8 Arctic Countries, 4,000 km by Bike in Winter

On February 2, ultra-distance Italian cyclist Omar Di Felice hopped on his bike to start a long, cold ride.

In total, Di Felice’s westbound route will cover 4,000km of arctic terrain, from Kamchatka to Alaska. His Arctic World Tour will include stages in Scandinavia, Iceland, and Greenland. He hopes to inspire people to travel by bicycle and point out the impact of fossil fuel emissions on arctic landscapes.

Di Felice’s route and trip details

Di Felice hopes to complete the cycling in three weeks. Currently, GPS tracking shows that he’s already covered a good chunk of the 800km he planned to ride between the capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and Ust’-Kamchatsk.

He will then proceed to Murmansk, Russia, near the Norwegian border. Stages between Tromsø, Norway, through Finland and Sweden, will take him another 1,500km. Di Felice will then go island-hopping; short stages in Svalbard, Iceland, and Greenland follow.

Finally, he will travel (by some means other than cycling) to Whitehorse, Canada, for a long final stage ending at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska.

arctic cycling

The six stages of DiFelice’s ride

 

Di Felice has a specially-outfitted touring bike to crunch through the snow. Along with his 4,000km on the bike, he’s imposing a rule to supply and support himself locally when possible. Even if it’s well below zero, he plans to pitch camp if he can’t find indoor accommodation.

You can follow Di Felice via social media channels. He plans frequent updates, with episodes featuring locals and arctic scientists. The ultra-cyclist wants to highlight his interview subjects’ experience living in areas under changing climatic circumstances.

Di Felice has previous experience with cold-weather cycling. He already circumnavigated Iceland this winter via the 1,294km Ring Road. The trip took him 19 days.

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents' evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.


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