Cycling Silk was a 10-month, 10-country, 10,000-kilometer biking expedition along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia. Our goal was to explore borderland wildernesses along the way, using bikes as vehicles for adventure, research, and environmental advocacy.
1) To investigate with borderless minds and hearts the pros and cons, successes and shortcomings, complexities and challenges of transboundary wilderness conservation in the mountains and deserts of the Silk Road.
2) To explore the actual and potential impact of transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) on landscapes, communities, and the geopolitics of regional peace.
4) To help others fall in love with the wildest places along the Silk Road, through all of the above, since making people care about a place is usually a prerequisite for its conservation.
Diligent pre-expedition research, preparation, and training. Interviews with transboundary conservation stakeholders on local, regional, national, and international levels to glean and portray diverse perspectives on conservation across borders on the Silk Road. On-the-ground exploration and documentation of landscapes and communities in borderlands. Bicycles for self-propelled transportation to transboundary wildernesses located between Turkey and India. And when all carefully plotted plans and strategies failed us, brute improvisation.
Start and End Dates
January 2011 until November 2011.
The fabled Silk Road through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Xinjiang and Tibet in China, and Nepal, then on to our finale in Indian Kashmir.
No, but I wish to go under; to visit the profound depths; once in a while to exercise my prerogative not always to act, but to explore; to hear vague, ancestral sounds of boughs creaking, of mammoths; to indulge impossible desires to embrace the whole world with the arms of understanding.
–Virginia Woolf, The Waves