1) Are you always cycling? Do you ever use car, train or plane?
Unless I got injured or it is a life-threatening situation, I do not use any other transportation vehicle other than the bicycle. When I stop at cities, I travel around the city with public transport, sometimes I even travel close by cities but eventually I come back to my bike and start cycling from the same spot I have stopped and I have been recording all my cycling data (i.e distance, time, speed) in digital platform.
2) Isn’t Solo travelling difficult?
I do not like talking while cycling; instead I observe my surroundings, nature, and people and do lots of thinking. Solo travel can be a great opportunity for reflection and moving at an individual pace. Throughout the day, there is always someone to talk to. Even if we do not speak the same language we will always find a way of communication. There is always laughter during our conversations. When I say “hello” it comes from the bottom of my heart.
Life is made of 50% motion 50% sound. At desert there is neither motion nor sound, only cycling through desert makes me feel lonely!
3) Why travelling by Bicycle?
Bicycle, is the most efficient form of human transport in the world, as it can go as slow as you want but fast enough to travel so that, it enables you to see the details while travelling from one point to another, strong enough to carry the equipment which will help me to survive and produces no meaningful pollution when in operation.
4) Why World Tour?
One day I will die…There is a whole world out there… I would like to travel and discover as much as I could with the opportunities I have.
5) How do you find Sponsors?
I am not good at finding sponsors. Before I start my world tour, I have emailed over 700 companies and had face to face meetings with over 400 corporations. I have asked them to support my world tour project. Number of positive feedback is ZERO…
I have friends and mates at all of the firms which are listed in the World Tour Sponsorship page. Details of how these firms are supporting me are written at my Sponsorship page next to their logos. Hence the reason I have called these firms as my “DREAM PARTNERS” from the very beginning. This sentence was told by high school students when I was at their school for presentation. Their words were; “Gurkan, whom ever is supporting you, is actually your “dream partner”, supporting you and your project is a greater event other than being a sponsor!”
“I will be going from A to B with my bike, and will be carrying your company’s logo on me. Everybody will be seeing your logo, on my photographs or videos there will always be your logo. I will be talking about your company on my internet page all the time”. Do you really think big corporations need that? Since I couldn’t find the answer for the question ‘what can I do for this firm’ and as I don’t want to wonder around as a billboard, the result is not sponsors…
IT IS DREAM PARTNERS…
6) How do you manage your world tour budget?
I have met before foreign travellers and a Turkish traveller who were travelling around the world without a penny in their pocket. They even use mountains for crossing over from one country to another. Who knows what they have been thru. No one know them…They do not have any expectations from companies, social media, from other people. They exist for themselves only. This is the spirit of travelling the world freely! And this is their choice of travelling.
How do you make money while travelling? You need to have universal qualifications, i.e you can play an instrument and you can make money playing on the streets. Mechanic, you know how to fix motors, so any country you are in you can work for car repair.
How do I make money? Thru internet, I use social media. I am an amateur writer, photographer and editor. I write, tell and film my life story and thru internet it reaches out to thousands.
If you decided to travel it is up to you how to do it, either you travel solo and do not share your experiences or by spending some amount of money you share your experiences and inspire other people and lead the way…And you can even create opportunities and support others. Choice is yours!
7) How much money do you spend a day?
How much you spend varies from country to country and depends on what kind of travel you want to do. Let’s say I will be travelling Europe in summer time and will only be staying in the tent or people’s houses where I have found them on internet;
Monthly pasta consumption is €26.25 (twice a day, I do not use salt or oil)
Monthly cereal consumption is €60 (I prepare my serial with water, nothing else. If I am peckish I eat handful of serial, it will keep me going.
Schengen visa €60
If I am to travel as described above, my daily cost will be €3.5…Quite nice isn’t it? But if the person, who created many opportunities, says I get to see the world once and I want to explore and see things as much as possible that I could, can do these things as well:
I visit Museums, prices vary between € 10 to €20.
I go to Opera, prices vary between €20 to €250.
I stay at the hostels or hotels, prices vary between €14-€30(which is very rare) to €50-€90. During my stay, I do my shower, do laundry, and arrange writings and video mounting for my internet page.
