Spring 2002 (10.1)
Business and Opportunities
Above: On the Third Annual Oil Odyssey in
August 2002, a group of brave riders will travel by motorcycle
along the proposed Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline route, eventually
ending up in Athens.
Take a dozen BMW-clone, WWII-era sidecar motorcycles, mix with
international adventurers interested in oil and gas, politics
and culture, stir with passion and salt with madness, and what
do you get? Oil Odyssey 2002!
In the year 2000, they delivered the first symbolic barrel of
Caspian crude down the Baku-Ceyhan [pronounced Jeyhan] line via
a caravan of 12 sidecar motorcycles. Not content with that, in
2001, they delivered the first 1,000 cubic meters of natural
gas down the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum line, and then continued on
But with a peculiar twist to the road: all along the way, the
Magic Bus dance and song team from the Rashid Behbudov Theater
entertained locals in refugee camps, forgotten towns and villages
as well as major cities.
This year's Oil Odyssey ride will once again mirror the route
of the proposed BTC and include all the elements that made Oil
Odyssey 2000 and Oil Odyssey 2001 such successes: intellectual
adventure, cultural connectivity between Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Turkey-and a rough and rugged good time.
And then carry on to Greece-yes, Greece. And that means Athens.
In celebration of the new Turco-Greek friendship, and in anticipation
of the new gas line linking these two traditional rivals, the
Turkish state pipeline company BOTAS has asked the Oil Odyssey
Organization to deliver first gas down the Ankara-Athens pipeline
Plans for the ride are still being formulated, but a rough draft
suggests a drop-clutch date in Shivas on September 4, 2002 after
a magnificent parade, a ride through the wonders of Cappadocia
up to Bursa, flanking the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara
to the Dardanelles, skirting the Gallipoli battlefields and then
roaring across Turkish and Greek Thrace to Thessaloniki and then
down to Athens, arriving on September 12 to deliver the gas that
will light up the Olympic Torch in 2004.
What about the return trip? Try a two or three section Athens-Istanbul
five-day jaunt, followed by a more grueling week between Istanbul
and Mt. Ararat, and finally a "Caucasus Classic" rally
from the canyon-land of Artvin into and across gorgeous Georgia
and a final return through the Lesser Caucasus Mountains into
Azerbaijan and Baku circa October 11.
In the words of Oil Odyssey organizer Thomas Goltz: "Who
says geopolitics can't be fun?"
For more information on rider participation in Oil Odyssey 2002,
either as a driver or in a sidecar, and sponsorship possibilities,
contact: Oil Odyssey Inc., 5 Old Clyde Park Rd., Livingston,
MT 59047, USA. Tel: (406) 222-6460; in Baku: (994-50) 221-2838;
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com;
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