December 3, 2018
Mohamed Ukach was one of the winners of the Greg Siple Award for Young Adult Bicycle Travel in 2018. After learning some valuable bike travel skills on Adventure Cycling’s Intro to Road Touring course, Mohamed took nine people on their first bike camping trip in Omaha, Nebraska.
Adventure Cycling is giving away four bike-travel awards to young adults again in 2019. The award is open to 18 - 30 year-olds who are new to bicycle travel or looking to build their outdoor leadership skills. In exchange for the award, which includes an Adventure Cycling educational course and the right gear to get on the road, winners perform an outreach project to promote bicycle travel with their communities.
Adventure Cycling recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mohamed about the Intro to Road Touring course and bike overnights in Omaha.
The thing I enjoyed most about the Intro to Road Touring Course the people I met. Everyone was happy, welcoming, and had a passion for bike travel just like me. The most challenging part for me was learning the route and then doing it by myself. The map course we took before we left helped me a lot with figuring out the route.
In the summer of 2019, I plan to embark on a journey from Omaha, Nebraska to Missoula, Montana. The skills I learned in the Intro to Road Touring Course have been very helpful in helping me design my own route for this amazing journey. I also learned some valuable lessons about bike camping from the course and from some of the other people in the course that will be helpful.
For my outreach project I led an overnight bike camping trip to Hitchcock Nature Center in Iowa that is 19 miles from Omaha. Of the 15 people who attended, nine had never been on a bike camping trip. The goal of this trip was to introduce people to bike camping and how fun and easy it can be. I think that goal was met and we plan to do more trips like this next spring.
Introducing new people to bike camping and adventures you can have on your bicycle. I want people to know that even in a city like Omaha where there aren't many camping opportunities, you can still have a blast by just going a little bit out of the city. Overnight adventures are simple and often do not require the planning that a multi-night trip requires so they are great ways to have short, quick, and awesome adventures.
Image 1 & 2 by Sandra Corso. Images 3 - 5 courtesy of Mohamed Ukach.