Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46
  1. #1
    Owner Epic Biking
    Reputation: mtbeagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    164

    First real bike expedition to South Pole

    I haven't been on here for a couple of months as I have been in Antarctica biking to the South Pole the last two months. Just wanted to say hi, and that I made it! There were some here on mtbr that said I should not even try, but I did anyway.

    Here is a run down of Antarctic cycling expeditions I know about:
    Doug Stoup - rode a bike around patriot hills many years ago.
    Helen Skelton - skis kites and bikes to South Pole.
    Eric Larsen - bikes 1/4 of the distance to the pole. A true hero. All the people I talked to that worked with him on his expedition say he could do it, but the timing in his life was just wrong.
    Maria Leijerstam - takes title of first to cycle to South Pole. Awesome ride. Not on a bike, less than half the distance on a us maintained highway with all her gear in a truck, and she would take breaks in the truck. Great cycling event but not a real expedition.
    Juan Menendez Granados - likes to claim he did a bike expedition, but I followed his tracks and he bikes less than 120 nm of the 642 nm route. He skied every day and only biked when the conditions were what he liked. Nice expedition, but unless you call driving across the country with a bike on the back of your car biking across the country, you can hardly call skiing to the South Pole with a bike in your sled biking to the South Pole.
    Daniel Burton- (me) first successful 100% bike and real expedition to the South Pole. Started at Hercules inlet at 80 degrees south on dec 2 2013, and arrives at pole 21 jan 2014.

    It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I happened to be lucky enough to have everything work out to allow me to be the first to do this. Anyway I got a lot of support from mtbr forum members and wanted to say thanks.
    First real bike expedition to South Pole-image.jpg
    Sorry about the sideways picture, still in Chile and doing this from an iPod touch.
    www.epicbiking.com
    Biked to the South Pole, check it out at:
    GoFundMe
    blog
    Facebook page

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    974
    FKNA yeah! Good stuff man. We need pics...

  3. #3
    giddy up!
    Reputation: donkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,242
    You accomplished something great and unique.....but the constant attacks on Maria and Juan are getting really tiresome. Let your actions and accomplishments speak for themselves. Let people formulate their own conclusions.
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  4. #4
    N8R
    N8R is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    385
    I would call them clarifications more than attacks. Dan is merely clarifying things for the record. They all set out to achieve a record for being the first person to bike to the south pole, and they all have a different interpretation of what that means. I tend to agree with Dan, in that he was the first person to ride a bicycle, to the south pole, with the intent of riding the bike the whole way and it being strictly a bicycle expedition. Juan's effort had minimal biking so can't really be considered strictly a bicycle expedition. I won't take anything away from Juan's extraordinary feat but if he tries to say he "Biked" to the south pole, that's like me driving my car to work, stopping along the way a few times and walking for a couple minutes and then driving the rest of the way and then bragging to people that I walked all the way to work that day. Juan should only claim what he did in actuality, he made a solo unsupported expedition to the south pole primarily by skiing, with minimal biking. He basically pulled a bike to the south pole and rode it very little. That cannot be called a bike expedition, it was primarily a ski expedition. He should claim it as a solo ski expedition.

    No attacking here, just clarification. Juan completed an extraordinary skiing expedition with a little biking thrown in.

  5. #5
    giddy up!
    Reputation: donkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,242
    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I would call them clarifications more than attacks. Dan is merely clarifying things for the record. They all set out to achieve a record for being the first person to bike to the south pole, and they all have a different interpretation of what that means. I tend to agree with Dan, in that he was the first person to ride a bicycle, to the south pole, with the intent of riding the bike the whole way and it being strictly a bicycle expedition. Juan's effort had minimal biking so can't really be considered strictly a bicycle expedition. I won't take anything away from Juan's extraordinary feat but if he tries to say he "Biked" to the south pole, that's like me driving my car to work, stopping along the way a few times and walking for a couple minutes and then driving the rest of the way and then bragging to people that I walked all the way to work that day. Juan should only claim what he did in actuality, he made a solo unsupported expedition to the south pole primarily by skiing, with minimal biking. He basically pulled a bike to the south pole and rode it very little. That cannot be called a bike expedition.

