Our UYNNER has set off on a new challenge: 4,000 km around the world, passing through all the Arctic regions. Him, his faithful bike and an innovative high-tech kit to ride in extreme conditions that we developed together with Omar himself
From Kamchatka to Alaska, a challenge for human limits
The forests of Finland and the Swedish tundra, the icy tracks of Lapland and the harsh trails of Greenland, the magic of the Northern Lights and the spectacle of the Arctic nature, the polar bears and the endless American roads. Omar Di Felice has already accustomed us to extreme adventures: last year he crossed the entire Himalayan region up to the Base Camp of His Majesty Everest. This time the Italian ultra-cyclist, one of the world’s greatest exponents of this discipline, will set the bar even higher. Starting on 2 February, he will cycle around the world, from Kamchatka to Alaska, following the three Arctic borderlines (the Arctic Circle, the 10° isotherm line and the Arctic treeline).
Completely alone, with no support vehicles, Omar will pass through all the nations within the arctic borders. Starting with the crossing of Kamchatka, one of the most remote and wild lands on the planet, and then moving on to Lapland (Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway). After exploring Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, the northernmost point of his adventure, the Italian ultra-cyclist will cross Iceland and Greenland (riding on the Arctic Circle Trail, a more than 200 km long path from Point 66 to the edge of Greenland’s ice cap) before heading to Canada and Alaska, pushing beyond the demarcation line of the Arctic Circle, the ‘finish line’ that our UYNNER has planned to reach in the last days of March.
UYN’s special “Arctic” kit
What kind of clothing do you need for long hours of riding in temperatures of -30°, or even -40°? How is it possible to maintain a constant body temperature, guarantee maximum freedom of movement and at the same time reduce weight and bulk? With these questions in mind – which represent epoch-making challenges in the world of sportswear – our engineers sat down with Omar to design his equipment in detail. In record time, the team led by UYN Product Manager Carlo Mascitti created an innovative kit for cycling in extreme conditions.
The “Arctic” kit consists of a jacket and pants padded with synthetic wadding. Ultra-light, totally waterproof and windproof, the suit is designed to retain body heat without restricting the cyclist’s natural movements.
The jacket, with the innovative ERGOMOTION® shoulder construction, offers maximum freedom of movement for the arms. The removable hood has been tailored to fit Omar’s helmet and offer additional protection from the elements. The pants feature a special ergonomic cut to adapt to the asymmetrical movement of the legs. Two zippered side vents allow strategic and customizable ventilation. The gaiter at the bottom of the leg prevents snow and water from penetrating, ensuring optimal comfort.
In addition to protection from the cold and elements, Omar asked that the suit be equipped with pockets to allow him to reach some essentials without getting off the saddle. The jacket has one inside pocket and two zipped side pockets, the pants have two pockets at the front so as not to hinder leg movement.
Photos Credits: 6Stili
One, two, three! UYN layering system
In addition to the new kit, Omar will rely on the UYN apparel already successfully tested in his Himalayan adventure, combining layers to achieve maximum comfort in all conditions. For the first layer, Omar has chosen different models of technical underwear, from FUSYON CASHMERE to EVOLUTYON. On top, he will wear the AIRWING long-sleeved shirt. The third layer is a jacket or vest: our UYNNER has brought along the PACKABLE rain jacket, the CORESHELL vest, FULLSHELL and BE SEEN jackets. For the feet, the AERO WINTER merino wool socks are a must when temperatures drop.
UYN has also created accessories to complete Omar’s outfit: Merino wool neck warmer and balaclava, and under helmet with BUFFERCONE® bodymapped insulation technology.
Supporting environmental sustainability
The adventure is part of a larger project, called “Bike to 1.5°C” and launched on the occasion of the United Nation’s Climate Summit (COP26) in Glasgow. On his journey, Omar will witness the impact of climate change in the most at-risk areas of the planet (melting glaciers, loss of biodiversity, social and economic impacts) and will talk to scientists, climatologists, geographers and political scientists: the interviews will be streamed on Omar di Felice’s social channels. Emissions from unavoidable air travel between Arctic regions will be fully offset through planting and agroforestry support projects.