Yep, Omar di Felice is a nutcase. But one with a good heart! Next week the Italian will set off on a 2000km journey to the South Pole that should, all things going well, see him arrive at the Leverett Glacier in mid-January.
This will be the first ever coast-to-coast crossing of this unforgiving land by bicycle, and he’s doing it solo without any support.
“I know that it will be a really hard challenge. I’m not sure I will be able to do so – because it’s very hard. But I just want to try, it’s an attempt. It’s a hard attempt, but why not try?” he said. With temperatures to be as low as -40 degrees and virgin snows set to slow his progress, forcing him to walk rather than ride, it’s a mammoth task ahead of him.
So why, you may ask, is he doing this. Partly cos he’s nuts, we know that, but also to raise awareness for the damage we are doing to our planet. Omar is a climate activist through his Bike to 1.5C project, which you can read about on his website.
“It’s a project that connects my adventures to a scientific program to raise awareness about climate change,” he says. “The bicycle is the best vehicle to tell the story of climate change and raise awareness about reducing our carbon footprint.
He has to be out of Antartica by January 20th, when his permit runs out.
“I hope that I am ready for the most extreme adventure of my life,” he says. “Everyone I speak with says I’m crazy, it’s impossible, the bike won’t go over because of the deep snow and the wind. It’s very hard for cycling – but I’ll just go and explore and find out for myself whether it’s possible or not.”
Good luck Omar!