Record holder Ben Rockett rolls out on Arctic expedition

The LEJOGLE record holder set off yesterday to become the first person to cycle across Baffin Island in the Arctic Circle

by Elliot Johnston   March 20, 2014  

The uncompromising Baffin Island landscape (image CC lisenced via Flickr user NASA ICE)

Ben Rockett has set off on an expedition that will see him attempt to become the first person to cross Baffin Island in northern Canada, by bike.

No stranger to cycling records, Rockett is the current record holder for the fastest ride from Lands End to John O’Groats and back (LEJOGLE).

The expedition, which he set off on March 19, will see him face much harsher conditions than those he met during his cross-country record in the UK. Baffin Island’s average annual temperature is -10°C, reaching lows of -30°C in its deep, sunless winters.

Rockett is a research psychologist who studied at the University of Bath, and told the city’s Bath Chronicle about his plans for this expedition in September last year.

“It is three years since I set the LEJOGLE record and I have continued to participate in various endurance events while completing my PhD,” he said.

“Now that is finished I am ready to take on a new challenge and while this may appear extreme I know anything is possible with the right preparation, mindset and a good support team.”

Born with Dysplasia, an abnormal cell development condition, the record setter from Twickenham knows all about overcoming tough circumstances.

It wasn’t until he suffered a leg injury that threatened his ability to walk after being hit by a car that Rockett decided to start cycling seriously.

The support that has come in from a number of experienced companies and individuals in preparation for the Bath graduate’s record attempt has been extensive.

The titanium bike that Rockett is riding has been specifically designed and created by his bike partner, Qoroz, who have created it to specifically suit the conditions on Baffin Island.

The bike’s components have been cold-weather modified by bicycle component manufacturer, Hope Technology. All-terrain experts SupaTracks have also provided Rockett with their 300-tungsten-studded tyres which will be mounted on Strada wheels.

Rockett will also be wearing compression clothing company Skins’ thermal kit to keep him warm as he crosses the island. He thanked the company in a tweet.

He wrote: “Thank you @skinsiders for the epic thermals! Perfect for -37ºC on Baffin on a bike!”

It’s not only been through kit support that Rockett has been aided in his preparations for the expedition - he has been mentored by renowned polar explorer, David Hempleman-Adams.

The expedition is not being made completely for the sake of it. Rockett is looking to raise money for UK children’s charity Action for Children. You can contribute via the expedition Just Giving page, here.

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Good luck Ben, glad you've got it all finalised after our last chat about it.

I'm pretty sure he has a screw loose somewhere, his challenges are mad!

posted by charlierevell [34 posts]
20th March 2014 - 11:12

11 Likes

Ben, along with Mike Hall, are to my mind, the 2 most inspiring cyclists out there.

best of luck to him I say!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [350 posts]
20th March 2014 - 11:45

5 Likes

Love the quote: "while this may appear extreme I know anything is possible with the right preparation, mindset and a good support team.”

Seriously impressive!

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [126 posts]
20th March 2014 - 13:17

5 Likes

Impressive...any links to a site with more details on this e.g. planned route, support?

Given he is riding through Polar Bear central, I hope he is hiring a few native guides for protection.

On second thoughts: he'll be there in April and the bears are out on the sea ice loading up on seals so I guess if he sticks to the interior he will be OK. I'd still like to see his route.

posted by massspike [35 posts]
20th March 2014 - 17:01

6 Likes

Listened to Ben talk last year about his record breaking LEJOGLE ride and was amazed. A speaker who's very interesting and also interested in his audience. Looking forward to hearing more from Ben about his preparation and undertaking of this adventure.

CycleMiles's picture

posted by CycleMiles [10 posts]
15th April 2014 - 21:09

4 Likes