Irish Red Cross Ambassador Jason Black spent summer 2018 conquering K2 but instead of taking a well-deserved break this summer, Jason has just embarked on a gruelling 4,300km cycle through ten countries, to the Arctic Circle.
The Letterkenny man's journey will finish when he reaches the North Cape on the island of Mageroya in northern Norway.
Jason has completed stints of 21 hours straight on the bike, through heavy rains, thunderstorms and dense fog, since setting off from Turin, Italy on Saturday.
Jason has already cycled through Italy, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium the Netherlands and he is currently in Germany, making his way to Denmark. It’s been a trying test so far; “I’ve spent two days in soaked clothing thanks to heavy downpours and storms,” says Jason. “I got off the bike after 21 hours straight at 3am on Monday morning and was hoping for a good sleep – I tried for two hours and finally gave up and climbed back on the bike. Happy to say I have no injuries to report, outside of the usual pressure points.”
As he pedals across the continent, Jason is proudly flying the Irish Red Cross flag; “As an ambassador for the Irish Red Cross I am using this journey to raise awareness about the work of the charity which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year,” says Jason. “That’s 80 years of humanitarian action both at home and abroad, delivered by generations of volunteers who continue to make the world a healthier and safer place. I am very proud to both celebrate and raise awareness of their good work.”
Jason’s journey is taking him through a variety of landscapes; through valleys and Alpine mountain passes, alongside Swiss lakes and the river Rhine, into the forests of Luxembourg, Belgium, Sweden and Norway, through Alsace, Lower Saxony and the Ardennes region, and by the North Sea, through age-old towns and cities, eventually to arrive at the Barents Sea at the foot of the North Cape.
This NorthCape4000 event is just one of a series of unassisted, self-supported cycling challenges Jason is doing across a variety of challenging landscapes worldwide in 2019 in a bid to be crowned champion in Taiwan in November 2019.