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  1. #1
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    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.

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    FKNA yeah! Good stuff man. We need pics...

  3. #3
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    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.
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  4. #4
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    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
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    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".
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  6. #6
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    There were 3 great achievements made by cyclists on the way to the South Pole this year.

    Let's not haggle over the details.
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  7. #7
    N8R
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    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 05:55 PM.

  8. #8
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    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.
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  9. #9
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    Welcome (almost) home mtbeagle - glad you made it!

  10. #10
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    This is going to go well.
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  11. #11
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    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
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    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
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    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.
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    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
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    A big Hell yea to ya mtbeagle
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  16. #16
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    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.

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    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.


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  18. #18
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    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.


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    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
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    How much pushing a fatbike disqualifies you from a "biking" record?
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  20. #20
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    I always considered pushing a bike in the snow just a part of biking in the snow.

  21. #21
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    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!
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  22. #22
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    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.
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  23. #23
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    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.
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  24. #24
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    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.
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  25. #25
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    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,

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    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.
    I think this is a pretty accurate summary. It's a mistake to try to compare the 3 expeditions to one another by saying which was the hardest or most worthy of respect. As has been said, all 3 were way beyond anything most of us would even consider. Even though I give Dan my vote for being the first person to ride a bike to the pole, I would never say that it was a greater accomplishment or harder effort than Juan's unsupported trip, nor vice versa. I'm sure for both, it was the most difficult thing either has ever done. But a huge part of the motivation of both expeditions was to be able to lay claim to being the first person to ride a bike to the pole and Juan claiming to be the first, to have beat Dan, but to have actually ridden less than even half way is a low blow to Dan's effort. Dan has never said his expedition was a greater achievement or greater effort than Juan's, he just said he was the first to actually ride a bike there, and I understand his frustration at the situation.

    I guess it will be one of those Wikipedia deals where it includes claims by several parties to have been the first.

  27. #27
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    I was one of the ones who questioned your lack of experience. Congratulations on proving my doubts wrong! Well done on the expedition.

    Regarding the three bike trips to the pole. How much time did you spend pushing your bike? In my opinion, there is no 'ethical' difference between pulling a bike in a sled while on skis, and pushing a bike next to you on foot. You and Juan both completed impressive expeditions and showed remarkable persistence, but in my mind, you both 'rode' to the pole. Juan self contained and unsupported, you lightly supported by air drops/emergency resupply, and Maria was essentially on a guided trip to the pole but was definitely the first person to pedal there.

    The finger pointing and conceit toward your fellow adventurers are really childish. Finger pointing and conceit toward people like me, who doubted you, would be totally called for.

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    First real bike expedition to South Pole

    Dan,
    When you first posted about your expedition plan I doubted whether you would be able to pull it off. As you progressed it was apparent that I was wrong and you did a good job of adapting to the rigors of expedition life. I became a fan and checked your blog daily along with all the other expeditions on the ice that updated regularly

    I think that Juan did a good expedition and had excellent training and advice from some legends in polar world. I am guessing their advice was get there first with a bike. He did.

    I am less certain if his decision to go solo unsupported was for financial or ethical reasons but I know for a fact that 'unsupported' buys credibility in the polar world and trumps the ski vs walking debate in many circles.

    Enjoy your homecoming and thanks for letting us tag along with your adventure.

    DC

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbasinger View Post
    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.
    Yeah, I thought biking would be easier and faster than skiing, and during the middle part of the expedition I believe it was and that was why I gained so much distance on the ski expeditions during that part. My rest days erased some of those gains, but biking was I believe better than skiing in the middle half of the route. At the start and at the end though skiing was a lot more efficient than biking.

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    I'm sorry. I really don't mean to attack Maria or Juan. I think the summary that Maria was the first to cycle to the pole, Juan was the first to use a bike on a full expedition, and I was the first to do a full expedition by bike is accurate. Juan and Maria both did amazing things, but they were different from what I did. Difficulty is not the issue, I am simply trying to explain why I feel qualified to claim the first full bike expedition to the South Pole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    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.
    The sad thing is there is a well accepted "rules" for qualifying expeditions. Juan doesn't get to count his expedition as a solo unsupported because he followed in motor vehicle tracks. Which I think is a shame, because I think doing it by bike without using tracks would be close to impossible.

    The truth though is all the recent expeditions are well supported by ALE.

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    As far as the question, how much did I push vs how much did I "ride"? I don't have a good answer. I know my wheels rolled the full distance, I rode every day and I rode everything I possibly could. I pushed for several reasons:
    • if the snow was just too soft to be able to propel the bike even at near zero tire pressure
    • at times I would become so soaked in sweat I had to push to dry out. It was that or die. Bing wet at those temps is deadly.
    • i had to push for 1/2 to 1 hour before I could quit. Once again to be able to dry out. There were a couple of days I didn't do that and it meant staring the next day with wet clothes.
    • no visibility. I still rode a lot when I could not see at all what I was riding through. I fell off some big drops because I didn't see them until after I fell of them. I was worried I could break a bone from these crashes and would tell myself that I was not going to ride anymore of the hairy drop offs with no visibility, but in the no visibility situations I could not tell I was in a dangerous drop off until I was in the middle of it. I tried to push the bike through these for safety but ended up riding a lot of them.
    • avoid frostbite on toes. Sometimes my toes would get cold from lack of circulation from long periods of riding. My boots were intentionally too big. This meant that walking my feet would move around a lot in the boots. This helped with returning circulation, and the friction heated up my feet.

