Biker Boy

Italian duo brave the arctic cold on Ducatis

They rode from Bologna, Italy, past Germany and Sweden, to the Arctic Circle, with temperatures dipping to minus 31 deg C

In Singapore, all it takes is a heavy downpour or slippery roads to keep a motorcycle parked and dry under a shelter.

But the adventures of two Italian motorcyclists to the Arctic Circle in sub-zero temperatures show a high level of commitment when most would rather stay indoors and seek the warmth of a sauna.

Mr Alessandro Broglia and Mr Alessandro Mollo, both 35, decided they had enough of "being trapped" due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their love of nature and travel made them step outside their comfort zones.

On Jan 29, both men from Turin, Italy, left the Ducati headquarters in Bologna on the latest Multistrada V4 to begin their two-week, 7,400km journey northwards (total distance to Arctic Circle and back to Bologna).

Unsure of the conditions ahead, the pair of enduro lovers rode the Ducati dual-purpose motorcycles wearing special cold-weather apparel from Dainese.

The men told The New Paper: "We always travelled (during) below the 0 deg C base, between minus 10 and minus 15 deg C. The minimum temperature we travelled was (during) minus 22 deg C."

Each day, they woke up at dawn to begin their long-distance ride. They kept a log of their daily travels. Conditions were still palatable until they arrived in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt.

They were accompanied by the northern chill as they rode towards Rostock Port, a northern port in Germany, with snowflakes pelting their helmets.

After a ferry ride across the North Sea, they arrived in Sweden, where they made a plan to ride 645km from Trelleborg in the south of Sweden to Stockholm.

"However, the weather conditions proved to be dangerously unstable, quickly changing from snow to ice to sun," they said. "We had to constantly pull over to catch our breath."

To illustrate how slippery and dangerous conditions were, they described the road "like an ice rink".

In Stockholm, the riders were on better footing - their Ducatis were now equipped with special studded tyres.

From Stockholm to Skelleftea, they rode more than 1,000km along the Gulf of Bothnia, which separates Sweden and Finland.

Occasionally, they came across wrecked vehicles on the sides of roads, victims of poor visibility and icy road conditions.

They gingerly overtook enormous timber trucks that looked more like "monstrous war machines than lorries".

They said: "We never thought of giving up. The expedition was tough, but we enjoyed doing it a lot."

They proceeded to the remote wilderness of Lapland, heading towards Villa Bjorklund, located near the town of Arjeplog.

Enduring the cold winds, the 250km route to the Arctic Circle was a visual treat; a snowy scene of pure white powder dotted by the red of their Ducatis.

JAW-DROPPING

That night, the pair were rewarded by a jaw-dropping display of the Northern Lights. The temperature, on the other hand, plunged to minus 31 deg C.

By late morning the next day, on Feb 4, the men arrived at the Arctic Circle after a relatively short ride. A sign on the side of the road proudly confirmed their location.

Back home in Italy, where it is slightly warmer, it seemed their adventure was a lifetime away.

Reflecting on their travels, they said: "We left with the idea of making it to the Arctic north, of surviving an extreme adventure, but we now realise that we didn't just survive; we lived and breathed a real, intense experience."

No doubt, the riders have proven that they could brave the bone-chilling conditions. But will they be able to take the heat of the Equator?

"I think we could go to Singapore for a 'hot' travel too. We could plan this together with Ducati Singapore."

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