Silkroad 2022

A bike tour along the Silk Road through Southeast Europe and Central Asia via China to Southeast Asia.

Saving the planet by cycling.

  • Total distance: approx. 20,000 km

  • Travel time: 10 – 12 months
  • Period: March 2022 – February 2023

About the project

In times of the corona pandemic, as part of the event industry, I thought more than once about my personal and professional prospects. In addition to indoor training, binge-watching on Netflix and night-long computer games, I also spent a few hours in lockdown with adventure documentaries and reading travel reports.

After a few months in winter lockdown, I couldn’t get the desire to plan a larger solo expedition by bike out of my head – so I gave in to the impulse and gave my travel dreams a wider space. An impending “Corona-Koller” can be quite helpful here.
After several conversations at the kitchen table with my girlfriend and the assurance of her support, the decision was made: I would like to ride my bike eastwards and get to know countries that, until recently, in some cases I could not, locate on the world map.

As a middle-aged average Joe, the real challenge of such a project is to put the ordinary things in life in order: pay off debts and credits, make savings available, sift through and clean up paperwork, find (!) and cancel current contracts and review the financial situation. So the normal adult things. So if someone is currently asking me about the destination of my trip, the answer is quite simple: I want to clean up my life so that I can drive off.

At the beginning of March 2022, I will get on my bike in front of my doorstep in Saarbrücken and ride: through the Balkans, via Turkey, Kazakhstan and the South Caucasus, over the Pamir Mountains to China with the destination Southeast Asia. At least that is the current plan. The only thing that is really certain at the moment is that I will be on the road for between 10 and 12 months. I would like to document the course of my trip for myself and for those who are interested. In text, photos and videos.

Since my working holidays in Australia a good 20 years ago, I haven’t been so excited, motivated and committed to a project and I’m already looking forward to the coming months of preparation and good and probably not so good surprises that still await me wait.

  • Name: Fabian Theobald
  • Occupation: IT businessman, online marketer, event manager
  • Age: 43 years
  • Live and work in Saarbrücken
  • Project manager at TOUGHRUN – Ab in de Batsch
  • Master of ceremonies at the Gravel Grinder Saarland
  • I like:
    • Save the planet
    • science
    • Douglas Adams
  • I think I poop:
    • Racism / Nationalism / Xenophobia
    • Neoliberalism
    • Polo shirts

Sustainability #savetheplanet

Even if a bike tour itself is almost CO2-neutral (if you hide the manufacturing process) I want to keep my footprint as small as possible. The trip should only take place over land and in exceptional cases (e.g. Caspian Sea) over water. Until my return trip, I don’t intend to board a plane – and even then I don’t rule out a return trip by train.

Cultural and social exchange

I want to take something with me and leave something behind in all of my encounters.

I am aware that it is a privilege as a Central European white man to be able to travel the world with a German passport. It is my goal to approach the people I meet on my trip with appropriate respect and the greatest possible openness.

Climate ambassador for GermanZero

The main motivation for the trip is the satisfaction of my thirst for adventure and my motivation to prepare the trip in text, images and moving images.

That is why I had not yet planned to put my trip under an “expectant” motto. However, the longer I deal with travel preparations, the more it becomes clear to me that I will also reach a few people with my travel reports. I save the planet with cycling and draw attention to climate change with my trip or, to put it more simply: save the planet with cycling.

Long story short: I have been supporting GermanZero as a climate ambassador since the beginning of the year. GermanZero has drawn up a 1.5-degree legislative package for the German government and organizes local climate decisions throughout Germany. GermanZero pursues a very action-oriented approach and, as a lobby organization for civil society, fights for a future worth living in.

Support GermanZero with a donation

Travel mode

I don’t plan to break records, but I still want to spend a large part of my travel on my bike. My goal is to drive at least 500km / week. This enables me to achieve my goal in 12 months and gives me enough freedom to discover the country and its people.

For most of the overnight stays the tent is provided and self-sufficiency in the established camp / bivouac. For my stays in larger places (especially on days off) I have also planned hostels / hotels. I would like to use the rest days to prepare my trip through the media, to process my impressions and to charge my batteries.

  • Youtube stage vlog
  • Blog post according to milestones / intermediate goals (photoblog, experience reports)
  • Roadbook: Short blog with location update on the website / Twitter
  • Instagram mini blog / stories

Planned route

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Stages
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km
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Countries

Route planning remains an ongoing process and is continuously adjusted based on entry restrictions (Covid19).

Detailed planning

Planning & preparation

  • Total travel expenses (day-to-day): € 12,000
  • Visa costs / additional costs: € 1,000
  • Media equipment: € 4,000
  • Equipment: € 6,000
  • Physiotherapy and medical care: € 500
  • Running costs (health insurance, E-SIM, hosting, cloud, software licenses): € 1,800
  • Running costs (rent, storage): € 1,800
  • Return journey: € 1,500

The total costs amount to € 28,600 and actually only quantify the best-case scenario (best possible equipment and financing). Most of the cost is covered by my savings. For the project, however, I am looking for equipment partners and sponsors from the bicycle and outdoor industry .

My services for sponsors

In the summer of this year (2021) I will start my blog and vlog with documentation of my travel preparations, testimonials from my micro-adventures and my experiences as a future bicycle adventurer. I want to document and prepare my trip in the best possible way in text, images and moving images. You can find more information in my sponsorship portfolio:

View sponsoring portfolio (PDF)
  • more or less structured bike training (10,000 – 12,000 annual kilometers)
  • Athletic training / core training
  • Physiotherapeutic and medical care and performance analysis
  • Bicycle technology training: repairs / “McGyvering”
  • As many multi-day tours with luggage as possible (bikepacking and panniers) / many long journeys (> 100 km)
  • Mental training

You will soon find the link to my illustrated packing list here. Stay tuned.

  • Notebook
  • Smartphone with a usable camera
  • System camera for photo and video
  • Actioncam and 360 degree camera
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Cloud subscription for data backup
Other video projects

Contact

#SelfSupported # Silkroad2022 #Reboot

Also as a video call via Skype, Teams, Discord & Co.

Depending on the time of day and mood, optionally with beer, coffee or wine ;-)