Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Lake Baikal

Bicycle touring across the frozen Lake Baikal (photo courtesy of Sidetracked)
Two Germans, Andreas von He├čberg and Waltraud Schulze, decided to do a winter cycling expedition. They eventually set their sights on cycling over a frozen Lake Baikal. Now Lake Baikal is the largest lake in the world by volume. In fact, it contains 20% of the world's liquid fresh water. It is the oldest lake in the world, and 80% of its fauna is found nowhere else in the world. It is also the deepest lake in the world, with a maximum depth of over one mile (By comparison, the maximum depth of Lake Superior is just over one-quarter of a mile).

Lake Baikal is also very remote, located in Siberia. It took five days by train to reach their starting point at the northern end of the lake. Their goal was to ride across the lake from north to south, a distance of about 400 miles. Their daily mileage ranged from 15 to 35 miles. They road from sunrise to sunset, which aren't that far apart in Siberia during January. Finding a good place to pitch their tent each night was a bit of a challenge. They didn't get much sleep their first night because the ice around them was moving and cracking. After that they either camped on the shore or found an area where the ice was quiet. After 27 days of cycling, they reached the village of Kultuk (population 3,700) at the south end of the lake. For more information about the trip, please visit their website, which has a map and lots of photos.

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