    No attacking here, just clarification. Juan completed an extraordinary skiing expedition with a little biking thrown in.
    How do any of us know what really happened? Did you keep track of Juan's mileage? Did you see Maria hanging out in a vehicle? It's a pointless game of he said/she said....and for what?

    We don't need any clarification....especially when it comes from someone who's main goal is to make sure everyone knows they were "the first".
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    4,859
    There were 3 great achievements made by cyclists on the way to the South Pole this year.

    Let's not haggle over the details.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  7. #7
    N8R
    N8R is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    385
    If people are going to claim that they were the first to bike to the south pole and they are actively saying and promoting that, then there should be ample clarification about the details and all should be honest in their claims. Juan has mentioned on his blog about beating Dan, competing against him and being the first to bike to the pole. Dan is saying he followed in Juan's traks and that the majority were ski tracks. It would be worthwhile to hear Juan's truthful account of how much he actually biked, and in the end it's Juan's word against Dan's, but if you take ski's on a bike specific expedition, you leave yourself open for criticism and doubt. Everyone gets to form their own view and opinion of the expeditions.

    In my eyes, Juan's expedition was an amazing solo unsupported trip, but lacking credibility somewhat as a bicycle specific expedition. He should have left the ski's at home if he wanted people to view his expedition as bike specific. I think Juan deserves tremendous appreciation and credit for the sheer feat of what he did, doing it unsupported, but unless he rode his bike pretty much all the way and didn't ski any significant amount, he should not claim to be the first person to ride his bike to the pole. If he did bike pretty much the whole way in actuality and didn't ski a significant amount, then I would reverse my views and opinion.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-28-2014 at 06:55 PM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: damnitman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,288
    A tremendously sincere congratulations to our own Mt Beagle ()...Sir, I'm not even gong to post what I started to because I don't want t detract from neither what has accomplished (by any of you three), nor from the various logistical modes utilized (by any of you three)...Dan, I applaud your persistence and determination.
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  9. #9
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,818
    Welcome (almost) home mtbeagle - glad you made it!

  10. #10
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    20,203
    This is going to go well.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pbasinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    734
    Iím extremely impressed with your accomplishment Dan. I think you had a very poorly thought out set up and were very underprepared making it harder than it had to be, but you pushed through it and didnít give up. Thatís pretty cool. A major accomplishment.

    I think people should haggle over details. Theyíre pretty important. What you did was much more impressive than what Maria did in my opinion and you have to look at the details to appreciate the difference, however, youíd probably be better off just stating the details and let others decide.

    As far as Iím concerned (not that my opinion matters) Juan appears to be the first person to bike to the pole. Comparing pulling a sled loaded with a bike and gear to driving across the country with a bike on your car is not a very good comparison. Pulling a loaded sled on skis on dry snow is tough. Personally Iíd rather push a loaded bike any day.

    Is pulling a bike on a sled by skis the same as biking?
    Think of it like this, if Juan didnít have as good of bike handling skills as Dan or had skinnier tires and ended up pushing his bike twice as much as Dan, could we say he didnít really bike there? I donít think so. How much Juan actually biked is a going to be a tough detail to actually argue over. Juan may have just had a better plan to executing a bike trip to the pole.

    Looking at details though, someone could be very critical of the support you were given out on the expedition- wheel delivery and the possibly expedition saving assistance from Hannah towards the end. Did Juan get this level of assistance?

  12. #12
    N8R
    N8R is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    385
    Without set guidelines as to what qualifies as biking to the pole, there will be endless debate back and forth. Skiing is skiing, biking is biking, walking is walking. If we want to get technical about it, we can say that unless someone rode their bike 100% of the way to the pole without so much as putting a foot down or walking an inch of the way, they haven't ridden their bike ALL the way to the pole. That is likely impossible to do logistically.
    So the question is, what is sufficient criteria to qualify biking to the pole? My opinion is that to be able to say that someone rode their bike to the pole, they had to have been actually riding the bike the vast majority of the time, not skiing, and not walking. Where the exact cutoff percentage would be, I don't know, that could be argued, but it is clear to me that if you ride a bike 50% of the way and skied 50% of the way, you did not ride the bike enough to be able to say you rode your bike to the pole. You only rode it half way, so don't go touting to be the first person to ride a bike to the pole. Same thing with walking and pushing a bike. If you walked pushing the bike 50%, you didn't really ride the whole way to the pole. You rode half way and walked/pushed the other half.

