CYCLING SILK Exploring conservation across borders along the Silk Road. By bike.
Six major mountain ranges. Six case studies for transboundary conservation or “peace parks.” One year.
In 2006, WINGS Fellow Kate Harris and childhood pal Mel Tule spent four months biking after Marco Polo’s ghost through western China. They are now returning finish cycling the Silk Road they left unraveled, only this time exploring environmental conservation across borders along the way. Follow their adventures as they ride from Europe to Asia, study transboundary protected areas from all sides, and burn muscles to the bone with pulses pounding to the rhythm of altitude, adrenaline and life along the storied Silk Road.
Cycling Silk uses bikes to enable the autonomous and adventurous exploration of remote transboundary wildernesses, and to reinforce Silk Road wildernesses as landscapes of continuity, despite the borders that attempt to divide them. We will investigate four existing and two proposed TBPAs encompassing some of the world’s most sublime mountains:
1) Caucasus TBPA at the nexus of Russia, Georgia, and AzerbaijanNote: precise route will evolve as
2) Unnamed TBPA straddling Uzbekistan and Turkmenistanpolitics and prudence dictate!
3) Pamir TBPA proposed for Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China, and Pakistan
4) Tien Shan TBPA in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
5) K2-Siachen Peace Park proposed for India, Pakistan, and China
6) Mount Everest/Sagamartha/Chomolungma TBPA in Nepal and China