Pedaling across the unpopulated inland plateaus above the Arctic Circle and exposing himself to the extremes of weather of a winter bicycle tour is his latest project. Remember, this is the guy who’s cycled Sudan, biked the backroads of Mongolia and prefers cold showers to hot no matter what the climate conditions.
Since his original Ride Earth project, Tom’s gone a long way in developing his writing, photographic and video-making skills.
I crawl out of my tent to find that my thermometer is registering -16°C. I still haven’t found a ‘proper’ thermometer to calibrate it against, so I take the reading with a pinch of salt. If anything, it’s possibly a little high.
It’s difficult to describe winter cycling, because a winter is not a static thing. In fact, as it’s turning out, this Norwegian winter tour is characterized by the necessity of constant adaptation. Not simply the air temperature, but the wind speed and direction, the cloud cover, the level of sunlight or shade, and the time of day all factor into my decisions. I have to constantly monitor these variables, plus the road conditions and gradient, my level of exertion both current and past, what I’ve eaten and since how long, my water (and coffee) intake, and the clothes I’m wearing now and previously.
All of this is necessary to produce the desired end result: sustainable progress, finishing the day warm and dry whatever the weather has been doing. It’s not a particularly simple task yet.
The photos from Tom’s winter bike tour are nothing short of stunning.
While there’s no winter bicycle touring video yet, do check out his Bicycle Touring in Mongolia Videos: