Reza Pakravan’s Long and Winding, Energetic and Inspiring Road: Join Him On His Journey

May 18th, 2016 by Bita Milanian - Leave a Comment

Some human’s journeys are more personal than others. For my friend reza3Reza Pakravan, his life’s journey is personal and passionate as he continues to race around the world living his best life, while drawing attention to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

In March 2011, Reza set the world record for the fastest crossing of the Sahara Desert by bicycle. He has conquered the summit of Mount Sabalan (three miles above sea level), while he was carrying his bike and cycled across the Himalayas in Nepal.

Kapp to CapeHe’s cycled the full length of the Caspian Sea in Iran and in 2013, traveled on his own steam the length of the planet from Nordkapp in the Arctic Circle to Cape Town, South Africa (11,000 miles) in record time (102 days).While some athletes and adventurers might be satisfied to hold two world records, Crossing the Sahara Desert by Bicycle and Fastest Bicycle JourneyNorth to South Length of the Planet, what moves Reza even more is his passion for storytelling which to date have manifested in two documentaries, “Cycling Sahara”, broadcast by the BBC World, and “Kapp to Cape” which was turned into a four-part television series broadcast in US and Europe on Fox, Outside TV and the Travel Channel.

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Reza’s life was magical even before he became one of the world’s greatest adventure travelers and raconteurs. He played professional basketball in the early part of his career as an athlete, and while he could have retired into a life of luxury, chose to wall the Patagonia Desert, cycle the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas, crossed the Atlas Mountains in North Africa, and experience the humblest of living in a remote village in Madagascar.

It is no wonder, then, that in 2012 Men’s Fitness Magazine named him among the 20 world’s most seasoned travelers, while today he delivers stunning talks across three continents, including serial TED conferences.

Reza is a compassionate humanitarian as well, and active philanthropist supporting non-profits and NGOs including SEED Madagascar: Sustainable Environment, Education and Development in Madagascar. He recently received a prestigious Lloyd’s Charity Award from Lloyd’s of London for his work of raising funds for building schools and promoting education there, and most recently announced a new expedition to the Amazon.

His initiative is bigger and more integrated than ever, combining his expedition with film making, creating his next gift to the world, Transamazonica.

Reza writes, “This is going to be the most exciting and extreme expedition I have ever embarked upon. I am taking on one of the toughest roads on the planet. It is exciting because it’s not all about endurance and hardship: there is a bigger purpose behind it.”

Reza has teamed up with his journalist friend Phillippa Stewart to investigate the perils faced by the Amazon, and to experience the greatest rainforest on earth in a unique and breath-taking voyage along the Transamazonian Highway “Transamazonica”. Travelling the road by bicycle and the river by boat, they will film, photograph and write about the fragility of ‘the lungs of the planet’ and the often challenging lives the citizens of the Amazon face.

Given over 4,000km of the most remote and hostile terrain in the planet, this epic road symbolizes the beauty and fierce challenges associated with the world’s last great virgin forest. It is notoriously problematic to traverse. A single 10-minute rainstorm can turn the road into a river of mud impossible to manage by bicycle until the waters subside.

The journey starts in September 2016, immediately after the Amazon rainy season. The route starts in Belem at the mouth of the Amazon River in the Atlantic and finishes in Lima at the Pacific Ocean. The expedition consists of 2 cycling legs and one leg traveling by boat up the Purus River.

amazonwatch1The purpose of the journey and the documentary is to more deeply investigate the impact of environmental changes on indigenous communities lives, women in particular.  Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day, indigenous women gathered to protest developments in their region which are accelerating climate change and the catastrophic impact on their food supply and lives and children’s lives in general. Belen Paez from Pachamama Alliance said that day “It’s a unique and historical moment to have the experience of solidarity and connection between indigenous women and activists from all over the world standing up for the rights of the Amazon rain forest and its people, we have all been waiting for this moment for so long, and that moment is now.”

TransamozonicaThe Transamazonica project is being developed by Samarcanda Film with a four-part television series envisioned.

Please support me and my friends in supporting Reza, Phillippa and Samarcanda Film by promoting and sponsoring this journey which is OUR journey on this little blue planet we all share.

The long and winding road for Reza is a journey he is allowing us to all follow, to enjoy and to be incredibly inspired by even as we continue to face climate change and other global challenges. Reza’s gift is bringing so many issues to light, and cycling for as long as he can, as far as he can, and as high as he can.


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