A 30-year-old Romanian will bike off Bucharest this Saturday in an attempt to cover a total of nearly 15,000 km, heading for Central Asia's Kyrgyzstan, where he will dare scale the 7K peak Khan Tengri.
Photo credit: (c) George Călin / AGERPRES ARHIVĂ
Radu Diaconescu, a programmer by profession, will set off on his bike from Bucharest and will ride over 7,000 km until close to the border between Kyrgyzstan and China, largely following the Silk Road; he will then walk more than two weeks to the base camp from where he will "assault" the Khan Tengri peak.
The sensation seeker will do everything by his own forces, relying in no way on motorized transport, and will neither have a support team to rescue him in case he runs into danger. All the equipment he needs to sleep, cook and fend off the whims of the weather will be fixed on his bike's rack.
He says the idea came to him while reading the books written by others who travelled to all corners of the world on motorcycle, bike or on foot, but the desire to dash out of the daily routine had sprung into his mind a long time ago, as a reaction to the fixed office hours. To get the time for this adventure which he expects to take about nine months, Radu resigned his well-paid position as a programmer with a German company, where he has been working in the past year.
"I love riding my bike, I love climbing, I love trekking, I now have the opportunity to merge all three," Radu Diaconescu told Agerpres.
He has been mountain trekking since the age of 19, and then discovered climbing, skiing, mountain biking and running, as well as mountain competitions.
He has been dreaming in the past five years about a journey to the endless steppes of Mongolia and began inquiring about cycle tourism, ie long distance bike trips, which — he says — offers one more freedom than just riding the train or the plane, plus the satisfaction of having worked one's muscles to see those places.
Another advantage he sees in travelling by bicycle is the interaction with people one needs to communicate with to ask about the basics of life: "Where can I pitch my tent?", "Where can I get water?", "Where can I find a store?" and taking direct contact with local customs and traditions.
"I trust that most people are good, and to an extent of 99 percent, the experiences I've had travelling through Romania and Europe were positive; besides that, someone biking to a place from the end of the world enjoys a greater capital of confidence than a rich tourist who stops his car to ask the locals for guidance," the adventurer considers.
Radu Diaconescu is not at his first adventure of this kind. In 2011 he and his wife Mihaela Diaconescu pedalled off on a two-week journey to Mont Blanc and then summited the Alpine giant.
"This time it will be something different. This is a nine-month journey through several countries that are not so developed in terms of road infrastructure, but which have a lot to offer from the cultural and spiritual point of view," Radu Diaconescu also says.
The outbound leg of the journey will take him through Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. His plan is to travel some 80 km a day on average, mainly on secondary roads to avoid busy traffic.
Radu Diaconescu will leave on Saturday from the Bucharest Park of the Youth accompanied by several friends who will see him to the Giurgiu border crossing point where he will exit the country.
Diaconescu's adventure can be tracked on the blog www.diaconescuradu.com. AGERPRES