Kamran On Bike | One man’s bicycle journey from Germany to Pakistan,...

Kamran On Bike | One man’s bicycle journey from Germany to Pakistan, spanning 28 countries.

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kamran_on_bikes-1250x615Kamran Ali was born and brought up in the small town of Layyah, Pakistan. Kamran’s first bicycle tour was as a 13 years old who picked up two friends on a little bicycle and did a round-trip to a nearby town covering 52 kilometers in a day. His longest trip in Pakistan was in 2002 when he pedalled about 400 Kilometers from Multan to Lahore in less than two days in the blistering heat.

Later on, Kamran moved to Germany for further studies. During the flight from Islamabad to Frankfurt, he looked down the window, and had the epiphany that changed his course of life – he saw himself, on the lone road, crossing barren deserts and the rugged terrain. He was pedalling on the endless strip of tarmac under scorching sun, with the desert wind singing songs and the Duduk music playing in the far distance.

Nine years went by. In the meantime, he finished his  Masters Degree and later earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science, but not a day had gone by, when he didn’t think about the eight hour long flight, and the image of a cyclist riding through exotic places.

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Group photo at the farewell party before starting the Germany to Pakistan bicycle tour.

He realized, he could no longer ignore the calling and decided to pursue this dream. In 2011, he left from Germany to Pakistan on a bicycle.

In forty five days, he crossed eight countries, and reached half-way by covering almost 4500 kilometres.

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In front of Budapest Parliament across Danube River.
At the border of Romania.
At the border of Romania.
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Exhausted by the heat on the first day in Romania.
Taking the ferry across the Danube river to enter Bulgaria.
Taking the ferry across the Danube river to enter Bulgaria.
At the border of Turkey.
At the border of Turkey.
Visiting caves in Cappadocia-Turkey with Carina, a fellow traveller from Berlin, and our young guide.
Visiting caves in Cappadocia-Turkey with Carina, a fellow traveller from Berlin, and our young guide.

When Kamran reached the Sivas city in Turkey, he received the news of hospitalisation of his mother due to a heart-attack. Kamran decided to abandon his tour, and flew back to Pakistan to be with her mum.

At Sivas bus station, the bicycle was loaded onto the bus for a long journey to Istanbul where it flew with Kamran to Pakistan.
At Sivas bus station, the bicycle was loaded onto the bus for a long journey to Istanbul where it flew with Kamran to Pakistan.
Kamran spent two months with her mum in the hospital after her heart surgery. This picture was taken on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Kamran spent two months with his mum in the hospital after her heart surgery. This picture was taken on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Kamran’s bicycle named “Maya” meets his mum after thousands of kilometers and many months of waiting. Mum caught the first glimpse of Maya after being discharged from the hospital.
Kamran’s bicycle named “Maya” meets his mum after thousands of kilometers and many months of waiting. Mum caught the first glimpse of Maya after being discharged from the hospital.
His mum passed away on 17th September 2011 due to cardiopulmonary arrest.
His mum passed away on 17th September 2011 due to cardiopulmonary arrest.

Not only was his dream was left incomplete, but more importantly he had lost his mother, to whom he had dedicated his long journey. He regretted keeping her waiting for four years as his cycling plans kept delaying the visit to Pakistan.

Three more years flew past, but his dream still didn’t let him sleep. Kamran had been to twenty-two countries by bicycle, seen many places, but a voice kept calling him to set out on this voyage again.

So Kamran decided to soon commence his bicycle journey from exactly where he had left off – starting from Sivas Turkey in March 2015, his route will was supposed to cover seven thousand kilometres in over four months, taking him through remote places in Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan.

At the age, when his friends and peers were moving up the ladder of career and starting their families, Kamran was at a crossroad in his life, having recently quit his hard-earned job, risked his professional career, and ready to make other sacrifices just to follow his dream. It is a big leap of faith, which came to fruition on August 8th, 2015, when he finally finished his bicycle tour and reached his destination, his home – Pakistan.

At Layyah Railway station.
At Layyah Railway station.
Cycling in Layyah.
Cycling in Layyah.

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Poland. With my host Pavel in Stettin. He was my first host on the journey.
Poland.
With my host Pavel in Stettin. He was my first host on the journey.

You can view the entire Album of Kamran’s journey on his Facebook page here.

Content has been adapted from Kamran’s official website.

 

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