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The long distance cyclist Peter Smolka from the German town of Erlangen started his bike tour around the world. He will cycle around the planet for four years, and he plans to visit all the partner towns of his home town under the motto “tour de friends”. For a start, the 52-year old IT specialist biked to Wladimir east of the Russian capital of Moscow. The second stretch takes him to India and China via Central Asia. When Smolka returns in 2017 to Erlangen, he may well read around 80000 kilometers off his speedo; this corresponds to the earth’s circumference times two. Smolka did the tour around the worlkd already from 2000 to 2004. As in the past he combines the trip with a charitable purpose: donations can be made with 20 cent per pedaled kilometer. Donators will sponsor a partial distance and can determine their own section, so 20 Euros push the biker another 100 kilometers. The money is then donated to the humanitarian organization “Médecins sans frontiers”.
Smolka constantly updates his homepage with photographs and news from his latest trip. Once he has arrived in China after 24000 kilometers he will get on a boat on the pacific coast and set over to North America, cycling to Central and South America. After a second ocean crossing his tour takes him from Cape Town to Africa and the Middle East to Europe. On this trip he delivers greetings from Erlangen’s mayor Dr. Siegfried Balleis to seven of Erlangen’s partner towns: Wladimir (190 km east of Moscow), San Carlos (Nicaragua), Besiktas (Istanbul), Rennes (France), Stoke-on-Trent (England), Eskilstuna (near Stockholm) and Jena (Germany). Further Smolka will visit international headquarters of his former employer Siemens where he worked for many years. The computer specialist quit his position at the electronics company by the beginning of March. Smolka customized his bicycle and equipment for the extreme conditions of this tour. He is supported by several sponsors. On March 28 (Holy Thursday) he started at 9am at the City Hall of Erlangen. A group of friends joined him during the first few weeks. Have a look at Peter Smolka’s „bicycle curriculum“ and learn more at www.tour-de-friends.de.