Fats Bike – Preferrred for biking on snow. Picture: Andy Smith

After we heard that a lot better adventurer Andy Smith’s Arctic Circle Fats Bike marketing campaign in April was a part of a collection of biking challenges to boost cash for underprivileged youngsters, we could not resist catching up with him to be taught extra.

The fats biking expedition takes place within the far north of Norway and includes using the snowy paths of the distant Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau, which is residence to the Sami individuals and is inside the Arctic Circle. Andy confirms, “Biking was powerful at occasions, however manageable for somebody with respectable health with expertise biking on mushy floor. A beautiful, fantastic journey!”

Sled and Fat Bike by Comfortable Arctic Hut
Being nicely outfitted is the important thing to an arctic journey. Picture: Andy Smith

Additionally, after we speak to him, Andy lately returned from biking the mountain phases of the 2022 Tour de France route. That is his second expertise after all; His first was in 2018 when he cycled your complete route of the Tour (as an newbie, every week earlier than the professionals). So, we assume he should be a really match man, biking actually? Andy laughs. “Bear in mind, in 2016 I used to be carrying a stick! Driving all 21 phases of the Tour was an enormous private journey. ,

Arctic Circle Fats Bike Expedition | a lot better adventures

Be part of our Arctic Tour bike expedition and you will cycle throughout a snowy plateau with a staff of huskies, sleep in a comfy aurora dome and calm down in a sauna.

Andy admitted that he had struggled with ingesting for many of his life. “I’ve had a reasonably profitable profession operating numerous corporations inside the healthcare trade, and as with lots of people, I labored exhausting, however labored exhausting. I discovered myself in a little bit of a state of well being. Was in horrible form. Psychological health-wise I used to be in items and I struggled so much to get assist.”

“I discovered plenty of conventional remedies for alcohol dependancy to be extremely detrimental – I felt like I might by no means be capable to recover from it, that I might reside in the future at a time for the remainder of my life. I by no means thought was that alcohol was the factor I might ever get well from. It paid the worth for my marriage; it price me a fortune.”

I’ve pushed too lengthy in my life on 6/10, I need to get out, see the world, take the street much less travelled.

Luckily, Andy hit a turning level about six years in the past. “I used to be within the automobile and myself within the rearview mirror. I used to be sick and bored with the place I might take myself and I requested the query actually out loud: ‘Are you prepared for this?’ Perhaps for the primary time in my life, I mentioned sure – and meant it. This set me on a journey for a bit. ,

Realizing that he nonetheless has the flexibility to decide on a greater life for himself and is dedicated to the choice to alter his methods, Andy reverses his strategy to sobriety.

“Every part I’ve discovered within the enterprise world (when it comes to teaching and influencing individuals) I cross it again on to myself.” As an alternative of specializing in the detrimental facets of alcohol dependancy, Andy used a extra constructive and optimistic mindset, devising a method that allowed him to set new life objectives for himself and focus his consideration on learn how to take care of alcoholism. How can his life be higher than residing with out it.

“It set me on a mission, I assume. I used to be instructed it could be some form of black journey, and it was really the most effective factor I’ve ever executed. I wished to share it, so now I That is what I do. I stop my huge profession, now I assist individuals. Earlier than I acquired into A lot Higher Adventures, I mentioned previously that life is a greater journey with out alcohol driving the agenda on a regular basis.”

“You begin to ask your self an attention-grabbing query whenever you do one thing you by no means thought was doable for you, which is: What else have I talked to myself? What actually makes me completely satisfied, What fires my soul?”

Andes in the Arctic, surrounded by ice crystals in the air.
A second of peace within the Arctic. Picture: Andy Smith

Andy detailed how he went from this place to the Tour de France route as an newbie bicycle owner.

“Generally, I believe this stuff aren’t essentially all that logical. I’ve at all times liked watching the Tour de France, I learn a ebook a few man who rode the entire course, and I liked it. Googled in the future. There is a charity referred to as the William Waits Memorial Belief that really organizes tour rides for his or her charity. So in 2018 I did it.”

