French Cyclist Completes 1,400Km Midwinter Ride Across Lapland

Joffrey Maluski of France has cycled 1,436km across Lapland at the coldest, darkest time of year. Starting in the Loften Islands of western Norway, Maluski fatbiked through Sweden and Finland before heading back into Norway, ending in Vardø. The entire expedition took 25 days. He averaged 57km a day.

Photo: Joffrey Maluski


It took him four days by train from France to northern Norway, followed by a ferry ride to the Loften Islands. There, he started cycling.

In midwinter, there are only a few hours of daylight each day. Most of the time, he pedaled through the polar night. Cycling in near-constant darkness was new to him.

He carried all his equipment on his fat bike, including a lot of extra photography gear to document the journey. To get aerials, he even took a drone with him. It was difficult to charge all this photography equipment. There wasn’t enough sunlight to deploy solar panels. He brought several batteries and power banks, but twice he had to stop in towns to charge. At the same time, he treated himself to a non-dehydrated meal.

Photo: Joffrey Maluski


Because of these treats, he wasn’t unsupported, but he did carry everything else with him. His food included 30 dehydrated dinners, meal replacement bars, chocolate, soup, an electrolyte powder, and three kilos of muesli. A perk of cycling in snow is that you don’t need to carry water. You just need to wait for it to melt.

Photo: Joffrey Maluski


Over the 25 days, the temperature averaged -20˚C, with a low of -28˚ at the start of January when his route reentered Norway. The first few days had rain and thunderstorms, but he kept pedaling. He camped for all but one night.

Photo: Joffrey Maluski


Maluski saw the northern lights many times. The slightly longer days during the last week of the journey were a particular treat. The sky was in a permanent state of sunrise and sunset from 10 am to 2 pm every day.

“It has been such an incredible, and cold, adventure,” he commented yesterday after finishing.

Maluski has previously undertaken several long-distance cycling expeditions. Late last winter, he biked across Iceland.

portrait of a fat biker in midwinter snow

Photo: Joffrey Maluski

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.