Sidney alumnus on cycle tour from Istanbul to Shanghai

Sidney almnus Nicolas Kernick (Natural Sciences, 2010) and friend and Trinity College graduate Alexander Hurst have recently completed a five-month epic journey from Istanbul to Shanghai, by bicycle. Journeying along the old Silk Road through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, the pair clocked up some 11,000km, riding over four mountain passes above 4,000 metres – including Tajikistan’s famous Pamir highway – before finally reaching Shanghai in early December.

The pair were also able to raise money for two charities that they support – the Lantern Community in Hampshire and the Craft Training School in Uzbekistan – which, Nicolas explains, both foster education and empowerment through craft.

Now back in the UK, reflecting on the people and places they encountered on their travels, Nicolas answers the question ‘Why not fly to Shanghai?’:

"No flight in the world could ever bring such a superb array of hospitality, scenery and friendships. The interactions we had with locals and other travellers by cycling could not be replicated by other means and will remain in our memories for a very long time!"

You can read more about their journey and see some fantastic photographs that they took along the way by visiting their website.

This is an archived news story, first posted in 2014.

For further information please contact the Fellow Communications Officer, Dr Tom Lambert (

News item posted Sunday, 3rd May 2015

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  • At journey's end (reproduced with permission of Alex Hurst)
  • At journey's end (reproduced with permission of Alex Hurst)
  • Ak-Baital Pass, 4655m (reproduced with permission of Nicolas Kernick)
  • Ak-Baital Pass, 4655m (reproduced with permission of Nicolas Kernick)
  • Related Websites

  • Why Not Fly to Shanghai?