Andy started coaching in earnest and every part appeared to be going nicely – he was given a spot on charity rides and a pal donated a motorbike to him.

I used to be instructed it could be some form of black journey, and actually it was the most effective factor I’ve ever executed.

Andy explains that he finds that going through bodily challenges not solely helps him personally, however permits him to point out others battling alcohol dependancy that issues could be modified. However doing these challenges to boost cash for charity additionally provides an additional degree of motivation.

“Discovering new methods to take pleasure in my regained well being is an actual ardour of mine. Life is supposed to be lived, and by doing such issues it evokes lots of people. I understand how it feels when individuals are in that darkish place, and generally all you want is just a little hope.

“I share issues like this to encourage others who’re on the journey I am on. It is to bust that delusion, life is not actually worse with out alcohol – you are not boring. You Be probably the most attention-grabbing individual you already know! Generally, individuals want somebody to face in opposition to that tidal wave of negativity. That is a giant a part of it for me. And on the identical time, it is enjoyable too Is!”

Snow-capped arctic landscape, with the sun low in the sky
arctic view. Picture: Andy Smith

He continues: “One of many issues I’ve discovered about myself on this journey is that I have to be one thing that pertains to focus and charity.” Her fats biking journeys in Norway, in addition to her latest push to finish the mountain phases of the 2022 Tour de France, have been to boost cash for an autism help canine for just a little woman named Eddie.

“It actually takes you to account. I used to be actually battling the warmth the final time I used to be in France. I later met Eddie and instructed him, You set me as much as climb that mountain. I’ve your face In any other case, I might have given up, in all probability.”

These days, Andy is decided to steer a extra adventurous life. “I’ve pushed too lengthy in my life on 6/10, I need to get out, see the world, take the street much less traveled.” This can be a huge a part of the rationale for her going to the Arctic Circle. “There’s not plenty of wilderness left—to get out of a spot the place you simply really feel small and just a little insignificant, I discover that extraordinarily comforting.”

As a lover of each biking and snow, Andy shares a few of his favourite moments from the journey.

“The way in which we noticed the Northern Lights was superb. I grew up within the Shetland Islands so I’ve seen them each infrequently, however not like that. Standing exterior at -11°C at 2am and watching them was unbelievable. “

Northern lights over a settlement in the Arctic, Norway
The northern lights are placing on a present. Picture: Andy Smith

“There have been moments of peace and quiet that we hardly ever get to see in trendy life. As we boarded the Finnsmarkvidda, the skies slowly began to lighten after which the solar got here out. Once I took an image I let everybody transfer on and I believe it was a kind of moments you may always remember – the factor that struck me was the silence.

“I used to be simply trying round and since it is so chilly, all of the moisture within the air turns into tiny little ice crystals, so I stood in full silence, and the wind was shining throughout me. I actually I began crying. I believed, ‘That is completely blissful’.”

We ask Andy how he discovered biking on snow trails in comparison with the roads he was used to. “Fats bikes take the tire stress down so much, so it is like using a motorbike with two punctures on the seaside! That is one of the simplest ways I can describe it.”

“At one level we have been slogging alongside, it was just a little white and you would simply make out the horizon. I mentioned to my information, Trygway, ‘We’re virtually on prime of this hill now, aren’t we?’ He laughed, and he mentioned, ‘We’re on a lake, a frozen lake.’ I used to be satisfied that we have been going uphill, as a result of we needed to push so exhausting, it felt just like the climb was fully flat. And since every part is white, you could have There isn’t any body of reference.”

Andy plans to proceed utilizing his biking adventures to boost cash for charity.

“If there’s one factor I’ve discovered from this journey,” he says. “It is like if it feels good and proper, then simply … do it.”

impressed? Andy’s. Study extra about sobriety journey and his Charity Adventures, If you wish to go on an arctic journey, take a look at our full assortment,

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