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  1. #101
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    He has been mostly skiing and towing his bike on a sled for the steep climbing part at the start.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geek View Post
    I wonder why he took the front wheel off?
    I wouldn't think you'd have to chain the bike up for security over night -
    The front wheel is probably off because he isn't biking.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geek View Post
    I wonder why he took the front wheel off?
    Maybe the front fell off


  4. #104
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    Dan's update page has come back to life and is updating every half hour, for now.

    https://share.delorme.com/DanielBurton

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_BC View Post
    Maybe the front fell off
    Looks like a violation of the Strange Sketch Act...

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  6. #106
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    Maria is in Antarctica. She is taking a different route from Juan and Daniel. She has some catching up to do. Even if all goes well for the men, she could still lay claim to being the first woman on a bike to the south pole. Well, technically trike to the south pole.

    An Antartic bike ride unassisted to the South Pole-1477451_10153618054985370_1642957231_n.jpg
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad View Post
    Maria is in Antarctica. She is taking a different route from Juan and Daniel. She has some catching up to do. Even if all goes well for the men, she could still lay claim to being the first woman on a bike to the south pole. Well, technically trike to the south pole.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All that weight on the single rear wheel, very little on the dual front wheels…

    I wish her the best of luck.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    All that weight on the single rear wheel, very little on the dual front wheels…

    I wish her the best of luck.
    That's life with a trike. The bent trike folks have issues with a lightly loaded rear wheel losing traction. She might actually be glad for a bit more weight on the rear tire at times.

    Not so good for floatation though as you rightly point out. A custom dually rear wheel would have been a cool upgrade.
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  9. #109
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    I like the idea of a quad or trike until you have to hike a bike with it. Or maybe that is better since you don't have to balance it while pushing? It sure if fun to see ideas in action like this.
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  10. #110
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    In the paved riding world trikes are always slower than the same rider on a comparable 2 wheeled recumbent or 2 wheeled upright bike. They have other benefits like being able to crank uphill at 1mph without having to balance and being able to relax while riding without needing to think about balancing.

    I have no idea how the pros and cons will stack up for Maria's ride. It will be interesting to see how she does.

    Anyone understand the broad stroke differences between the route she is on and the one Juan and Dan are on?
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  11. #111
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    As far as routes, it is curiously difficult to describe locations and directions near the poles. In Antarctica south is trivial, everything is north, and even east and west are confusing sometimes.

    Maria's tracking page (I posted a link below) shows her starting point. Juan and Daniel's tracks show their locations, you can compare best based on that.

    Attempts to reach the south pole have been made from both starting points and along both routes, based on what I have read.

    You can probably tell by how much I post to this thread, but I love following this stuff now that the riders can send out tracks, blogs and pics as they go. It is way better than reading about it a few months later in a magazine with just a couple of paragraphs and a pic or two.
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  12. #112
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    Does anybody have any insight into how Maria is going to push that trike? Obviously she won't be able to ride 100 percent of the time, but looking at the set-up in pictures, I can't figure it out. How do other recumbent trike riders push their trikes?

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Anyone understand the broad stroke differences between the route she is on and the one Juan and Dan are on?
    Just comparing Google Earth maps from where she's starting versus where the guys started, it looks like a full mountaineering-style glacier traverse. Who can really know, but that area looks mountainous and likely crevasse-riddled. And if that's the case, why choose that route for a tricycle of all things? Is she going to rope that thing up to some kind of pulley system if she has to scale an ice fall? Anyway, this stuff is fun to follow. Such an intriguing puzzle.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad View Post
    Maria is in Antarctica. She is taking a different route from Juan and Daniel. She has some catching up to do. Even if all goes well for the men, she could still lay claim to being the first woman on a bike to the south pole. Well, technically trike to the south pole.

