Russian Drug-Free World Bicycling Tour Arrives in Pasadena

Monday, April 1, 2013 | 5:23 pm

(Left to Right) Reverend Bob Adams of the Church of Scientology and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president Leron Gubler welcome drug prevention cyclist Pavel Grachev on the Hollywood stop of his worldwide tour. Photo by ScientologyNews.Org

Two Russian marathon cyclists from Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan (Russian Federation), traveling on their bicycles around the world will arrive in Pasadena to promote a drug-free lifestyle on Tuesday, April 2 at 3:00 pm at the steps of City Hall where they will be met by Mayor Bill Bogaard and Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez. Pavel Grachev, a 47-year-old English and History teacher and Alen Khairullin, a 26-year-old IT engineer, are international ambassadors for healthy, drug-free living and have reached the half-way mark on a nine-month journey around the world.

Their epic journey commemorates the 100th anniversary of the circumnavigational journey by bicycle, a feat undertaken in 1913 by Kazan-born Onisim Pankratov. This world tour promotes—and will culminate at—the 27th World University Games (Universiade), where college athletes from around the world will gather in the host city of Kazan this summer to “meet and compete,” say the two.

“We come from what’s considered ‘the sports capital of Russia’ and we feel right at home here, in this world-renowned city of roses,” said Mr. Grachev, a cycling veteran of 22 years and Russian Bicycle Touring Championship bronze medalist.

“We’re using this opportunity to help spread the benefits of healthy, drug-free choices,” says Mr. Khairullin, a cyclist with 10 years of bicycle touring experience, who both organized and participated in the 2011 Capitals of Russia Cycling Race.

The Church of Scientology of Pasadena is hosting the cyclists during their visit in Pasadena. “The world of drugs and their devastating effect knows no political, religious or cultural boundaries,” said Eden Stein, President of the Church of Scientology of Pasadena. “That is why Pavel and Alen have our support. Their message to be—and stay—drug-free could not be more universally relevant.”

After Pasadena, Messrs. Grachev and Khairullin will fly to Beijing and will cycle across northeast China and Siberia, ultimately making their way to Kazan for the start of the Universiade Games on July 6.

Worldwide sponsors and supporters of the tour include the Federation of Sport-tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan (; the Office of the President of Tatarstan, R.N. Minnikhanov (; the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan (, with the participation of the Directorate of the Universiade ( and assistance throughout the tour from volunteers of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World ( 

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