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VLADIMIR, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Organizers of a bike expedition from the northern city of Yakutsk to Magadan are cherishing hope that the expedition will be put on the Guinness Book of World Records as the first ever bike expedition to the North Pole in history, famous traveler Alexander Vardanyants, who headed the expedition, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
"Russia's North is an astonishing place populated by remarkable people who are all the more remarkable the higher their latitudes are. The more concern they have over their daily chores the kinder and more responsive they are. We were in for anything, but did not expect such a cordial welcome from people who actually rushed to help us. Drivers braked, asked how we were getting on and asked a loathsome question if we were tired, being out in the cold," Vardanyants said.
The expedition did not even have time to realize that it was cold. Vardanyants was accompanied by his fellow bikers- Oleg Kapkayev from St. Petersburg and Oleg Maksimov from Tula, in his northern expedition. To reach Magadan had been their dream for the past three years.
On February 13 the travelers were airlifted to Yakutsk where a jeep, provided by a local cross country club of vehicles, joined the bike expedition. "It was an expedition rich in emotion and extreme situations -overnight stopovers in tents, wheel repairs under air temperatures of 46 degrees Celsius below zero, snow avalanches amidst the endeavor to conquer the Oimyakon cold. When the expedition reached the North Pole air temperatures there were below minus 46 degrees Celsius, but remained above the historical minimum".
"We had a surprise when we reached Magadan. Traffic policemen signaled us to stop, but when we braked they gave each of us an ice-cream. The reason was a joke I made in my entry in the Facebook, saying that I want an ice-cream. Obviously, our expedition had been followed by many people who decided to celebrate our arrival at the destination in such a way," Vardanyants said.
In future the travelers are planning more journeys - to Chukotka in the Russian Far East and to the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan. "I have never seen the Kurakum desert in bloom," Vardanyants confessed.
Alexander Vardanyants hit newspaper headlines in May 2012 when he and his fellow bikers were detained in Baghdad on the pretext that their visas were filled incorrectly. Baghdad law enforcers suspected the Russian bikes of espionage. Thanks to the assistance of the Russian embassy the bikers were released after five days in custody.