Yaroslavl man cycles to the North Pole
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

Yaroslavl man cycles to the North Pole

Bogdan Bulychyov from Yaroslavl is the first person to bicycle to the North Pole. He told RIA Novosti about his experience.

Bogdan Bulychyov said he wanted to set a world record on his Facebook page on April 12. He said he was tired of traveling by car and decided to "test himself, one on one with the elements."

The bicyclist said his initial plan was to go to the North Pole with two friends, but after they declined, he adjust his route and went alone.

"I didn't think it would be safe there alone with polar bears," he said.

This was not the first time Bulychyov has traveled to the Arctic. He said the hardest thing is realizing how far from civilization you are.

The world's northernmost settlement is Longyearbyen. "A military plane picked me up there and took me to the Barneo ice base. It's located on an ice floe. There are no communications, but there are many people there. When I traveled by helicopter to the starting point of the route to the North Pole, I realized that I was completely alone," Bulychyov said.

During his ride, he lost his tent when a 15-20 meter rift with open water appeared next it.

"I couldn't get it so it's probably still floating somewhere in the Arctic. Polar bears will probably live in it because it was such a cool tent," Bulychyov said.

He said that this year, there are many open water areas in the Arctic. "The sun heats the snow which re-freezes and turns to ice crust, so 70 percent of the time cycling was the same as on an ordinary winter road. The rest of the time I had to drag my bicycle across rampant ice masses, powdery snow and cracks in the ice," the traveler said.

Bulychyov wanted to set two world records: reaching the North Pole by bicycle and making the fastest around-the-world trip in the Northern Hemisphere. An around-the-world trip must cross all meridians. The longest route would be to go along the equator, and the shortest one is at the poles. According to Bulychyov, there is already a world record for an around-the-world trip at the South Pole. At the North Pole, Bulychyov, with the help of tourists, set the start and finish points, installed stop watches and cameras and took his trip.

"I circled the North Pole. We recorded it; it took about 48 seconds," he said. The records were set at 7:30 pm on April 17. Head of the Barneo station, a helicopter pilot and tourists acknowledged the record as witnesses. The cyclist will send the documents to Guinness World Records, the Russian Book of Records and to Europe World Records.