A winter cycle-tour to the Russian Arctic Circle

First of all, a thanks to everyone who sympathizes with this challenge. I have received a lot of reactions, and I really appreciate that. The reactions do vary, some don’t doubt that I’ll change into an ice cube and others have every confidence in the succes of this journey. Exciting. In any case, I will give a nice insight into this adventure through this website.

The extreme cold. What does it actually do with you? I know that a night in the snow in northern Italy was not very pleasant. The same unpleasant experience was also the case on the Tibetan plateau in temperatures of -10 degrees at an altitude of 4500 meters. I found myself in a sleeping bag with comfort 0 degrees and my down jacket was a 25 eeuro copy of H&M.

Selfie from the road

I’m now preparing myself a bit better. Simply because the whole journey is now turning into a very cold one. I’m mainly visualizing. Reading stories and empathizing with the situations that might come. From clothes to food and drinks, camping and cycling.

Clothing.

In terms of clothing, everything comes down to layers. A woolen merino base layer with a fleece and a windproof and waterproof jacket. Sweat means death I’ll have to wear proper layers and too much effort while cycling will put me in deep misery.

If it snows or the wind is heavy, it’ll be good to cover my face. I take some ski goggles with me to take care of that.

Cycling.

I have learned that during cycling in extreme cold conditions everything costs more energy. I’m always ambitious when it comes to distance. 1900 kilometers in 30 days? Whether this will work is of course one big question.

The second-hand bike that I have purchased for this trip has disc brakes and I provide 35mm wide winter tires with spikes.

Camping.

When I stop cycling, I quickly dive into a down jacket. I take boots that provide warm feet. A sleeping bag with a comfort temperature of -20 degrees with a sleeping bag liner to absorb moisture. All this in a tent, the Eureka Spitfire Solo, which may not have been made for these extreme conditions. Tent pegs are big nails that I’ll hit into the frozen ground.

Camping in Tibet

Do I forget something?

Food and drinks.

Cooking will probably also be more difficult. I bring spare gas that hopefully can handle the cold. Fruit and vegetables will be scarce so I take care of some dried fruit. Vitamin D because the sun hardly shines, at most an hour or two each day.

Anything else?

Everything will be fine, I trust in my experience and if that won’t be enough, there’s always the method of Wim Hof to count on.

If you have any advice, or useful facts about cycling in extreme cold? Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog!