – which has been awarded since 2004. In 2021, Ashghabat hosts the World Cup in track cycling.