While the Overland Winter Warmer meeting may be just a few weeks away in Northants, you might spare a thought for Karolis Mieliauskas, a motorcycle adventure rider from Lithuania. On 4th February 2019 he will begin what’s been branded ‘The Coldest Ride‘, an epic 1,000km journey across Siberia with a largely unmodified 660 Yamaha Tenere. It will begin in Yakutsk and conclude one week later in Oymyakon, a place where temperatures drop below -60C and is often described as the coldest place on earth.
During the journey, Karolis will push his mind and body to the limit in order to challenge his own perceptions of the truth and what we are made to believe, apparently.
The Coldest Ride will not be the first adventure ride Mieliauskas has done in Siberia. In July 2016, he undertook the endurance task of riding 11,000 kilometres from Vilnius in Lithuania, to Vladivostok in 12 days, and described the trip as “active meditation”. In March 2017 he also rode 785 kilometres across the ice of Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, without any support, or satellite phone.
“I basically call endurance riding ‘active meditation’ because from early morning to late evening on these trips, I am just riding a motorcycle which is not designed for trips as long as these,” he said. “As a result, this makes the journey physically uncomfortable. However, it is a form of self-discipline because when sitting with a straight spine for up to 15 hours a day, I learn to ignore those signs from my mind such as “you are too tired,” “you are too hungry,” or “you are too whatever.” By rejecting these statements, I see that I am not this body, or this mind, or these thoughts. The most interesting part of these trips is when I ask myself “who am I?”
That of course may be what lots of people ask..
Whilst endurance riding is clearly a personal interest for Mieliauskas, he maintains that The Coldest Ride is mostly a research exercise based on separating the mind from the body and an investigation into separating facts from what we are made to believe.
“The Coldest Ride is an exploration of the connection between the body and how the mind plays with the cold in these situations,” he explained. “In tough conditions such as these, I have a number of devices to show me where my theoretical limits are, and going beyond these limits is something I think that we should all do.”
The Coldest Ride will begin in Yakutsk on February 04 and Oymyakon should be reached around February 10.