We believe Asia will play an increasingly important part in all our futures. It is important for Westerners to learn about the people of the remote regions of Asia, particularly Central Asia. They are being dragged into the future at a very rapid pace. How they react to this, and how they view Westerners will determine all our futures. Will they see us as Crusaders, striving to crush Islam? or will they see us as caring fellow humans, traveling a difficult road with them.
We plan to travel their roads on a double human powered vehicle, a tandem bicycle. We believe they will respond to our universal human gesture. We hope to broaden their view of Westerners; we are an odd lot, particularly the two of us, traveling by leg power instead of petrol, and on a strange double bicycle at that. At the very least we can entertain! We will follow one (or more) of the several Silk Road routes beginning in the, no-longer-sleeping giant, China into the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, ending in Istanbul, Turkey.
Western media all to often depicts Central Asians as backward, radical Islamists out to destroy civilization as we know it. It is true that much of Islam fears the results of modernity represented by television and our movie industry. It is supremely ironic that religious fundamentalists in both Christianity and Islam are most radical in their condemnation of each other. We believe that the Creator cares not for the details of our religious practice, only our humanity toward each other. We hope to show that all Christians do not hate them, nor are we deserving of hate in return. Some will think us foolish to go among those they consider the enemy. Our sincere answer, “What would Jesus do?”
We expect logistical and language problems, severe heat, poor roads, high mountains, difficulty finding safe food and water, cultural and political issues. We will meet challenges with tenasity, flexibility, common sense, and most of all, each other. We will certainly be a different image of Westerners than they have seen on television (a severely distorted view) and that alone will be worth the effort.