When you think of bike-friendly cities, Abu Dhabi doesn't come readily to mind. Neither, frankly, does Istanbul. But the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National is trying to give cycling culture a bit of a kickstart in the United Arab Emirates, promoting a # CycleToWorkUAE day on 13 January 2015. As part of the paper's coverage ahead of the event, one of its opinion editors asked me to write a piece about efforts to develop a cycling culture in Turkey -- which, despite appearances, have come a long way in the past decade, though there is still much work to be done to make the streets safe for cyclists, not to mention pedestrians and runners like myself. I tip my hat to the intrepid cyclists in both countries, especially those in Turkey who generously shared their experiences and opinions with me. Read my article, " Istanbul Is Slowly But Surely Getting On Its Bike ," on The National 's website.