Michael Strasser began a bike route this week that’ll take him through Alaska, Canada, the continental US, and Mexico, all the way to Patagonia. The Austrian cyclist’s dramatic ride is a world record attempt, designed to raise awareness of climate change and encourage people to hop on their bikes instead of driving gas-guzzling cars.
Strasser’s ride, which he’s calling Ice2Ice, is the longest overland route in the world, a 15,500-mile stretch of land that spans 14 countries and two continents. It’s known as the Pan-American Highway, and he’s striving to cross it in less than 117 days, the current Guinness World Record.
But the cyclist isn’t just seeking Guinness gold. As he pedals through mountainous regions, he’s hoping to draw attention to the loss of snow cover and glaciers that provide drinking water for local wildlife, spurring action to protect these ecosystems. It’s all part of his collaboration with the UN on the Mountain Heroes campaign, which also counts Olympic skier Sabrina Simader as a public face.