In order to taste the local dishes of the country I don’t mind going the best restaurant in town or shanty town restaurants. Prices vary between €5 to €40.
I go to entertainment venues, i.e bars, pubs, and clubs. Can spend €5 or even €100!
You break your camera and you buy a new one. You break your lap top and you buy a new one and so on. Everything shapes your budget.
8) What do you eat? Do you take supplements?
I mix about 250gr of muesli with water in the morning. At lunch, I eat whenever I find a place to eat on my way. If I can’t find a place to eat, I buy pasta or bread, tomatoes and cheese from a market. I also eat pasta in the evening. I buy apple or banana if I find a market before camping. I don’t put salt or butter in my pasta. I also took some Chocolate spread, dried figs, Halva, grape molasses, Mesir Paste and almonds with me as supplement.
9) Do you get financial support from the Republic of Turkey?
No, I don’t get any support. The support that the state gives me; is the essential documents to permit me travel for months and years with my normal passport. The institution who provides me this is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey.
10) How do you manage your visa applications?
I go to the capital city of the country I visit and go the Embassy of the country I will visit. I introduce myself, telling them what I do and fill in application forms. The visa is granted within a day at the latest and within the time zone I required.
11) Can you recommend me a bike or camping material?
The brands I use are at my website on internet. It would be wrong to comment on other brands that I have not used or tested before. The cyclist shops will give you the best bike for your budget. The comments and suggestions about the camping materials I represent are at my website.
12) Aren’t you scared?
A film with lots of adrenalin and action will not be exciting when you know the ending. You only take pleasure in an adventure lived. Sometimes you watch the same film over and over again for the good adventure.
As the end of the road is known, I should enjoy the adventure. I get to live once and I want to see the world in this life.
13) Are you married?
My wife was pregnant when I left. I have a three months old baby now. My wife will bring him up until school age. I will be missing his growth stage. Then, we will continue our live from where we left.
Admit it! That you were very surprised when you read it at first (oh dear, he was married!)… I am not married ?
14) How do you set your route?
I do not have a pre-determined route however the countries I will be visited is set. I do not do an advance research and I do not set rules like I wanna see this and that. If there are important places that I must see, I am sure I have already heard about those. I only set my compass towards the direction I want to go.
15) Are there any people you take as example?
16) How do you charge your equipment?
Son Delux Dynamo was installed at my front wheel and this dynamo can produce electricity up to 19V and I can charge all my electronic devises with this.
17) Where do you take shower and how do you wash your clothes?
Every 3 days I always take a shower. I carry 2x 4lt and 1x 10lt water tank with me. I fill 4lt water tanks before I settle for camping. At camping area I either hang this on to a tree branch or hold it with one hand and take my shower. Up to 0 C Celsius it is possible to take a shower in the field, I haven’t tired any temperatures below zero yet. I wash my clothes at gas station toilets or small streams. As it is not possible to wash cloths outside in winter time I have to find a hotel or hostel at the end of 12th day and need to stay until all my cloths washed and dried. Why 12 days? Because, I can use my each underwear 3 days in a raw without washing. On the 4th day or later if I continue to use same underwear, because of the amount of sweat, dirt you start to develop yeast infection at perineum. (As I have experienced and tested all above)
18) How do you sort your toilet needs?
When nature calls, I seek for a suitable spot in the field J I always carry toilet paper and wet wipes with me.
19) Don’t you feel cold in the tent? You have sponsors why don’t you stay in the hotels?
The tent I have been using is being used at Everest summits. Up until now the coldest temperature I have faced was -40 degrees Celsius. My sleeping bag is designed to keep warm up to -60C. Underneath my sleeping bag I have self inflating sleeping mat. As I have chosen my equipment at best quality, I guess their strength and endurance is quite good. When you look at the cost of these equipments it is almost twice the price of my bedroom which was consist of single bed, wardrobe and carpet. This equipment is quite comfortable than my bedroom besides I wake up in different places each morning. In summer time I got to sleep while watching stars…
Only one firm is financially supporting this Project, if I tend to stay at the hotels all the time during my world tour, I guess I will need another 100 firms to support me. In fact I have a friend who has sponsored by world’s big hotel chains while he was doing his world tour.