    So really it's a question of semantics and deciding how much bike riding be required to be able to say you rode to the pole. For me the deciding factor is that the person had the intent to ride the whole way and pretty much did ride the whole way so they could look back and say, "Hey I rode to the pole". Not skied, or walked a significant portion.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,320
    Quote Originally Posted by pbasinger View Post
    Iím extremely impressed with your accomplishment Dan. I think you had a very poorly thought out set up and were very underprepared making it harder than it had to be, but you pushed through it and didnít give up. Thatís pretty cool. A major accomplishment.

    I think people should haggle over details. Theyíre pretty important. What you did was much more impressive than what Maria did in my opinion and you have to look at the details to appreciate the difference, however, youíd probably be better off just stating the details and let others decide.

    As far as Iím concerned (not that my opinion matters) Juan appears to be the first person to bike to the pole. Comparing pulling a sled loaded with a bike and gear to driving across the country with a bike on your car is not a very good comparison. Pulling a loaded sled on skis on dry snow is tough. Personally Iíd rather push a loaded bike any day.

    Is pulling a bike on a sled by skis the same as biking?
    Think of it like this, if Juan didnít have as good of bike handling skills as Dan or had skinnier tires and ended up pushing his bike twice as much as Dan, could we say he didnít really bike there? I donít think so. How much Juan actually biked is a going to be a tough detail to actually argue over. Juan may have just had a better plan to executing a bike trip to the pole.

    Looking at details though, someone could be very critical of the support you were given out on the expedition- wheel delivery and the possibly expedition saving assistance from Hannah towards the end. Did Juan get this level of assistance?
    +1 - well said Pete.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #14
    Clears
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by pbasinger View Post



    As far as Iím concerned (not that my opinion matters) Juan appears to be the first person to bike to the pole. Comparing pulling a sled loaded with a bike and gear to driving across the country with a bike on your car is not a very good comparison. Pulling a loaded sled on skis on dry snow is tough. Personally Iíd rather push a loaded bike any day.

    Is pulling a bike on a sled by skis the same as biking?
    Think of it like this, if Juan didnít have as good of bike handling skills as Dan or had skinnier tires and ended up pushing his bike twice as much as Dan, could we say he didnít really bike there? I donít think so. How much Juan actually biked is a going to be a tough detail to actually argue over. Juan may have just had a better plan to executing a bike trip to the pole.
    Huh? Juan may have just had a better plan to execute a "Bike" trip to the pole by skiing.......right got it. Makes total sense.

    Great news, I am the first american to travel to Pluto by bike. I didn't actually ride my bike, I traveled there in my mind but because I thought in my mind about traveling by bike, it is therefore a bike trip to Pluto.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: TahoeBC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,452
    A big Hell yea to ya mtbeagle
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pbasinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    734
    Quote Originally Posted by Mamba29er View Post
    Huh? Juan may have just had a better plan to execute a "Bike" trip to the pole by skiing.......right got it. Makes total sense.

    Great news, I am the first american to travel to Pluto by bike. I didn't actually ride my bike, I traveled there in my mind but because I thought in my mind about traveling by bike, it is therefore a bike trip to Pluto.

    Obviously an absurd example which only serves to show that it's a sticky question. Not to give Juan credit because he skied for some portion of the trip doesn't exactly seem fair though. And as others have mentioned, there is really no way of knowing how much he biked or skied and who is to make the decision of how much constitutes a bike record.