    But again I pushed when I had to, but rode everything I could. Since I wasn't wearing skis, it was no big deal for me to ride a short ridable section in the middle of a lot of soft not ridable sections. Not having skis meant if something was ridable it was always better for me to ride it. I could see and biked through lots of great long ridable sections that were skied through by Juan, and I assumed it was because the transition from ski to bike was too much effort. It is hard to ride a bike while wearing skis. And I don't mean an attack here it is just a difference between pushing a bike vs putting it in a sled and skiing with it.

  33. #33
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    Sorry but I have to say this too. The biggest reason why I think pushing a bike counts as biking and skiing with the bike in the sled does not count is the transition. Like I said in my last post, biking when possible was the best way to go forward, and when pushing it is simple to just jump on the bike and start riding again. I don't count skiing with a bike on a sled as biking because if something is rideable it means you have to stop take the bike out of the sled, put the skis in the sled and then hook the sled up and bike. Then if you come to another non ridable section you have to unhook the sled, get the skis out, put the bike in the sled, put the skis back on and hook up the sled. The cost of this transition appeared to be too high. Juan would only bike for one segment a day. Usually it was for less than one mile, and at most for five miles. Given that he was traveling about 15 miles in a day that meant on his best biking days less than 1/3 was without skis attached to his feet. Again what Juan did was great, but in my mind that does not count as biking most of the way.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowe View Post
    I think that Juan did a good expedition and had excellent training and advice from some legends in polar world. I am guessing their advice was get there first with a bike. He did.
    He got there 2nd. He just got there with different support.

    And Dan was 3rd again with different support.

    A trike is a bike. I think trying to deny that is a ridiculous splitting of the atom logic that takes amazing exploits and makes them look silly.

    If not next year we'll have somebody claiming first "ambidextrous rider with a goatee who pushed a pink fatbike less than 15% of the way to S. Pole." record.

    The achievements are what they are - snipping about them between the riders - is lame.

    BTW - Dan congrats. You did something great. I admire your stick-with-it-ness...
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  35. #35
    N8R
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    Another thing to consider is that when pushing a bike you are holding on to the handle bars and are still in contact with it, still steering and maneuvering it. In essence, you're still piloting the bike to some degree. So I think it can be said that you were the first person to pilot a bicycle every inch of the way to the south pole. Great Achievement Dan!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    He got there 2nd. He just got there with different support.

    And Dan was 3rd again with different support.

    A trike is a bike. I think trying to deny that is a ridiculous splitting of the atom logic that takes amazing exploits and makes them look silly.

    If not next year we'll have somebody claiming first "ambidextrous rider with a goatee who pushed a pink fatbike less than 15% of the way to S. Pole." record.

    The achievements are what they are - snipping about them between the riders - is lame.

    BTW - Dan congrats. You did something great. I admire your stick-with-it-ness...
    I disagree with a trike being a bike. Bike means, bi-cycle, which means two wheels. To me a bike is a bi-ke , a trike is a tri-ke. They ride different and a trike is much closer to a quad than a bike. Calling a trike or a quad a bike is like calling a car a motorcycle. Completely different platforms as far as stability and handling.

    People just generically call trikes bikes i guess because they still have pedals and they get thrown into the same category of human powered vehicles, but I think there should be a clear distinction. The reason why is because many people, including myself, have a certain love and fascination, even obsession with the 2 wheeled bicycle, the way it rides, just the whole concept, idea, and feel of being on two wheels.

    I'm a big fan of trikes and quads, but to me they are not bikes.

    I agree people can get carried away and care to not diminish the great achievements should be taken, but I think the increased degree of difficulty and lesser stability of riding two wheels vs, more than two as well as the whole culture built around two wheels deserves it's own category of achievement.

    Kinda like if you had a 3 wheeled trike competing in the tour de france, people would be like, hmmmm, I don't know about that. Bikes and trikes should be viewed as different platforms and categories, not one being better or a greater achievement than the other, just different.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I disagree with a trike being a bike. Bike means, bicycle, which means two wheels. To me a bike is a bike , a trike is a trike. They ride different and a trike is much closer to a quad than a bike. Calling a trike or a quad a bike is like calling a car a motorcycle. Completely different platforms as far as stability and handling.

    People just generically call trikes bikes i guess because they still have pedals and they get thrown into the same category of human powered vehicles, but I think there should be a clear distinction. The reason why is because many people, including myself, have a certain love and fascination, even obsession with the 2 wheeled bicycle, the way it rides, just the whole concept, idea, and feel of being on two wheels.

    I'm a big fan of trikes and quads, but to me they are not bikes.

