“Pedal for Future” project is a complete world tour. I’ll be traversing the whole world for 16 years uninterrupted without returning to Turkey in the course of this period using bicycle as transport vehicle (I cycled from Turkey to Japan previously 2010-2011) if I succeed in. The World Tour Route will be as such (could change throughout my voyage!) 

Stage 1 – Europe (9 September 2012 – 25 January 2014 Finished) 

Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Finland (At this point I made a little change on my  route and I decided to cycle up to the Artic Circle since I came up already so far towards north), Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Scotland, Spain,

Stage 2 – Africa and Middle East (25 January 2014 – 25 december 2016 finished) 

Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia,Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, malawi, Botsvana, Lesotho, Svaziland , South Africa.

Stage 3 – South America and Central America  (25 December 2016  – I am still cycling ……)

Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia,  Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras El Salvador, Guatemala

After Guetemala I turned back to Chile and spend new year  in chile 2022.. After that point  I am going to take my Canada and United States of America Visas  than keep continue.

Stage 4 – North America

Mexico, United States, Canada, Greenland, Canada, Alaska

Stage 5 – Asia – Australia

Russia (Siberia), South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, China, Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey.

My World Tour covers 85 countries on seven continents. At the end of this World Tour I would have cycled approximately 125.000 km.

I’m not on a tour on which I pedal every day. I’m visiting the historical and touristic sites of the countries which I pedal through. Sometimes I stay a week or more in a citys or I just camp somewhere I like and enjoy the nature.

During my Turkey-Japan Tour between the years 2010 and 2011 I passed through Karakum desert in Turkmenistan the eight largest one in the world and Gobi desert the third largest in Mongolia. I also cycled through one of the highest drivable passes (4650 m) at Pamir Mountains in Tadzhikistan.

My goal in this World Tour is to cycle through the largest deserts and highest drivable passes in every continent (5 largest deserts, 5 highest passes in 5 continents) under the most adverse climate conditions no matter in summer or winter. Of course, there are travelers who cycled through these places before, but none of them passed through all these. My road computer found on my bicycle will record all these places, their altitude, my speed, the degree of slopes, how much calories spent and store on Garmin page (I enjoy tours with high risks and pure adrenalin).

Well, what are these largest deserts and highest drivable passes? And how many of them finished.


Highest unpaved pass PICO DEL VELETA in Spain (3394METRE) April 2014

In fact, it is the highest pass in Europe. But it is a closed  motor vehicles, you can only climb to this point by bicycle. The road grade is usually 10%. You start at approximately 600 meters. One of the nices small town on my all journey I saw few of them in this area .

Highest paved pass in Europe La Bonette 2802 meter July 2013

I reached Europe’s highest paved vehicle pass point on 14 August 2013. I managed to reach this point exactly two years and seven months after I setuped the world tour. Climbing not difficult or easy grade is  9%. It is possible to find a water source while climbing. After climbing 2802 meters, it is essential to enjoy the view, then downhill 800 meters. This pass is also part of the Tour de France. It is possible to find the magnificent moments. But it wasn’t the highest pass in Europe.

Col de L’lseran (2770 m) july 2013

This is the second highest paved mountain pass in Europe. I’m the one who realizes his goals and pushes to his limits. The climb was very enjoyable and also the descent although pretty long with 9% slope. I camped near the pass at night which I arrived on August 23rd 2013. My goal was to cycle through the highest paved mountain pass in Europe at that time I was planning my route. Nevertheless, this pass turned out not to be highest in Europe, the reason why I also pedaled through Col de La Bonette pass.

Tabernas Desert

Don’t say that there is no desert in Europe. The Tabernas desert is located about 30 north of Almeria in Spain. In winter the temperature rarely drops below freezing. There aren’t any settlements nearby.


Sahara Desert

Everybody knows the desert Sahara. Why? It is the largest desert in the world which covers almost entire North Africa. Sahara covers large parts of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Gurkan how come will you pass through this desert? It is possible to find paved road stretching from the west to east across the desert.  Some may say: “Hey, paved? This looks easy.” This region has one of the harshest climates in the world. This driest place on earth is hot, above 50 degrees centigrade during day time. My road memories would possibly guide the ones who would cycle through this desert in the coming years (how many cyclists would pass a desert, anyway?)

Morocco  Sahara  March 2014

Algeria Sahara June- July 2014

Tunusia Sahara August 2014

By the way , the largest desert in Asia is the Gobi Desert. But I am a man of principles :P. I will never cross the desert again, I crossed once on my bike. (November 2010 I passed Gobi desert from Chine to Mongolia in 12 days  without support) That’s why I decided to cross the Arabian Desert, the 4th largest desert in the world and the 2nd largest desert in the Asian continent.  I do not want to talk about hot weather :). It’s enough hot for cycling in summer in Arabian desert. I’saw on my garmin  plus 57 degrees during the day and plus 40 degrees at night in this desert. Ruth was pretty tough.

Jordan Arabian Desert Wadi Rum September 2014

Saudia Arabia Desert  June,July, August 2015

Highest Pass in Africa Tulu Dimtu 4377 meter October 2015

It is possible you can reach this point also by car and motorbike. It is located in the Bale National Park, 450 kilometers southeast of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Climbing part is 41 kilometers. I passed in October 2015. It climing grade is  10%. Two points are pretty tough, I saw 19% . There is a checkpoint in the middle of the gate. It is forbidden to enter the area without a guide. I talked  the guards and stayed there for one night. Then they let me go

South America 

Patagonia Desert  2017 June, July, Agust

It is the 7th largest desert in the world. It includes parts of Chile and Argentina. The temperature 30C in summer and -25C in winter.  I passed this area winter 2017, that is, in June, July and August in South America, I spent the whole winter pedaling in this region. Passing the Carretera Austral region and volcanic areas on the Chilean side than I succeeded to reach Ushuaia, the biggest city at the farthest point of South America. The lowest air temperature I’ve seen was -15C.. I passed also Atacama desert in Chile, Bolivia and Peru when I was cycling the north part south America.


Highest Pass in South America Abra Azuca 5132m July 2019

This pass is located in Peru and is the highest pass in South America. I started at Calca city  and continued through Cusco, completely following the paths of the ancient Inca civilization. After 7 days I managed to reach the gate. During the climb, which starts at 2,800 meters, 6  passes  at different altitude  at 4,000 and 5,000 meters than I could reach the point. It was really difficult and  since 2019 I had the fastest segment on strava hahah

( I am keep going I have not finished after this point wating my visa for United States of America and Canada )

North America 

Highest Pass Mount Evans Pass (4365 m)

This pass is located in Colorado, United States. Although seemingly easy, it takes 4 hours to climb. There aren’t any water sources on the way. The slope changes from 5 to 10 %, almost the same of that of Cinnah Avenue a well known street in Ankara : ). It is easy, easy but only a little long.

Great Basin Desert

It is the largest desert in North America found near Nevada. Its climate is not so harsh. It is a desert which I’ll cross with no complications.


Great Victoria Desert

It is a desert I’ll enjoy to cycle through. A 700 km long adventure will be waiting for me. Is said that there are thunderstorms 15-20 times a year  with heavy lightening which I hope do not run into.

There are many varieties of reptiles. Summer day time temperatures range from 35 to 45 degrees centigrade. The winter season is not so cold.

Charlotte Pass (1830 m)

Charlotte pass is the highest point of this continent. The best arriving at the top is that you see snowboard runs. It would be fine to camp on the top while pedaling through this pass and take part in different activities.




Semo La (Tibet Pass) (5565 m)

This will be my break new ground in my tour. This highest drivable pass in the world is located in Tibet. Semo La is the Everest of us bikers, a never ending climb and one of the reasons why my World Tour extends since I have to traverse China to arrive at this pass on bicycle. Recognizing this spot, I sadly said:” Why on the earth didn’t I cross this pass during my Turkey-Japan tour”

Everest Base Camp (5364 m)

I don’t get excited while mentioning that I’m going to set off for a world tour but can’t describe how I have felt when writing down these spots and setting these goals. Furthermore, I get excited every time when I think about pedaling through these spots. There are cyclists who climbed till the Everest Base Camp pedaling all the way through, not carrying or pushing their bicycles.

“Pedal for Future” project is a project to encourage people to ride on bicycle. I share my road memories, videos and photographs throughout my journey as I did during my previous tour to support life with bicycle. I share my goals with you and wish that some other Turkish cyclists will cross these spots afterwards. I’m not the first person who travels in this manner on the world and would not be the last one. In order to explore and tell, one has to experience. I wish all of us a happy voyage.

If you attempt and sacrifice beyond your dreams your success will be inevitable.

Gürkan GENÇ

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