He has almost finished the Arctic World Tour with the entry into Alaska today from the Yukon, after more than 3,000 km pedaled in the coldest places in our hemisphere, but a first result is already there: “Here it is recorded, data in hand but not at a simple glance, that the Arctic climate is changing two and a half times faster than the rest of the planet”. The Roman ultracyclist Omar Di Felice, in a conversation via WhatsApp with Adnkronos, testifies to the gravity of climate change after exchanges with climatologists, physicists and researchers of various disciplines involved in his project “Bike to 1,5 °”, a part of the reason for his trip started in Kamchatka two months ago.
Di Felice is known for his extreme cycling adventures: the Paris-Rome non-stop it is immediately understandable to the average bike user, but it is in the cold that he prefers to carry out his exploits at the limits, such as the winter crossing of the Gobi desert and the climb to Everest base camp (1,294 kilometers and 34,586 meters of elevation gain until reaching 5,364 meters of altitude).
“Certainly my love for the cold and winter conditions affect my decisions in the field of adventures – he says, in a diluted three-day conversation due to his obvious absences from the web -, and of course in the winter an arctic adventure is, more of all, the one that most represents me.This time, given my past experiences and since I launched the Bike to 1.5 ° project on climate change, I wanted to take a tour that encompasses the whole Arctic world precisely to turn the spotlight on the critical issues of this part of the world where temperatures and climate are changing two and a half times faster than the rest of the planet “.
This is a scientific dissemination project “through my sporting adventures. Obviously I do not collect and do not provide data, I am not a scientist. But during my adventures I organize live shows and conferences to be able to dialogue with experts on issues related to climate change and deepen through posts and articles posted. The project is in close collaboration with the Italian climate network association “, and the live shows can be seen on his Youtube channel
as well as on his site. Live and video shooting with a dronesince few, if any, operators would be able to follow it.
The Arctic “is an area that we feel very far away but where in reality the impact of climate change is much higher. How did I find the path? With the naked eye for us people who come from ‘normal’ latitudes it is cold, the temperatures are cold and the snow conditions may seem normal, but my project is not going to see and report so, randomly, we need data and with those involved in the project we have analyzed numbers and critical issues: a very picture emerges worrying: the Arctic is warming up 2.5 times faster than the rest of the world. You understand that it has an impact on us who live at normal latitudes “.
Starting from the Russian Far East, with temperatures around -15 ° “and many strong storms”, Di Felice then passed through Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland, the latter routes “in total off-road: there I had to use a fat bike (bike with extremely wide tires, ed) instead of gravel with studded tires and backpacking, with a sled in the back for my luggage. The temperatures were around -40 ° “. Until yesterday in Yukon, from today, and back on a” normal “gravel, there are still” a few hundred km in Alaska “to finish the tour. And all under the sign of a challenge within a challenge: “when I started in Kamchatka, a couple of policemen in Petropavlosk asked me what the hell I was doing in the storm with my bike. I explained my project and they replied that I had a 0.1% chance of succeeding “. Since then, that small percentage has often appeared in his posts.
Di Felice is also involved in the disclosure of the use of bicycles as a means of transportand one might think that someone like this laughs at the excuses that Italians camp against the “adverse weather” for not pedaling instead of driving.
“But no, I don’t want to laugh, you always have to contextualize. It would be easy and simplistic to say ‘you complain about the cold but you don’t know what it is’. In reality, the analyzes must be done in depth. world and how much we have gone to modify nature to make our living conditions apparently more comfortable. In making them so we have forgotten to respect the planet and we have forgotten the great adaptability of the human being “.
“When we choose to turn on the heating and bring the temperature of our homes to 22-23 ° we do not realize the impact on the surrounding environment. Changing small habits is what can lead us to reverse the trend. This doesn’t mean going to sleep in a tent or in the snow or cycling across the Arctic like I do.
But those changes have to be made, as on energy saving, which is a highly topical issue, as well as using and preferring light vehicles when traveling. At least the city ones: on foot, by bike, shared mobility, electric, and public mobility “.
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