Story of KamranOnBike

Kamran Ali was born and raised in Layyah, Pakistan, and has been living in Germany since 2002.

Kamran’s first bicycle tour was as a 13 years old who picked up two friends on a little bicycle and did a round-trip to a nearby town covering 52 kilometers in a day. His longest trip in Pakistan was in 2002 when he pedalled about 400 Kilometers from Multan to Lahore in less than two days in the blistering heat. This tour was a bit special for Kamran because few days ago he had quit the teaching job he loved to regain the lost freedom and adventure.

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Later on, Kamran moved to Germany to study higher. During the flight from Islamabad to Frankfurt, he had a strange dream with eyes wide open. From 40 thousand feet above the ground, he looked down through the window and was amazed to see a reflection of him on the lonely roads crossing barren deserts and the rugged terrain. He was pedalling on the endless strip of tarmac under scorching sun, with the desert wind singing songs and the Duduk music playing in the far distance.

Throughout the eight hours of flight, Kamran continued to gaze out as his eyes followed along with an invisible dot of a cyclist in the infinite landscape. When the plane landed at the airport the cyclist had disappeared far behind the tall metropolitan buildings, but his image had been etched into his memory forever.

Nine years went by, with him sitting in front of a computer screen. He finished the Masters Degree and later earned a Ph.D. degree in computer science, but there wasn’t a single day when he didn’t remember this dream. Every now and then the picture of the cyclist riding through exotic places would appear to fill his eyes.

He could no longer ignore the calling and decided to pursue this dream. In 2011, he left from Germany to Pakistan on a bicycle.

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Group photo at the farewell party before starting the Germany to Pakistan bicycle tour.

In forty five days, he crossed eight countries, and reached half-way by covering almost 4500 kilometres.

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In front of Budapest Parliament across Danube River.

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At the border of Romania.

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Exhausted by the heat on the first day in Romania.

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Taking the ferry across the Danube river to enter Bulgaria.

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At the border of Turkey.

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A 35 km free-ride on a truck in Turkey to make up for the lost time.

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Visiting caves in Cappadocia-Turkey with Carina, a fellow traveller from Berlin, and our young guide.

When Kamran reached the Sivas city in Turkey, he received the news of hospitalisation of his mother due to a heart-attack. Kamran decided to abandon his tour, and flew back to Pakistan to be with her mum.

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At Sivas bus station, the bicycle was loaded onto the bus for a long journey to Istanbul where it flew with Kamran to Pakistan.

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Kamran spent two months with her mum in the hospital after her heart surgery. This picture was taken on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

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Kamran’s bicycle named “Maya” meets his mum after thousands of kilometers and many months of waiting. Mum caught the first glimpse of Maya after being discharged from the hospital.

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His mum passed away on 17th September 2011 due to cardiopulmonary arrest.

Not only his dream was left incomplete, but more importantly he had lost his mother to whom he had dedicated his journey. He regretted keeping mum wait for four years as his cycling plans kept delaying the visit to Pakistan.

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Cycling in his hometown Layyah.

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At Layyah Railway station.

His journey from Germany to Pakistan in 2011 is documented in the following film.

Kamran on Bike Film

Three more years have flown past, but even today this dream still doesn’t let him sleep! Kamran has been to twenty-two countries by bicycle, seen many places, but a voice is calling him to set out on this voyage again. So Kamran has decided to soon commence his bicycle journey from exactly where he had left off three years ago. Starting from Sivas Turkey in March 2015, his ROUTE will cover seven thousand kilometres in over four months, taking him through remote places in Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan.

Kamran will be the first Pakistani to do a bicycle tour of such kind. He hopes that his journey will inspire the people back home to take on their own adventures, as well as reveal a positive image of the country which has been in the news lately for wrong reasons.

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Kamran has been to 22 countries by bicycle.

He wants to make others to believe that dreams must never be surrendered and as Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist novel, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

At the age, when his friends and peers are moving up the ladder of career and starting their families, Kamran is at the crossroad in his life, having recently quit his hard-earned job, risked his professional career, and ready to make other sacrifices just to follow his dream. It is a big leap of faith for him!

Lastly, on a personal level this journey will provide him a catharsis, by fulfilling a promise made to his late mum and giving a sense of reunion.

Update: Mission Accomplished. I finished my bicycle tour and reached my final destination Layyah, Pakistan on 8th August, 2015.

28 Countries travelled by bicycle: Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, Malta, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, France, England, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan.

46 comments

  • Very Inspiring and full of enthusiasm , I am your follower since beginning of your journey. I wish you best of luck.

  • May Allah bless you bro and you complete your dream with the best of your health.

  • Respect for you. Good luck for your dreams. You see this world by your own way which makes you unique. GOD bless you. 🙂

  • You are inspiration for millions struggling with their 9 to 5 jobs…. Good luck for this journey & many more to come…

  • Kami…
    Wishing you best of luck and pray for you to complete your dream.
    I also would like to suggest you that please dedicate this tour for the victims of Army Public School Peshawar Pakistan.

