At the moment I’m preparing a challenging cycling journey. By the end of this year I hope to start cycling in wintery Alaska where temperatures fluctuating between -10°C and -40°C.
This idea didn’t just drop from the sky. At the beginning of 2020 I had already decided to undertake this journey. I had even quit my job and booked a seat on a plane to Fairbanks in Alaska. The world then became so insecure that I needed to let go of the whole idea. With distance and patience to all the developments then, I started to focus on my health and resilience.
The winter season attracts me, the snow, vast white plains and freezing temperatures. Being out there in this extreme environments requires a surrender and focus that toys with my self-image. The intensity of a deep vulnerable feeling and at other times feeling strong and powerful are very attractive to me. In those moments I learn a lot about myself and it also forces me to overcome fear and resistance. That is why my focus for now is a combination of training my discipline and being able to deal with the fatigue, exhaustion and stress that come from going out of my comfort zone.
It will be a test that requires a lot of preparation but also a bit of experience. I have that experience with previous cycling trips in the Arctic Circle and in the Alps. Every experience is unique and of course this experience will also be a different and unique challenge.
Even though it will take a while, I’m already writing about this because I want to share my preparations through this blog. In addition to the physical and mental preparations, it’s also a bit about all the equipment. I already have a reasonable amount of equipment for winter cycling, but to be able to go through several days or even a week in a row in temperatures around -30°C without a place to warm up, is a new challenge for me. The battle with sweat and condensation of my breath, to prevent clothes and a sleeping bag from getting wet, requires specific measurements. Also how to deal with emergencies, when I’m tired and the cold conditions become too much, how do I keep my mind clear and when do I call for help. So basically, how to act in a difficult situation and know what to do when that happens.
These are the things I want to sort out and share more about in the coming months. With sharing all these discoveries may this be a source of information for others interested in bicycle travel and adventure. Also the part of planning and organizing, to be able to change my life in the Netherlands a bit and the challenges around work and being in a relationship.
Enough things to discover and reflect on, hopefully you’ll travel along in this journey and if you want to share something with me about anything, please always feel welcome.