Dutch ‘boat-biker’ takes on the world
LONDON – Dutchman Ebrahim Hemmatnia has been making waves pedaling in England lately in his “boat-bike” _ a 6m boat-shaped recumbent bicycle. He got to England in that thing from the Netherlands. He plans to go to Scandinavia, Germany and then back home. His piece de resistance, however, starts in the fall: a 50.000-kms voyage following the equator in service of 5 worthy goals, including War Child, Unicef and his own World With No Borders foundation.
Why, you ask? Hemmatnia says he loves biking and has noticed how borders restrict people, physical ones and the kind they draw themselves. He’ll be crossing a lot of borders trying to set people _ especially children _ free. “I want to see what’s needed to improve development chances for children I wanted to do something that had not yet be done.” So there you have it: a round-the-world challenge of 35,000 kms of biking and 15,000 kms of sailing.
For his boat-bike he approached yacht designer Dick Koopmans Jr. who came up with 6m self-righting hybrid bike with detachable wheels. At sea, the boat is propelled by an electric motor, charged by the biking action. Hemmatnia thinks the trip will keep him occupied for 800 days. It will start in the fall in Senegal From there, he’ll sail to Colombia. From there he’ll bike to Ecuador and Peru and cross the South Pacific via Tahiti. After biking across Australia, he’ll sail to Africa and bike across that continent to Dakar, where his round-the-world began. Simple, no?