Imke Frodermann and Ralph Lang, a married couple from Germany, are travelling around the world by bicycle to foster international cultural understanding.
They started this expedition in August 2016. After conquering 17,000 kilometres, and 1,50,000 meters of altitude, they have now arrived in Varanasi.
The couple started in the USA, where they cycled for four months in the Rocky Mountains. They crossed North Africa and Europe and then started for India in February 2017. Now, after 10 months of cycling, they have arrived in India after crossing the entire expanse of China.
To reach India, the couple has also biked through Austria, Italy, Greece, Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirgizstan and Kazakhstan. In China, they spent three months crossing the Taklamakan, the Gobi Desert, and cycling across the Himalayas. It’s incredible how for most of their journey, they were cycling through high altitude mountainous regions which were more than 4,000 meters above the sea-level.
The couple has crossed almost all the major mountain ranges of the world: The Rocky Mountains, the Alps, the Atlas, the Caucasus, the Pamir, the Tien Shan and Himalayas. Most of the time, they biked through uninhabited desert regions, where they had to camp in their tent and sleep outside, enduring extreme temperatures of more than 45 degrees centigrade of heat and cold up to minus 20 degrees.
Unsurprisingly, they faced many dangers which occurred not only on the street, concerning big trucks driving by, but also lots of wild animals. In the US, they were sleeping in areas with bears, buffaloes, wolfs and mountain lions. In the Pamir and Himalayas, they recount hearing the wolves passing by very close to their tent.
They are very glad and thankful to arrive in India, which they have visited before many times. Before embarking on this journey, they were both teachers in their hometown of Biberach, in Germany. In 2014, they founded a school for poor children in Rajasthan, which they finance since then together with their German pupils.
The German government appointed them as ambassadors of peace and education. When they left Germany on their bicycles, the superior major of Biberach, Baden Württemberg, appointed them and handed over a certificate in honour of their journey. On behalf of the government of Germany, he asked the population of the travelled regions to support the cause to help children and fight poverty.
India is not the last country the couple intends to cycle through. In January 2018, they will continue their journey through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia to finally arrive in Singapore from where, they will continue to cycle Australia. Altogether, the trip will cover 35,000 Kilometer and around 3,00,000 meters of altitude.
The couple met with Mr and Mrs Hubert and Uschi Hagel in Varanasi, who are representing the Mayor of Biberach, the Director of the famous Gebhard-Müller-School in Germany. They are not only supporting the Cycling World tour but are visiting the cyclists in crucial locations to supply them with spare parts and motivating gifts from home. “Without them, we would not be able to cycle the world,” said Ralph Lang.
The Hagels are friends for a long time with the famous Maharaj Musician Family which is hosting the cycling world tour and preparing an important basecamp for Ralph Lang and the Imke Frodermann in India. “We are very thankful for their hospitality and friendship since they give us a deep insight into the Indian soul and spirit,” said Imke Frodermann.
All of them visited the PVCHR office on January 1, 2018, and PVCHR welcomes and provides brief about their activities.