The Great Arctic Motorbike Challenge

The Great Arctic Motorbike Challenge is a personal ambition to cross The Arctic Circle in every country possible by motorbike.

I've set no time limit for this challenge.

The land within the Arctic Circle is divided among eight countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) Denmark (Greenland), and Iceland (where it passes through the small offshore island of Grímsey).

I'm currently sitting at 1 of 8. Lots of work to do

This is how I plan to complete it and become the undisputed Arctic Rider.

Norway - Completed 2014

As part of my Arctic Ride 2014 I crossed the Arctic Circle in Norway on Saturday 31st of May 2014. You can read about it in my blog post here. 

Arctic Circle Norway, 2014
USA (Alaska) - Due 2018

In 2018 I plan to take on The Dalton Highway in Alaska which will see me cross the Arctic Circle during the ride. Read more about 'Arctic Ride Alaska'.


Sweden - tbc

I plan to take on Sweden, Finland, and Russia in one go. I'm frustrated with myself that in 2014 I was so relatively close to crossing the Arctic Circle in these countries when in Norway. I was due to come home from Nordkapp via Sweden and Finland but a large storm and some tasty mountain roads took me back West into Finnmark (read all about that decision from during the trip here)



So the plan is to tie the Arctic crossings of Sweden, Finland, and Russia with a future Iron Butt challenge (to read about my first Iron Butt challenge click here). That future Iron Butt challenge is to complete the European End to End challenge which to to ride from Gibraltar to Nordkapp in under 72 hours... madness I'm sure you will agree. As part of this ride I'll come up through Eastern Sweden and pass the Arctic Circle on route to Nordkapp, one ticketed off.

Even if I don't make it within the 72 hours (I'm REALLY hoping to), I'll still finish at Nordkapp which will allow me to head South East to Murmansk in Russia where I can head South to cross the Arctic Circle. One Russia is ticked I'll head West in Finland where I'll turn North to cross the Arctic Circle for probably the 3rd time in 3 days, completing all the Baltic countries on the list.

Finland - tbc

**See Sweden above**

Russia - tbc

**See Sweden above**

Canada (The Dempster Highway) - tbc

To cross the Arctic Circle in Canada isn't too far from my plans for riding The Dalton Highway in Alaska, only 1,000kms East. To reach the Arctic Circle in Canada I'd have to take on another notorious Ice Road in The Dempster Highway, 457 miles of dirt and ice.

The Arctic Circle on The Dempster Highway
To get there I could fly my bike to Vancouver and ride the 4,000kms North to The Dempster, Arctic circle, and ultimately Inuvik in far Northern Canada. Or I could fly to Vancouver or Anchorage, rent an off road bike, and head up to The Dempster. Either way its going to be expensive... but what an Adventure.

Iceland - tbc

Iceland is another tricky one. Whilst Iceland gets very cold (hence the name) it only has a tiny piece of land above the Arctic Circle on the Northern Isle of Island of Grímsey (total area of only 2sq mi).

To get there I'll have to get myself and my bike to Iceland (currently a 3 day ferry from Denmark via the Faroe Islands as the best option) and then ride around almost the whole of Iceland to the northern village of Dalvik to catch a 3 hour ferry to Grímsey. Then when I get there I'm literally going to ride less than a mile to pass the Arctic Circle, grab some lunch, and turn around back to the ferry again. I'd imagine if I go to all of this effort to get to Iceland I'd also be going a full tour of Iceland (it would be rude not to, right?).

The other option is to fly to Reykjavik and hire a bike... either way its going to be an expensive trip to tick this one off the list.

Denmark (Greenland) - tbc

And then there was Greenland. The transportation system in Greenland is very unusual in that Greenland has no railways, no inland waterways, and virtually no roads between towns. Historically the major means of transportation has been by boat around the coast in summer and by dog sled in winter. Hmmm.

Sisimiut, Greenland
 I'm not going to be able to actually cross the Arctic Circle in Greenland due to the extreme remote location but I will be able to take on 'The Arctic Circle Trail' in Western Greenland. I'm also not going to be able to do it by motorbike (I don't think) but I will be able to do it by snowmobile!! So I'll be flying into Kangerlussuaq where I'll pick up a snowmobile and ride east 150km along The Arctic Circle Trail to Sisimiut. I'll probably combine the trip with some other activities while I'm there before heading back to Kangerlussuaq and flying home.

Snowmobile in Greenland
Greenland is definitely the craziest of all the attempts but as I write this I'm thinking if would be an amazing way to complete the Arctic Octo-Challenge :)

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