One of the more intriguing expeditions form this past Antarctic season was Eric Larsen’s attempt to travel from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole on a mountain bike. He was attempting to make that journey solo with a few resupplies along the way, but it didn’t take him long to realize that the sastrugi, high winds and surface conditions were just too difficult. After nine days out on the ice, the veteran polar explorer decided to pull the plug on the expedition and return to Hercules.
But Eric’s valiant attempt has inspired others to try a similar ride to the South Pole and late this year two cyclists hope to succeed in that endeavor. During the 2013 Antarctic season, Daniel Burton and Todd Tueller hope to ride from Hercules Inlet to the Pole and back again, covering a distance of 2260km (1404 miles) in the process. They’re calling this expedition the South Pole Epic and they already have a Facebook page
set up to chronicle their experiences.
has posted an interview with Burton
during which he talks about his motivations for this expedition, his experience in cold weather climes (not much!) and the logistical things they learned from Larsen’s attempt. He also discusses training for the ride (he already rides a lot!) and whole lot more.
This expedition will be very different in its approach from what Eric attempted. For starters, just having someone else along for the ride will help ease the loneliness of the journey. But Daniel and Todd will also have a support team with them on snowmobiles will be responsible for towing the gear and supplies they’ll need for the long journey.
This seems like a good approach for this type of adventure and definitely gives them a bit of a safety net along the way. It also lets the bike riders simply concentrate on doing just that – riding their bikes. They won’t be bogged down by carrying heavy gear and equipment, which should help them to be a bit faster out on the ice. This should be an interesting expedition to follow later this year.
Latest posts by Kraig Becker (see all)