Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More
When the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen decided to cross Greenland on skis in 1888, the idea was met with disbelief and criticism. Ultimately, he and a small team finished the crossing in 49 days, and returned to Norway as heroes.
Now, 135 years later, Norwegian organizers have devised a new expedition: cross Greenland’s icy landscape not with skis — but bicycles.
It’s called Coast to Coast, and they’re looking for someone like you to help them pull it off. Of course, that “someone” will need to withstand heavy winds, temperatures that reach -40°C, and bike for 500 kilometers over ice-choked terrain.
The expedition is slated for summer 2024, when “a group of 64 international cyclists will be the first ever to cycle across Greenland,” a news release said.
Coast To Coast: Additional Details
The Greenland ice cap has been crossed many times since Nansen’s first crossing in 1988 — but only on skis. This ski tour has become popular among skiers from Norway and other nations, and typically takes 3-4 weeks.
Is it possible to do it with a bicycle? The event’s organizer thinks so, and expects the bike tour to only take seven days.
“The organizer has considerable experience in crossing Greenland on skis, and knows that with the right vehicle, right equipment and qualified support crew it can be done,” a Coast To Coast news release said. “To make the tour possible, a support crew and heated tents will be available, and participants will be fueled with up to 5-6 liters of water and at least 5000 calories of food per day.”
Bikers can expect to ride 50-120 km every day, with temperatures often plummeting to -30°C. There’s also possible snowfall and strong wind to contend with. While “everyone who finishes is a winner,” this is also a competition. Whoever reaches the highest point of the trail first will be crowned the winner of the Ice Cap Race 2024
“We already have participants from France, Indonesia and Norway,” Coast To Coast said in the release.
Sound like your kind of party? If so, you’ll want to start the process of getting involved now.
Coast To Coast: How To Join
On its website, Coast To Coast calls the process for applying for this expedition “simple.”
But that depends on your definition of the word.
“Coast-To-Coast doesn’t do any ‘normal marketing’,” the group says on its Ambassador page (and also in the Instagram post above). “We are very clear about what is required for each participant: strength, bicycle experience, ability to handle pressure over time, ability to handle the cold and ice living conditions and still smile and help colleagues, just to name a few requirements.”
So where do you sign up? Well, you don’t. The process begins by following one (or all four) of the Coast To Coast ambassadors on Strava or Zwift. Then, you “might be invited” to the next steps, which involve submitting a “Sport CV” and eventually an online interview.
To this writer, it sounds a bit like the clandestine process of joining a superhero team. But we’re talking about an unproven expedition on bicycles to one of the world’s harshest environments — so perhaps that’s fair.
Best of luck, cycling superheroes!