Matt Prior Motorbikes Around Icy Lake Baikal

 Adventure junkie Matt Prior, who started his own Adventure Academy earlier this year, recently returned from the world’s first circumnavigation of a frozen Lake Baikal—on a WWII Russian motorbike no less. Enduring temperatures down to -22°F and winds up to 80mph, Prior tells Wish You Were Here about the experience.

WYWH: Why is this adventure such a big deal?
Matt Prior: It’s never been done before in history. It was cold, dangerous, pushing boundaries and we remained self-sufficient for the duration—even the Russians thought we were mad! People still can’t believe we did it. It’s like a different planet up there.WYWH: How’d you prepare?
To be totally honest, I was driving around Sri Lanka in a rickshaw and then Saudi Arabia… so not the best preparation. But I was happy to be prepared enough with previous experience, packed the right kit and did the research.

Matt Prior - Ice Run - Lake Baikal, Siberia
Matt Prior – Ice Run – Lake Baikal, Siberia
WYWH: What was the hardest part?
The motorbike was woefully inadequate. It’s a WWII design but we basically had to rebuild the whole bike, in the cold. Some of the riding and risks we took were new levels for me too, but it was amazing to be the first people to ever do it. Especially in 2015 when so much has been done already on this planet.WYWH: What’d you eat?
We had civilian ration packs that were sponsored, essentially it was high-energy pre-prepared meals that you just had to add snow to. We had a stove and, considering our surroundings, finding snow and ice wasn’t a problem!

WYWH: What’s up next on your adventure calendar?
That is a good question. I was planning to kayak from Japan to Korea, but that’s delayed as the person I was going to go with had a motorbike accident. The other upcoming trip involves Antarctica, a caravan and a few big brands. And in a few years I’d like to do something big in Africa, so I have a plan that is soon to be in motion!

Follow Matt Prior’s adventures:
Matt Prior - Ice Run - Lake Baikal, Siberia
Matt Prior – Ice Run – Lake Baikal, Siberia

Published by

Kate Springer

Freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong. Contributor at CNN, Forbes Travel Guide, BBC Travel, Fodor's Travel Guide, superfuture, Tatler, and more.

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