Video: A Month-Long Cycling Adventure Across the Frozen Lake Baikal

Mar 21, 2021
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesIn February 2020, I spent a month cycling across frozen lake Baikal. The cold, the ice and the snow drew me there. I can’t explain precisely why I enjoy being in these landscapes so much but I feel comfortable in these wintery places – despite the cold, the harshness and the solitude. I love the silence, the muffled sounds, the light, the seeming steadiness that I find very soothing.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world. It’s about 650 kilometres long and 70 kilometres wide and is located in Siberia (Russia), North of Mongolia. It also is the deepest lake worldwide and hosts incredible biodiversity. During three weeks, I cycled from the North end to Irkutsk, the largest city around it.

Cycling in a cold environment implies many adaptations but the essence of bike-touring/riding/packing stays the same: discovering places, cultures, people. While I was alone most of the time, I also met some wonderful people who brought a lot of happy memories and warmth. How to depict these very emotional encounters when I barely have a photo of them? How to transcribe the intensity of a smile after being on your own for several days? We’re social beings and spending some time alone is, to me, a great reminder of how precious these interactions are.
Gaëlle Bojko

Cycled, filmed & produced by Gaëlle Bojko


55 Comments

  • 25 0
 I'm always fascinated with the technical aspects of these self-shot solo tours. How much of each day is spent riding ahead, setting up a camera, then retracing your path filming, then riding back to get the camera? Some of the shots here appeared to be taken with a drone, so that's yet another thing that would take a lot of time futzing with to get perfect.

And that's not to mention the extra stuff you have to carry. Batteries, solar to charge the batteries, devices, etc..

Really cool adventure!
  • 19 0
 I'd bet there is a lot more time spent riding back and forth for footage at the beginning of the trip than towards the end...
  • 1 0
 I also think about the filming setup quite a bit. Self shot stuff always takes so much work. In this case the drone probably made it easier. No more riding out ahead to setup a camera, just zip the drone out there, ride past and fly the drone back to you.
  • 3 0
 I got to ride with Iohan (The Bike Wanderer on YT) for a couple of days and it wasn't too bad. He was pretty quick at whipping out the GoPro or mirrorless camera for a quick shot. And we were riding at elevation in the Peruvian Andes, so any excuse to take a break was welcome. He did a little pissed when I rode away before he was set up for a drone shot once. Keeping gear charged was an issue, but hotel rooms were really cheap and it was rainy season, so I didn't mind that part. I see he's now touring with a solar panel to keep all his toys charged.

Edit: I should note that there was a third guy along for that part of the ride who was also doing some filming, so there was less need to set up self-shots.
  • 10 0
 Nice could feel the special vibes through the video
  • 8 0
 I bet it was a humbling experience. These long bike packing trips really seem like great soul adventures. Thanks for the beautiful film!
  • 1 0
 Gaëlle Bojko! Wonderful video! Thank you very much for making and sharing it. I appreciate your sentiments. I appreciate the background sounds of living ice on a living lake. Watching your video (again! ;-) stirs many memories and related emotions. While certainly not comparable to your quest down Lake Baikal, long ago I skied Lake Winnipeg. Perhaps this was an experience that allows me some empathy with you and some of your experiences. Please consider a longer portrayal of your adventure?! Thank you, once again.
  • 3 0
 Incredible ride. Mental toughness, sensitivity to the environment. Awesome.
  • 1 0
 What a beautiful adventure! I'm hoping to go ice skating there one day... didn't you have any problems from russian authorities for riding across the lake? What about your liver, is it still alive after their vodka?
  • 1 0
 Great content. Mountainbikes are for adventures, not skills. Got my vote for vid of the year. Definitely on par with the awesome photo of the year winner. Can we also get more gravel bike content on PB too?
  • 4 0
 Respect!
  • 4 0
 Beautiful
  • 3 0
 Great mini-documentary. Shows the strength of the human spirit.
  • 3 0
 Now THAT accomplishment is awesome to this SoCal Russki!!
  • 1 0
 She has a screw loose but glad there are people like that out there. The bombtrack youtube channel has some very well produced videos.
  • 1 0
 What? A snowy winter expedition without a fatbike? How can that be?
...that had to be my favourite part of this great video!
  • 1 0
 It'll be for the next one !
  • 2 0
 Amazing! It seems really tough. Congrats!
  • 1 0
 you have to respect this, what did they do for supplies I wonder? surely you can't carry a month's food on a bike
  • 2 0
 She followed the shoreline, crossing the lake twice, as explained in the video. Shoreline = shops to stock up.
  • 3 0
 I resupplied once in Ust Barguzin, about halfway. I was carrying around 13 days worth of food
  • 1 1
 I find myself wondering where he built those fires... like on the ice, or did he find patches of solid ground? Regardless makes me want to go on a looong solo ride
  • 16 0
 She!
  • 2 0
 You can have a fire on a frozen lake. Heat goes up.
  • 1 0
 Fair enough :-)
  • 2 0
 Beautiful! Would love to do that for maybe a three to five day trip.
  • 1 0
 Agreed!
  • 1 0
 Makes me think of this Italian guy who cycled through Siberia www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdWe9wEEbyM
  • 1 0
 great story, great video! inspiring! respect! truly deserves being on front page!
  • 1 0
 Who gives a shit how it was filmed..beautiful footage and a fine adventure..chapeau.
  • 2 0
 Awesome Smile
  • 2 0
 looks like fun :-)
  • 2 0
 Kickass!
  • 2 0
 Excellent!
  • 1 0
 Thank you for sharing your story. Well shot, beautiful and inspiring.
  • 2 0
 bike all baikal
  • 1 2
 "Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world."... Yea, only by volume, Lake Superior represent! Everyone knows area is what matters.
  • 2 0
 Nice try but the Caspian Sea is the lake with the largest surface area. It's about 4 times larger than superior.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: "freshwater lake"
  • 4 0
 Haha, "Largest - yeah, but only by size!"
  • 1 0
 @Agolz12: fair enough :-)
  • 1 0
 Amazing
  • 1 0
 no thanks
  • 1 0
 Where did she Poop?
  • 1 0
 Très beau !
  • 1 3
 I wonder what his elevation gains for the trip were?
  • 2 0
 Her!
  • 2 5
 @mi-bike: how are you sure of their pronoun?
  • 2 0
 @mi-bike: wonder why *they* never answered?
  • 4 0
 @mi-bike: yes, I'm a she/her, thanks !
  • 2 5
 Where did the camera crew sleep
  • 1 2
 In the nice, warmish cabin of the support vehicle? A copter, maybe?
  • 6 0
 Cycled, filmed & produced by Gaëlle Bojko
  • 4 0
 @solidautomech: That makes her EVEN MORE impressive!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2021. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.009243
Mobile Version of Website