Arctic Bike 2015: Cycling 7200km Across Scandinavia in the Dead of Winter


Not all of the big winter expeditions are taking place in the Antarctic – or on major mountains – this year. In fact, one of the most challenging winter journeys will actually be taking place in Scandinavia, where explorer Boris Krielen will attempt to ride a bike for more than 7200km (4473 miles) through a frozen landscape that will provide plenty of obstacles along the way. Boris is calling his expedition Arctic Bike 2015, and he expects to get started in January.

The ride will begin in The Hague in the Netherlands, where Boris will start peddling north. The route will take him through Sweden and Finland, on his way to the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. Once he has reached that location, he’ll then turn back south, passing through Norway on his way back to his starting point in The Hague once again.

Winter in Scandinavia is a cold, windy, and dark season. The days will be short, with temperatures routinely dropping below zero. High winds and heavy snow will not be uncommon. Riding a bike for any distance – let alone 7200km – in those conditions seems like it would be incredibly difficult, but that isn’t the only challenge that Boris has set for himself. He also intends to climb highest points in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland along the way. Those points consist of Møllehøj (Denmark – 171m/561 ft), Galdhøpiggen (Norway – 2469m/8100 ft) , Kebnekaise (Sweden – 2113m/6932 ft) and Halti (Finland – 1328m/4256 ft). Three of those could prove to be extremely challenging climbs in the dead of winter.

Boris will travel unsupported, pulling a small cart behind his bike as he goes. That cart will carry most of his gear and supplies for the journey. About once a week or so, he intends to stay in a local inn along the route, allowing him to sleep in a normal bed, get a hot shower, and recharge his batteries. He’ll also take that opportunity to post updates to social media on his progress.

The Arctic Bike 2015 expedition is expected to begin on January 15 and continue to April 1. You can follow the progress of the ride on Boris’ Facebook page and his Twitter account. Watch for future updates here as well.

Kraig Becker