20) What does your family think about your travel? Don’t you ever miss them?
Of course, I miss my family but I as I mentioned above, we know that there is an end to our lives and we have limited time. My family supported me to use this time as well. My brother, my mother and my father are all proud of me and support me. We have strong family ties even though there is distance between us. I kiss you my family ?
21) Are you crazy?
I am a person who got rid of his fears and acts with his heart not with his logic.
22) Have you ever thought of giving up and returning to Turkey?
Now, that would be crazy. I have never thought of that. Asking this question is crazy, how could you ask a guy who is travelling the world to give up and come back?
23) How many kilometres do you make a day and what is your highest speed?
I don’t have any rules that I have to be at a certain point at that day. The kilometres I make during a day differ day to day. Sometimes I set up my tent after a 10 km ride. If I really like the place, I stay there one or two more days. Sometimes I ride 80-120 km a day for 20 days without any break. I go to some areas that there is nowhere to visit. I can speed up if I need to. I rode 186 km maximum during my international tours. I don’t have certain speed or a route to make.
24) How much weight you have on your bike?
The bike weighs 9.6 kg without the tour equipments such as pannier carrier racks, bottle cages and other accessories. You can join races like that and I joined them as well.
When I switch to the tour bike mode and attach all the racks and accessories, the bike is 15kg.
There are 6 bags on the bike all together. The bag for the front handlebar is 2.5kg.
The bags that are in the right and the left front of the bike are 6kg each, in total 12kg.
The bags that are in the back right and the left of the bike are 7.5kg each, in total 15kg.
The bag that is on top of the bags at the back weighs 5.5 kg.
The total weight of the bags is 35kg and with the weight of the bike, it is 50kg in total. I can have 9 meals most without seeing any residential areas with the rations in the bags.
There are electronic goods, camping materials, essential repair tools for the bike, clothing for summer and winter are among the loads on the bike.
The weight increases when I ride in desserts. Because I stock up water and food, it adds 30 kg weight more.
I organised the items in the bags in a certain order. This continues at the same level in my tours I was making in the last 3 years. Because I am a person who climbs a lot, I don’t carry anything no matter how small if I won’t be using it during my journeys.
25) We sometimes see other cyclists with you in your travels. Don’t you travel alone?
I meet some other travellers who is pedalling at the same directions as me. After pedalling with them for a while, everybody follows their own route. Sometimes my friends from Turkey join me. But I always like pedalling alone!
26) Who is taking the images? Who is making the films?
I take the images. I use Tripod and Monopod. Sometimes I place the camera at a point and take the image, and then I return to take the camera. I am the one who provides the mounting of the images I took and uploaded to internet during my travels and transforms them into the short films. When I finish travelling a country, I spend a week to watch, to debug and to mount the images I take.
27) Are you the person who replies to emails?
I am the one who replies to the email messages and messages from Facebook, Instagram, Google plus and Twitter.
28) Don’t you ever get sick? Do you carry medicine at the bike?
I have been touring internationally last 3 years, and up to now I was once got poisoned in Uzbekistan, apart from that I am doing okay. I do have Muscle relaxants and pain killers in my bags. I also have small first aid kid and condoms in my bag.
29) We are planning on touring in Turkey from A city to B, could you share your experiences with us? Which route should we take? What should I carry with me?
Each person has different needs. You can see detailed list of my equipment from this link. All of my equipment is the best possible option for the long term touring. I use 4 bags instead of 6 bags at the tours in Turkey. I don’t take front left and right bags. Even if you want to tour around Turkey for a year, back bags will be plenty. Carrying more weight will not make you a better tourer, only you will torture yourself. You can search alternative equipment according to your budget from internet.
Assuming that, “He is travelling the world, I am sure he has done the route already which I am planning on doing in Turkey” is wrong. We have plenty of tourers who has been travelling all around Turkey and sharing their experiences at their web page. For Turkey tour route you can follow below web pages, both Enes Sensoy and Serkan Tasdelen are my close friends and I follow their web pages too. (www.canavarkesifte.com – www.pedalla.com )