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    She should do well as long as she stays on the road.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo View Post
    Does anybody have any insight into how Maria is going to push that trike? Obviously she won't be able to ride 100 percent of the time, but looking at the set-up in pictures, I can't figure it out. How do other recumbent trike riders push their trikes?
    Reading between the lines on her site and her blog, one gets the idea (if one is as curmudgeonly about this sorta thing as I am) that she hasn't yet considered that she won't be riding all the time.

    She is an optimist (20 days to get to Pole) and I like that. If only optimism were enough.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    ...They have other benefits like being able to crank uphill at 1mph without having to balance and being able to relax while riding without needing to think about balancing...
    That's the big problem in really difficult going - simply keeping the bike upright sucks a lot of energy and concentration.

    I've been thinking a quad is probably the ultimate - just 2 tracks and the extra tyres for less pressure on the ground.
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  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Reading between the lines on her site and her blog, one gets the idea (if one is as curmudgeonly about this sorta thing as I am) that she hasn't yet considered that she won't be riding all the time.

    She is an optimist (20 days to get to Pole) and I like that. If only optimism were enough.
    Well, you don't know, she might not be planning on sleeping.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    That's the big problem in really difficult going - simply keeping the bike upright sucks a lot of energy and concentration.

    I've been thinking a quad is probably the ultimate - just 2 tracks and the extra tyres for less pressure on the ground.
    Could be. But please start a new thread on MTQR to discuss further…


  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    All that weight on the single rear wheel, very little on the dual front wheels…

    I wish her the best of luck.
    AFAIK about recumbent in loosing terrain mur | 2011-06-08_Loudani ? rajce.net and offroad mur | 2010-06-09_Loudani ? rajce.net and snow mur | 2010-03-20_Bahnem na Mukarov ? rajce.net , it is an advantage.
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  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Well, you don't know, she might not be planning on sleeping.
    Clearly I don't know anything about what she's planning.

  21. #121
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    MC,

    Would love to see you do something like this now that we could follow along a little. Do you have any plans? Are you even tempted?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Reading between the lines on her site and her blog, one gets the idea (if one is as curmudgeonly about this sorta thing as I am) that she hasn't yet considered that she won't be riding all the time.

    She is an optimist (20 days to get to Pole) and I like that. If only optimism were enough.
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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDad View Post
    MC,

    Would love to see you do something like this now that we could follow along a little. Do you have any plans? Are you even tempted?
    I spent several years of my life singularly focused on exactly this goal. I used the Iditarod Trail as my 'proving ground', because I figured the distance and temps were similar to what I'd expect to get down south. In reality, the Iditarod is longer (in miles) and both warmer *and* colder (depending on where on the route you find yourself) than what you'll get during the Antarctic 'riding season'.

    After a few years of experience (read: lots of mistakes) I was ready to head south. But it's not that easy.

    Getting to the Antarctic continent was always the hangup, because of my preferred route. Of the ~$500k that ALE quoted me for logistics and transport (From their HQ to the start, then back from Pole), I always seemed to be about, oh, roughly $450k short.

    That, and through the years of preparation I developed an intense dislike for riding in wide open places. Roads are bad enough, even when they lack traffic. Last winter, when riding up the Yentna River in AK for the umpteenth time, I reached my limit. That feeling was only confirmed on the Kuskokwim and Yukon, and then when I hit the sea ice of Norton Sound it put me over the top. Realized then and there that what I most like about riding is the discovery part--wondering what's around the next corner or beyond the next ridgeline. See to the horizon (and beyond) vistas--effectively what you'll get for 90+% of every route down south--simply don't blow up my skirt. Not enough to spend every dime of my life savings *and* have to go groveling for a few years to come up with the do-re-mi to make it happen, at any rate.

    Current plans include…

    …well, never mind. Enough of a thread hijack already.

  23. #123
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    She shall haul the trike with a rope. It is expected.
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  24. #124
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    So what kind of safety net those guys have on those polar expeditions nowadays? It's kinda scary to see some of these people go at it, but at the same time also very intriguing

  25. #125
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    Part of what they paid A.L.E. for is for the safety net. They are being tracked and they check in once every 24 hours or so. Still some serious risk though because based on many factors, a rescue could be a long time in coming.
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  26. #126
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    This thread has been kind of quiet for a while while our intrepid riders are still riding. I found a cool video about Maria's ride. If I understand it correctly, she is using "Arctic Trucks" instead of ALE. And she is taking a totally different route, shown in the video, and trackable on her website.

