Cycling

Icy Shores of Lake Baikal
Biking Lake Baikal - Black Ice
Winter Biking Kolyma Highway
Magadan-London Flight

Winter Biking Siberia

In January 2014, I flew back out to Irkutsk in western Siberia. My initial plan was to cycle across Lake Baikal, but the lake was late freezing over and since I also hoped to cycle up in the Russian Far East, I could not afford to hang around and wait since my visa was only valid for 3 months.

After a shake-down trip to Olkhon Island, I took the train to Neryungri to begin cycling to Yakutsk. By now it was early February, the coldest time of year in this region and the temperature dipped below -50C nightly. I’ve no idea how cold it really got – my thermometer only went to -50C!

By the time I reached Yakutsk, I realised I had underestimated the challenge. Winter biking in northern Scandinavia the year before had lulled me into a false sense of security. The temperatures in Siberia were far more extreme, regularly below -40C, which is the temperature where things stop working and start breaking.  Cue… punctures!

So, from Yakutsk, I made the decision to cycle to Magadan instead. And it was a great idea. I met fantastic people along the way, had a great time and still it was a challenge – but the greatest challenge turned out to be psychological rather than physical, dealing with the solitude and isolation of the region.

Photos

Some of my favourite photos…

Route

Maps and GPS tracks

Equipment

Complete list of clothing and equipment