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
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.
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.