In the hopes to raise awareness to the Caspian sea’s environmental issues, I have commenced a trip along Kazakhstan’s beautiful Caspian shore line. Armed with GRID-Arendal’s wind surfing bicycle, in all, the trip has commenced to a good start.
Day 1 started off in Aktau, the country's main seaport on the Caspian Sea. May, plans for august 12th’s celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Tehran convention were derived from GRID-Arendal’s informal expert meeting in Baku. Thanks to Ieva and Valentin’ encouragement, the idea to tour the Caspian coast with a wind cycle has commenced. Indeed, the Whike(1) is not only an environmentally friendly mean of transportation, it is also an extraordinary instrument that can effectively demonstrate the shear power of wind in a way that is very appealing to the community and particularly to children!
See these videos for a better understanding of how it works :)
During my recent trips in Almaty and in Astana, the Whike has generated traffic jams. In the villages, the arrival of the Whike is regarded as an event. NTK, the National Television Channel, has even created a story about the Whike.
During the last few months, I have been training in an area called Chillek. It is on the side of the Kapshagay reservoir, an area very similar to the Caspian coast. With the support of the Whike constructor in Holland, new equipment was added to adapt the wind bike to the rude conditions in the Steppes:
1) Whike: 24 Kg,
1.6 m2 sail with GRID-Arendal Logo
2) Solar powered mobile phone charger (FreeLoader Pro)
3) Water proof, dust and shock resistant smart-phone cover (Samsung Galaxy XCover 2)
4) Acer Aspire S5 running Linux Ubuntu 12.04
5) On board sound activated sport camera ((AEE MagiCam SD)
6) Ultra light mountain camping tent (700 g)
7) Sheet & sleeping Bag (1400 g)
8) Clothes, including Tee shirts and Cap with logo GRID-Arendal. Bag & travel stuffs (5 Kg)
Aug 5th: morning: Almaty → Aktau Air Astana – ticket already booked
Aug 5th: afternoon: visit the office of tourism to get the local knowledge and elaborate the detail of the trip. Start with Track Fort-Shevchenko → Aktau – 150 Km (2 days). Track Aktau-Kendirly Bay. Segment 1: Aktau – Kurik 88 Km
Aug 6th: departure from Aktau
with an excellent wind forecast: 9-11 m/s W-E – ideal lateral wind.
Aug 7th: arrival Kurik
Aug 8th: Kurik – Bay Kendirly: first rest day
Aug 9th: cycling to Temirbaba border (80 km)
Aug 10th: Crossing of the Border – Visa required
Aug 12th: Turkmenbashi – Celebration of the 10th anniversary of the convention!!! Let's contact Gozel asap and tell her as soon as I am sure hat I can cross the border :)
 FreeLoader Pro: http://www.freeloaderpro.co.uk
 Samsung Galaxy XCover 2: http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/mobile-phone/mobile-phone/smartphone/GT-S7710KRAXSA-features
 AEE MagiCam SD19: http://www.aee-uk.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=263&products_id=1686