    <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sP8KiXxgEMQ" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe>
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  27. #127
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    Now if they were to packraft down from S America with their bikes on the front, then ride to the south pole, that would be impressive.

  28. #128
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    I'll be impressed if any of the 3 make it. More so if the trike makes it. I don't think she'll get very far.
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  29. #129
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    Has anyone cycled to the north pole?

  30. #130
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    I did a little back-of-the-envelope math. Take it with a grain of salt.

    One degree of latitude change equals about 69 statute miles (due north-south, as the crow flies).

    Mr. Burton is averaging about 0.19 degrees per day in southerly progress, based solely on the latitudes from his track. That would be about 12.8 miles per day towards his goal (only counting the component of travel in a due south direction). If he started at 80 degrees south latitude, it should take about 54 days to reach 90 degrees.
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  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geek View Post
    Has anyone cycled to the north pole?
    Not that I know, I think one of the most serious attempts was by polar explorers Dixie Dansecoer and Alain Hubert - quite some time ago. But they bailed because too warm weather/not enough ice if I recall well. The warm weather proved to be very bad for the bikes too: during the day it made the top layer ice into slush, which then froze at night rendering the bikes inoperative pretty soon.
    Both have done pretty incredible things since in the artics, but never again on a bike :-).

  32. #132
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    I think it's been several seasons since any ski expedition has gone the full distance from land to the North Pole. Expeditions have been set up, but climate change has disrupted ice conditions to the point where no one has been successful. Unless someone is willing to try it in the dead of winter, I'll go out on a limb and guess that nobody, ever, will drag a bike to the North Pole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo View Post
    Unless someone is willing to try it in the dead of winter, I'll go out on a limb and guess that nobody, ever, will drag a bike to the North Pole.
    You're probably right and about various reasons too. Warm temperatures aren't the only reason, I think I recall them going so slow that when they went to sleep they often drifted farther away from the Pole than they could cover in a day. Must be horrible for the morale. The north pole ice cap is drifting sea ice, not a solid mass over land like down south.

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_BC View Post
    Now if they were to packraft down from S America with their bikes on the front, then ride to the south pole, that would be impressive.
    Sure, if suicidally crazy impresses you... Tough room!
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  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_BC View Post
    Now if they were to packraft down from S America with their bikes on the front, then ride to the south pole, that would be impressive.
    Like that guy Goran Kropp, he biked from Sweden to the Everest, summited without oxygen and biked (at least part of the way) back. He was killed in a stupid climbing accident while training to sail from the US to Antarctica, ski to the south pole and back and then sail back home - all solo.
    Respect.

  36. #136
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    Nothing to add, but I'm subscribing so I don't have to keep searching for this thread.

  37. #137
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    So is Maria on the McMurdo/South Pole Highway? I didn't make the connection before, but that looks like the route. Presumably she skipped the section on the Ross Ice Shelf and started right at the coast, and is now making her way up the Leverett Glacier. She started two days ago according to her Twitter and already covered 91 kilometers.

  38. #138
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    It took me a while to figure out the whole ice shelf vs land thing too since I was looking at satellite imagery. Juan and Daniel did something similar, starting near the shore, but it does not look like it due to the Ronne-Filchner ice shelf.

    Daniel is measuring his ride in nautical miles. He has been hovering around 15/day or 27Km. If there is that big of a difference between Maria and Daniel's progress, that is huge. Maybe Maria has better conditions, chose the better route, maybe her trike has a major aero advantage, maybe she is super strong, who knows. I am following all 3 (Juan too) with way too much excitement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo View Post
    So is Maria on the McMurdo/South Pole Highway? I didn't make the connection before, but that looks like the route. Presumably she skipped the section on the Ross Ice Shelf and started right at the coast, and is now making her way up the Leverett Glacier. She started two days ago according to her Twitter and already covered 91 kilometers.
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  39. #139
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    Looks like Maria has stolen more than a march on the boys. Her vehicle makes a lot more sense now.

    Lots of info on her route here:

    South Pole Traverse

    It is far from a 'road' in the traditional sense. Essentially the USAP drives tractor trains from Ross Island (aka McMurdo) to Pole, dragging UHMW sleds laden with fuel to resupply the south pole station. They do this a few times per summer and if you time it right, you'll have a relatively smooth surface to travel on. The only 'construction' they do en route is to backfill crevasses that they've sussed out using ground penetrating radar. If she has timed her start well, she can likely keep pace with the tractor trains as they move south. Wind and weather will be against her--same story for everyone.

    FWIW, this was also my chosen route to the pole, although I'd have started at the edge of the sea ice and not skipped 'the Barrier' that is ever-present in human-powered Antartic lore. Her choice of starting point says that, shortcut or not, she aims to be first and the boys can squabble over the details.

    I'd rate her chance at overall success *and* being first pretty high right now.

  40. #140
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    Not that I understand much about the condition of the ice road, but I wondered why none of the cycling expeditions so far have considered this this as a viable route. Apparently the Arctic Truck team who is filming her drove her out from the South Pole to the start (according to their Web site) and will be shadowing her on the way back. Any route that is driveable in a truck is probably fairly friendly for a cycle, at least in terms of navigation and general rideability. She'll probably still have to pedal into some crazy winds, but someone willing to put in 16+ hours a day at 2-3 miles per hour will make what in Antarctica counts as blazing progress.

    Personally I have more interest in South Pole expeditions that start on open water, ice shelfs and all, like the historic Antarctic expeditions. In that case, the McMurdo-South Pole Highway would be closer to 1,000 miles, but as it stands her route is 650 kilometers and, in good conditions, she should be able to knock it off reasonably fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo View Post
    Not that I understand much about the condition of the ice road, but I wondered why none of the cycling expeditions so far have considered this this as a viable route. Apparently the Arctic Truck team who is filming her drove her out from the South Pole to the start (according to their Web site) and will be shadowing her on the way back. Any route that is driveable in a truck is probably fairly friendly for a cycle, at least in terms of navigation and general rideability. She'll probably still have to pedal into some crazy winds, but someone willing to put in 16+ hours a day at 2-3 miles per hour will make what in Antarctica counts as blazing progress.

    Personally I have more interest in South Pole expeditions that start on open water, ice shelfs and all, like the historic Antarctic expeditions. In that case, the McMurdo-South Pole Highway would be closer to 1,000 miles, but as it stands her route is 650 kilometers and, in good conditions, she should be able to knock it off reasonably fast.
    In a word, cost. Getting anywhere near Ross island or the Ross Ice Shelf is, at minimum, 4 to 5 times more expensive than starting from Hercules with ALE. When you're talking about starting costs in the very high 5 figure range, multiplying that by 4 or 5 quickly sorts the wheat from the chaff, as it were...

  42. #142
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    I'm sure you priced this out MC but I know for a fact that Dan paid ALE much less than 6 figures. One other thing. Dan and Juan aren't following the road because they didn't want to be classified as supported.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'm sure you priced this out MC but I know for a fact that Dan paid ALE much less than 6 figures. One other thing. Dan and Juan aren't following the road because they didn't want to be classified as supported.
    I did price it out--but the last time was a few years ago. I assumed inflation (largely due to fuel prices) had happened, but clearly there are other factors at play that I know nothing about.

    They're still both supported in many, many ways. Not least of which is that they were following/using caravan tracks for many days. Very little difference between those and the tractor trains--both give you a mental break from needing to navigate and (to some extent) worry about crevasses. Not to mention their planeloads of food/fuel waiting out there.

  44. #144
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    I agree. Dan had mentioned that was the reason and he'd also said that Juan couldn't ski along side him or even ski in his tracks if he wanted to maintain his unsupported status. Yes, I said ski. I'd love to be able to see the amount of time Juan has spent on his bike, if any.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo View Post
    Not that I understand much about the condition of the ice road, but I wondered why none of the cycling expeditions so far have considered this this as a viable route. Apparently the Arctic Truck team who is filming her drove her out from the South Pole to the start (according to their Web site) and will be shadowing her on the way back. Any route that is driveable in a truck is probably fairly friendly for a cycle, at least in terms of navigation and general rideability. She'll probably still have to pedal into some crazy winds, but someone willing to put in 16+ hours a day at 2-3 miles per hour will make what in Antarctica counts as blazing progress.

    Personally I have more interest in South Pole expeditions that start on open water, ice shelfs and all, like the historic Antarctic expeditions. In that case, the McMurdo-South Pole Highway would be closer to 1,000 miles, but as it stands her route is 650 kilometers and, in good conditions, she should be able to knock it off reasonably fast.
    I think a trip on the highway from McMurdo would be a worthwhile expedition even if it is supported.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo View Post
    Not that I understand much about the condition of the ice road...

    Any route that is driveable in a truck...
    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    I think a trip on the highway from McMurdo would be a worthwhile expedition even if it is supported.
    The road is not a road in any sense, nor a highway, nor is it ice except where it crosses areas where the wind has blown all the snow away.

    It is more of an idea than anything else. The assistance that any person would get from it would be in ease of navigation, and some assurance (but never a guarantee) that crevasses have been recently mitigated.

    See here:

    6x6 Antarctic Van | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    And here:

    6X6 < Toyota < Brands < Arctic Trucks

    See?

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The road is not a road in any sense, nor a highway...See?
    Totally understand. The word "highway" is just a word that is sometimes used when refering to it. Just riding from McMurdo, with support as with the Toyota Arctic Truck, would be an accomplishment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I agree. Dan had mentioned that was the reason and he'd also said that Juan couldn't ski along side him or even ski in his tracks if he wanted to maintain his unsupported status. Yes, I said ski. I'd love to be able to see the amount of time Juan has spent on his bike, if any.
    But Dan isn't unsupported; he's picking up caches dropped by ALE. Not the same as being shadowed by a support vehicle, of course, but it doesn't make sense that he'd make plans to pick up caches under the claim of an unsupported expedition. The fact that the Hercules Inlet is a much less expensive place to start an expedition makes more sense; it's already a lot of money to spend on a holiday.

    A friend of mine recently priced out some different Antarctic route options with ALE. There is a vast difference between costs depending on where you start. He received a quote of $250,000 because ALE had to drop fuel caches just to fly him out to his desired starting point.

    Thanks for providing some clarification on the South Pole Traverse. It makes sense that it would simply be a flagged route with crevasse fill; no wonder those caravans take 40 days to travel 1,000 miles. But if the tractors rolled over it recently, there should be nicely compacted snow beneath the wind-blown drifts, recon knowledge about the various crevasses and obstacles, and even possible course markings. It seems like a great option for wheels if you can afford it.

  49. #149
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    Juan is unsupported, not Dan. You'd have to read back through the thread to find where we hashed that out.
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  50. #150
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    Map showing all 3 riders

    An Antartic bike ride unassisted to the South Pole-antarctic131222.jpg

    I pulled data from all 3 riders' tracking sites.

    I can download a track for Juan, but it is a few days behind.

    I can get lat/long points with date/time for Daniel

    I cannot figure out how to download data for Maria, I just eyeballed the image of her track with Google Earth. I have emailed her website to see if I can get more accurate or complete info.

    The yellow lines are the actual shoreline. Google earth satellite photos show the ice shelves as well. All 3 riders started on the shore, not on the ice shelf.

    I put it all on Google earth so you could see it all at once and compare position and progress, this is a screen shot. If I get better data I may share the google earth map itself, I think there is a way to do that.
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