New Route via Reedy Glacier to South Pole

Jan 04

#36:
The Bike

Published at 06:20
Dispatch created from email
Keith and I never discussed bringing his bike on the expedition until after we'd arrived in Antarctica, I assumed he was just going to use it around Union Glacier and maybe fly it to the start for some photos. I was pretty peeved when he said he was bringing it on the expedition and warned it'd be strapped to his sled for over 90% of the trip. The remark that made me capitulate was, 'it makes me happy'. Indeed it does, he's an avid cyclist and in 2013 he did the three Grand Tours - Giro d' Italia, Vuelta Espa?a and Tour de France - leaving each day at 5am ahead of the racers. If anyone was credentialed to make the first ride to the South Pole pulling all their equipment it's Keith.

The bike, a Specialized Fatboy, is a stock standard fatbike, only the brakes have been removed. It has a bracket arm on the back to which the sled trace is attached. On the Ross Ice Shelf and the Reedy Glacier, towing a full sled just like Rob and I, his speed was at least double ours and it was a joy to watch him tour around and visit nearby features that Rob and I didn't have time or energy for.

It was a hazard in crevassed areas and Keith unearthed chasms that we could glide over on skis. He was always lashed to his bike frame but the risk was too high.

Up here on the plateau the snow is too loose and unfortunately Keith hasn't been able to ride despite brief attempts. So close and yet so far. To date he's covered 60% of the trip in the saddle and needs another 5km to retain 50% overall but it's looking unlikely he'll have that opportunity. Such a pity. His bike and the fluffy penguin mascot on the handlebar have really been a fine feature of the trip and I've learned a lot about the potential of bikes in Antarctica, and the power of what makes people happy. Bravo Keith.

Eric

Pics of the camp this morning, the bike unearthed after being buried overnight and pulling up to our current camp.

  • Name: Camp 28
  • Elevation: 2868 m
  • Latitude: 89° 13South
  • Longitude: 128° 1928West

Comments


  • Report as abuse...
    2017-01-04 13:02:27 Albert Martens says: Doing great you three. How many more KM to the Pole? What are the temperatures like now? Here it is minus 30 this morning. Keep up the great trek.
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-01-04 09:00:07 willylipsschipper@gmail.com says: and teaches an experienced polar explorer of a cyclist that there are more options besides driving sleigh. already successfully boys, xxx
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-01-04 08:33:39 Kate Leeming says: Hi Eric, i've been enjoying reading your daily posts, and, as you can imagine, I have particular interest in how Keith is going with the bike. The three of you are doing brilliantly! Best of luck with the last stages of the expedition - almost there. I look forward to catching up sometime after you return. Kate
  • Report as abuse...
    2017-01-04 08:18:49 Jose Naranjo says: Go mates! Last dash to the Pole!


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