  17. #17
    Clears
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    66

    First real bike expedition to South Pole

    Agreed with you on a number of points PBA. He certainly deserves credit for reaching the pole, no doubt. But I can no more say it was a "bike" expedition than I can a "walking" or "skiing". On his own blog he or whoever wrote it for him indicated that he still hadn't ridden his bike 10 days into the expedition. So we know at least that much.

    It irks me that on Juan's own site he claims to have "beaten" Dan by biking to the pole. Their two attempts are only similar in that they left from the same point and both traveled in the snow.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pbasinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    734
    Quote Originally Posted by Mamba29er View Post
    Agreed with you on a number of points PBA. He certainly deserves credit for reaching the pole, no doubt. But I can no more say it was a "bike" expedition than I can a "walking" or "skiing". On his own blog he or whoever wrote it for him indicated that he still hadn't ridden his bike 10 days into the expedition. So we know at least that much.

    It irks me that on Juan's own site he claims to have "beaten" Dan by biking to the pole. Their two attempts are only similar in that they left from the same point and both traveled in the snow.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Good point. I see where you're coming from. That would bug me as well.
    It's funny because I think skiing would be much more difficult and slower in those conditions. At least how imagine the conditions.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,320
    How much pushing a fatbike disqualifies you from a "biking" record?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Welnic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    330
    I always considered pushing a bike in the snow just a part of biking in the snow.

  21. #21
    giddy up!
    Reputation: donkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,242
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    How much pushing a fatbike disqualifies you from a "biking" record?
    If we're going down that road.....there have been a few ITI years that would see very few official bike finishes!
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    6,320
    Quote Originally Posted by donkey View Post
    If we're going down that road.....there have been a few ITI years that would see very few official bike finishes!
    No doubt. Before this issue was raised here I would have assumed that getting from point A to point B with a fatbike was "biking" since you are either riding or moving the bike by some other form of human power. It's not like hauling a fatbike around without pedalling is an advantage over just walking, snow-shoeing or skiing without the dead weight of a bike you are not riding.

    But if the % of the route pedalled vs. not pedalling is the criteria we are using than walking with your bike would not count towards a "bike" record.

    And you have to determine what the % is that must be travelled by pedalling only.

    Personally I wouldn't want to be the guy that has to tell an ITI finisher who pushed their bike most of the way that they were disqualified!

    Are the polar record keeping folks counting Juan's trip as a biking record to the South Pole? It seems they are the experts at determining who did what and what qualifies someone to hold a particular record.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jaredbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    256
    I like the idea of accepting each accomplishment as amazing for exactly what it was without trying to fit it in a predefined box of accomplishment. Seems to be too many variables that are hard to define. That being said if someone asked me who rode a bike first to the south pole I would definitely say it was Dan.
    laotzucycles.blogspot.com

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    4,859
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaredbe View Post
    ...That being said if someone asked me who rode a bike first to the south pole I would definitely say it was Dan.
    So would I.

    But Maria was the first to pedal there.

    And Juan was the first to take a bike there unsupported.

    All brilliant accomplishments. I stand in awe of all 3 of them.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  25. #25
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,181
    Dan-

    Congrats on sticking it out despite your lack of experience, planning, and prep. You achieved something of note through simple persistence.

    That said, you could stand to learn a lot about tact, grace, and fingerpointing. Maria's road was hardly different from the one you often used, and Juan didn't need any airplanes to haul his food or deliver other-side-of-the-world spares to him.

    In short, maybe y'ought learn to enjoy your accomplishment without diminishing that of others.

    Cheers,

    MC

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. An Antartic bike ride unassisted to the South Pole
    By coastkid71 in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 338
    Last Post: 06-02-2014, 10:09 PM
  2. Moonlander to the South Pole!
    By timhMN in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: 07-29-2013, 01:37 PM
  3. Christini 2wd Fat Bike for South Pole ride
    By shanesbw in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-12-2013, 02:28 PM
  4. Cycle South - fat bike to the South Pole
    By timhMN in forum Bikepacking and Bike Expedition
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-01-2012, 05:30 PM
  5. Superfatty goes to the South Pole
    By druidh in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 109
    Last Post: 04-04-2012, 05:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •