A Turkish cyclist with a mission to tour the world on his bike arrived into the Sultanate last week, crossing the border from the neighbouring UAE at the Al Ain-Buraimi border post.
Gürkan Genç’s journey began in 2012 and since then the 36-year-old cyclist has covered 36,000km, passing through 30 countries on his bike; Oman is his 31st. His trip will last until 2019, by which time he plans to have covered 120,000km across 84 countries on all seven continents.
It’s all part of his “Pedal For Future” project, which aims to promote cycling as a sport and as a viable mode of transport to use on a day-to-day basis. Speaking to Y, he said that he wanted to show the world how healthy cycling was. “Earlier I had some health issues, but I have been cycling for three years now, and feel absolutely fit,” he said.
The cyclist said that it has been his dream to travel around the world on his bike since he was 12 years old and his current expedition is not the first time he has ventured over long distances on two wheels. In 2010 he sold his food and catering company in Turkey to cycle from his home country to Japan on a year-long ride.
After this accomplishment there was no looking back for Genç, who set out on his world tour the following year, using a customised hybrid bike, suitable for extreme conditions. On the three year journey that has brought him to Oman, Genç has endured temperatures as low as -40 degrees and has cycled some of the most difficult mountain passes of Tour de France.
The tour has been funded through income from his blog – which has gained immense popularity – and features photos, videos and articles about the countries he visits. His blog has gathered half a million followers to date and has been converted into a magazine.
Despite the short amount of time spent in Oman, the cyclist has already tasted some warm Omani hospitality. “When I was in Ibri, I was just walking and some people invited me to their house to have dinner with them. Before that I was invited to stay the night by the owner of a farmhouse. People are so hospitable and welcoming here,” he said.
His month-long cycle route in Oman goes from Buraimi, Ibri, Bahla, Niwa, Izki, Al Hamra, Samail, Bidbid and eventually to Muscat.
After completing his world tour on cycle, Genç intends to publish books on his adventures. To follow Genç’s adventures in Oman and around the world, visit his blog at gurkangenc.com