It’s not often you hear such a special story as the story of Funda Müjde. Funda is known for her career as an television actress, stage play actress and comedian. She has had several parts in Dutch television shows in Medisch Centrum West (Medical Center West) and Vrouwenvleugel (Women’s Wing). In 2007 during a trip to her Turkish family a car ran into Funda’s Taxi. She was the only severely wounded of the people involved, as she puts it herself: More dead than alive. After many months in the hospital she couldn’t put the dream of walking again out of her head. She has made a promise since, to never stop trying until she succeeds.
During Funda’s career she was known as a Turkish actress. She often got casted for a role in which her Turkish descent was prominent. Now, her image has changed. She no longer is that Turkish actress from before, but has adapted to a new image as an actress in a wheelchair. She has stood on many podiums and has told her story many times, in many different ways. Funda was ready for the next step in her career.
What Funda did next was make a commitment to a big challenge. Funda decided to return to her land of birth, traveling the same route her father did 50 years ago in reverse. But she wasn’t going to do it by car, she was going to cycle it. And the perfect bike for her to do so on would be the BerkelBike. Funda began training in 2013 to ensure she can ride the full 2.700 kilometer with the BerkelBike in 50 stages.
28th of may it was finally time. Around 13:00 Funda Müjde left on her BerkelBike from Amsterdam to Istanbul. On her departure friends, family and supporters gathered to wish her well on her journey. After a full morning program, famous Dutch personalities Ali B and Rayman gave the start signal. A few cyclists, among them was Rik Berkelmans, the creater of the BerkelBike, supported Funda by cycling along for the first few kilometer. The journey has now begun which means Funda will be traveling on her BerkelBike for three months.
June 2nd – Koln
Funda has crossed the Dutch border to Germany and will continue towards Remagen, Germany in the next couple of days.
June 4th – Koblenz
Funda has arrived in Koblenz, which is a total distance of 375km in little under a week.
June 6th – Mainz
Funda is still in Germany, she is conquering her first real mountains.
June 12th – Central Germany
This was a huge day for Funda, she BerkelBiked over 95 kilometer in a single day! What a victory!
June 14th – Central Germany
Funda has been on her way for two weeks and has traveled about 700 kilometer. She is getting the hang of it, while her husband worries away.
June 17th – South-East Germany
Funda is traveling towards Vienna. Tomorrow she will cycle towards Obernzell, which is a steady climb of almost 35 kilometers.
June 20th – Near Vienna
Funda is almost in Vienna. She has managed to arrange a physiotherapist to get daily check-ups. She is traveling with three men in total, which is affecting her more negatively than she anticipated.
June 22nd – Vienna
Funda finally arrived in Vienna, which is the big detour for this trip. She wanted to participate in the Handbike Battle in Kaunertall. It’s not just the detour of over 600km, but also the challenge of the Battle it’s self that is physically exhausting.
June 26th – Kaunertall
The Handbbike Battle is today. Funda says it certainly was a highlight of her trip, even though the 20 kilometer climb was extremely heavy for her.
Juny 1st – Ober-Drauberg
After a few days of rest Funda put down a great day score of 72 kilometer.
July 3rd – Border of Slovenia
One of the final days of Funda in Austria. After a long visit she now says farewell to this beautiful country and continues on her journey.
July 8th – Slovenia
Funda has arrived in the centre of Slovenia and feels like taking a day off. She made sure to get spoiled during her day off.
July 13th – Slovenia
Funda is still cycling in Slovenia and made some calculations on the past two and a half months. On average she cycles 5 to 7 hours or 55 to 60 kilometer a day.
July 18th – Slovenia
Funda is now traveling through the old war zones. There are a lot of marks the warzones left, such a bombed houses and bullet holes in homes, which get to Funda. Additionally Funda heard of the MH17 flight, a Dutch commercial airplane, crash after being shot down killing hundreds of people.
July 23rd – Servia
Funda has traveled a great amount into Servia even after the emotional days she has just had.
July 24th – Servia
Servia Funda got greeted kindly by the Dutch Embassy in Belgrado, Servia. On towards Bulgaria!
July 25th – Bulgaria
Today, things didn’t go as planned. The camper got stuck in mud twice. Luckily there was help available and she managed to pass the border to Bulgaria.
Funda Müjde was born in the Turkish city Adana but grew up in Zaandam in the Netherlands. She is a famous Dutch actress and had many roles in Dutch television shows until 2007 when she had a car accident, resulting in an incomplete spinal cord injury at L1. After her accident, Funda gained a new image and has now returned to the stage. Funda challenges herself on a daily basis.
This is the video of her speech at TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2013. After about 14 minutes, she talks about her desire to be physically active again and what the BerkelBike Pro means to her.