Irish adventurer to ride 400 miles across frozen Siberian lake

He hopes to secure a Guinness World Record for the feat

Lake Baikal

AN IRISH ADVENTURER is aiming to set a Guinness World Record for the ‘longest journey undertaken by motorcycle on ice’.

Next March Declan McEvoy will ride 394 miles (634km) across the frozen surface of the deepest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Baikal, which holds about a third of the world's freshwater.

McEvoy, from Quin in Co Clare, Ireland, has spent the past year researching ‘The Baikal Project’, which comes as part of an ongoing world circumnavigation, with the aim to pass through two of the earths antipodes.

So far the journey has seen him travel 34,000 miles (55,000km) across Europe, the Stans, Mongolia and far-eastern Russia to Alaska then south through the Yukon to the US, Mexico and central America.

The Lake Baikal record attempt may well be the toughest leg of his trip, due to the harsh Siberian winter, in which temperatures can dip as low as -20C in the daytime and -30C at night. Considering windchill while riding at 50mph (80kmh) it can feel like -60C, which will seriously challenge McEvoy both physically and mentally.

But he is well placed to undertake the record attempt, with not only many thousands of adventure miles under his belt, but also impressive credentials as both an electro-mechanical engineer and a motorcycling instructor.

And he may well need to draw on these skills, with the risks posed to the bike by the extreme conditions, which include the engine seizing because of low oil temperatures.

Speaking to he added: "Batteries and electronic devices become very unreliable in these frigid temperatures."

Another serious danger he faces is the frozen surface of the lake, which acts like moving tectonic plates, crashing together in some places and moving apart in others, leaving gaps of up to three metres. And that’s not to mention the risk of getting lost in whiteouts and being unable to find fuel or shelter.

Do these dangers worry him? "Yes, I'm afraid - really afraid," he told the Independent. But, he added: "If your dreams don't scare you then maybe they're not big enough."

As a motivational speaker, he urges people to “feel the fear, then do it anyway". Because fear isn’t a bad thing, and he believes it mentally prepares you for the challenge: "Fear is temporary, regret is forever."

As preparation for the project continues, McEvoy is seeking support from motorcycle manufacturers, and is in advanced decisions with Guinness. His next steps are to obtain clothing and luggage designed for the extreme conditions, book visas and flights and then arrange to transport the motorcycle to Lake Baikal.

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