  • this all is good and inspired
    why not u tell the world that u r also a good artist
    u just see a pictures and make on paper and fill colour with pencils for this all our class PICASSO not Kamran

    good luck Allah alwas with u

  • hope you are arrived safely in Sivas as well as your luggage too. Takecare and wish you a safe trip to home

    • Yes, I arrived safely in Sivas. A bit struggling with the fever but other than that all is okay.

  • Inspiring.
    I dont know who wrote this article about you, Kamran. But a realy well written one. I just read it and feel the joy and pain both. But this is a rare combination that we, people from our part of Asia, still blessed with. Carry on man. Life is realy realy short and meaningless. You are lucky to find an inspiration. Bravo !

  • Kamran bro. If you are a good cyclist then go sports. Otherwise, please do not promote this culture in our youngsters. Please contribute something useful, not something unique. Sorry, but I am not inspired of what you have done. Your mom were ill and were looking towards you and you were riding your bicycle to meet your dream.

    • Sorry to disappoint you!
      To get the facts straight, let me tell you I was not cycling when the mom was ill. I abandoned my tour as soon as I heard of her illness. So what you wrote is not true!
      Best regards.

    • Just read this comment. Although too late to reply.
      quite pathetic comment and adequately replied. We have sick minded people all around us that create gloomy pictures about our achieve,ents or what we can do as individuals. IRFAN is one of them. This guy seem stuck in his meaningless life and home office home and kids and bloody relatives. He just shown his frustration over why you have this opportunity to explore the world and your inner self.

      • Best not to even bother ourselves with such foolishness … a man had a dream, and he followed it .. nobody got hurt … if anything, he learned about different people ..different cultures .. may be he can share some of the things or the ways that he saw during his journey which would actually benefit us all ….

        I say, God speed to you brother man ( Kamran ) …

    • Irfan bro, there are too many other things you should prevent your children from, what Kamran did is not useless, what you just have to do is be optimist and learn to make your dreams true.

  • What you have learned through this whole journey, Could you please sum up in two lines.

  • Nice to read your story’s. May Allah give you success in your future. Can I ask you about your future program? I suggest you to make some adventure group. Is it possible? All the best wishes for you.

  • Awesome brother ! you journey inspired me a lot . I cant go from Pakistan to Germany but on day i will go from karachi to kashmir just like this INSHAALLAH 🙂

  • May Allah protect you at every step you take to live your dream. May Allah bless you and your late mother.

  • Good to see a live example of courage, honor, enthusiasm, bravery, pain, faith.
    I’m praying for you right now sir.
    Hope one day I also accomplish this kind of adventure.

    Thank you very much for inspiring us to dream big and achieve it.

  • It’s Stunning! I appreciate Your Stamina and Will Power! You’re Superb! 🙂
    Stay Blessed!

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  • I am mesmerized by the dream trip you have taken and I am pretty much sure about the sacrifices you have made to achieve something that you always dream of. I wish and pray to Lord that I may be given the strength to follow my dreams of “awargi” which is quite similar to yours. A big congrats from a fellow traveler who is also as crazy as you when it comes to traveling. If you ever come to Karachi, do let me know and I will be more than happy to be your host.

  • I saw your page roaming around thru my friend Faizan. Firstly, i couldn’t believe that a person, who has earned a PhD will leave his dream job @ siemens and set thru a journey of his dreams. Secondly, i thought, no way is he completing it. But with your perseverance, you showed that you are not like the crowd who spend their entire life “behaving” the way society expects from everyone.

    You’ve inspired me to an extent that i have re-initiated my dream journeys, some of which are my childhood visions, just like yours @ pamukkale. I saw that pessimistic comment above, believe you me, you are much higher than rest of us in Maslow’s hierarchy triangle. Not because you’ve fulfilled all the goals of the needs/wants, but because you were not deterred by those distractions. I am sure that your mother would be very proud of you, up there!

    Make us proud, teach us to live, encourage us to dream & keep inspiring. May Allah bless you with good health & good fortune, Ameen.

  • Respect sir Respect. Cant tell you what i am feeling right now after reading you adventure.

  • Truly inspirational.
    I too want to die with memories, not dreams. Lets see when I turn my “eyes-wide-open-dream” into a reality.

  • Nice to read your story sir.
    You have made an awosome job!
    Congratulations.

  • Your red color bicycle was so strange. Was it nice to ride it in the red color bicycle? What was the reason to pick it in first place and what was the reason to quit it? Please reply. Thanks

  • Kamran, you are an inspiration to a 24 year old here in Pakistan. That’s me. You are living my and millions of others’ dream. May God bless you always.

    It is difficult to even think about following our dreams and actually going for them is impossible in this day and age. For those of us who at least think of pursuing their dreams, can you please write a post on how one can save money, gather funds, get sponsors for traveling the world on a bike, just like you? It might help me and others to get going towards it.

    This would be great! Keep doing what you are doing.

    Best Regards.

  • Really inspiring. I along with my friends want to follow same trend of long-route cycling. Can you help us with necessary guidance, type of bicycles and other specifics that we should consider before setting on such journey.

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