Jonas Deichmann is a man on a mission – he’s hoping to break the world record for cycling the length of the Americas, unsupported. On his handlebars, showing the way will be his Land Rover Explore.
When it comes to incredible cycling feats, it’s usually the legendary antics of the Tour or Giro that spring to mind – from epic mountain stages in the high peaks of the Alps to crazy fast descents.
But in the world of solo endurance cycling, it’s a whole new level of epic. Here, the name of the game is crossing continents in the fastest time possible, cranking out incredible distances, day after day, for weeks and months on end. Alone.
“During my expedition the phone has to handle a lot. Reliability is key.”
Those who choose to take on the challenge are not just crazy adventurers but awesome athletes as well.
Jonas Deichmann, 31 is one such man. In 2017 he set a world record for the fastest crossing of the entire landmass of Eurasia, cycling from the west coast of Portugal to the east coast of Russia. He completed the 14,331km journey in 64 days – a daily average of 224km.
“The pain and suffering was something I’d never been through before,” he said afterwards. But this year he has bigger and even bolder plans – to cycle 23,000km from Alaska’s Arctic Ocean to Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina. The time to beat for an unsupported crossing – that’s riding without a backup vehicle – is 125 days. [The record for a supported journey stands at 99 days.]
“My old phone didn’t last for a 12 hour ride and this one does.”
Besides the bike and a puncture repair kit, one of the most important pieces of equipment will be his Land Rover Explore.
“I love its durability,” he says. “During my expedition the phone has to handle a lot. Reliability is key. It’s already got wet and been exposed to sand, dirt, heat and been dropped. It’s still working great.”
Deichmann will spend up to 12 hours a day in the saddle which means battery life is crucial. “My old phone battery didn’t last for a 12 hour ride and this one does.”
He says he’s also a fan of ViewRanger mapping. “For me elevation is something very important and Google maps doesn’t show that. I use it to calculate how long it will take me to get to the next village or where the next low sleeping spot is during cold nights in the mountains.”
“The most difficult part physically will be the Andes,” he adds. “By then I’ll have 17,000km in the legs and there’s some really tough climbing and I also expect a strong headwind.”
But he says it will all be worth it. “I love the adventure part. I love to push myself, to be in the wild and explore new places. I’ll go from the ice of Alaska to the ice of Patagonia, crossing every climate zone, mountain, rainforest and desert. Culturally it will be extremely interesting.”
Deichmann plans to set off in mid August and is hoping to do the journey in 100 days.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he adds. “The Yukon is as big as Europe with just 40,000 inhabitants while riding across the Atacama desert will be incredible.”
You can follow his daily progress via his website https://www.jonasdeichmann.com/