    I agree people can get carried away and care to not diminish the great achievements should be taken, but I think the increased degree of difficulty and lesser stability of riding two wheels vs, more than two as well as the whole culture built around two wheels deserves it's own category of achievement.
    The UCI got on board with banning anything that wasn't a "bike" when folks on these pedal powered "non-bikes" beat their normal "bike" riders.

    I've ridden trikes and for any advantage you can point to for the S.Pole there are at least as many disadvantages if not more.

    Maria did not get there first because she had an equipment advantage. She got their first because of how she planned her route and the support she used.
    Safe riding,

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    First real bike expedition to South Pole

    I have enjoyed following these amazing expeditions. Dan, I am amazed at your tenacity and accomplishments! That was truly an awesome achievement.
    The others accomplished great achievements in their own right as well.

    If I might comment on specifically on the bike/ski issue...
    It seems to me that in addition to one's own legs, either a bike or a pair of skis are each an additional tool for enabling travel in the arctic conditions.
    If one person is able to choose from either of the two tools to accomplish the job, and the other person only has the one tool at their disposal...
    It seems like only having one tool available adds a level of difficulty, and is a legitimate differentiation to make.
    Whether the job is called a bike job or a ski job will likely continue to be disputed...

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    I really like this N8R. It is I think what really seems not right about the skiing part to me. Ski's make it a multi mode trip to the pole. Pushing a bike to me doesn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    Another thing to consider is that when pushing a bike you are holding on to the handle bars and are still in contact with it, still steering and maneuvering it. In essence, you're still piloting the bike to some degree. So I think it can be said that you were the first person to pilot a bicycle every inch of the way to the south pole. Great Achievement Dan!
    laotzucycles.blogspot.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I disagree with a trike being a bike. Bike means, bi-cycle, which means two wheels. To me a bike is a bi-ke , a trike is a tri-ke. They ride different and a trike is much closer to a quad than a bike. Calling a trike or a quad a bike is like calling a car a motorcycle. Completely different platforms as far as stability and handling.
    A bike is one less than a trike and a quad is one more than a trike, so a trike is exactly in the middle between bike and quad. All three are pedaled devices.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  41. #41
    N8R
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The UCI got on board with banning anything that wasn't a "bike" when folks on these pedal powered "non-bikes" beat their normal "bike" riders.

    I've ridden trikes and for any advantage you can point to for the S.Pole there are at least as many disadvantages if not more.

    Maria did not get there first because she had an equipment advantage. She got their first because of how she planned her route and the support she used.
    I hear ya. I'm not touting a trike as having more or less advantage, I'm just saying it's different, a different achievement than riding a bike. It seems fair to me to say that Maria was the first to pedal and cycle to the pole. But I think that two wheeled bikes are special and different enough from a 3 wheeled trike to be able to have it's own category of achievement without detracting from the trikes achievement.

  42. #42
    N8R
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestdummy View Post
    A bike is one less than a trike and a quad is one more than a trike, so a trike is exactly in the middle between bike and quad. All three are pedaled devices.
    A motorcycle is one less than a motortrike, and a car is one more than a motortrike, so a motortrike is exactly in the middle. All three are motor powered vehicles.

    Motorcycles ride and handle very different than a trike or car. They are different vehicles. Racing bikes with trikes and quads, is like racing street race bikes with indy cars, or indy trikes if they had them. Or like racing dirtbikes against baja trucks, or baja trikes if they had them. A trike handles different than a two wheeled bike and more like a 4 wheeled vehicle.

    Part of the fascination, of those obsessed with two wheeled bikes, of seeing someone be the first to bike to the pole is from not just the human element of pedaling something, but also from the fascination and love of the two wheeled bike, or fatbike to be specific. That's what makes the expedition different and so intriguing to many. Seeing the effort of the first person to ride a two wheeled fatbike to the pole.

    I see more of a problem with the trike achievement taking all the glory over too broad a spectrum, and taking away from the achievements from the fatbike more than the fatbike claims detracting from the trike's. Many people just want to give Maria all the credit for every thing, and say the fatbikes were too late. A fattrike is not a fatbike. Can't we appreciate the trikes achievement and still let the fatbike shine and have it's own glory in it's own category too?

    I look at the trike achievement not as inferior by any means, just a different vehicle. Similar in many respects, but still very different.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    .......
    I look at the trike achievement not as inferior by any means, just a different vehicle. Similar in many respects, but still very different.
    There's definitely a difference, but I see it as no more than the difference between alpine touring skis and cross country skis with regards to travelling to the pole(not that I'm an expert on travelling to the pole). They're both skiing to the pole, but one set of skis is long, light, skinny and travels more efficiently in a straight line; the other is shorter and fatter and handles difficult terrain better. I would call it silly for people to try to claim to be the first to do something on one type of ski when it's been done on the other. They're both skis. A trike handles differently than a bike, for sure, but they're both human powered, pedal driven, wheeled vehicles. I put them both in the same class.

    Dan's explanation of the difference between pushing on foot and pulling on ski is sound, but I still disagree. Just a difference of opinion, and since I've never been to Antarctica, let alone with a bike, I'll go ahead and say that his opinion holds more weight than mine.

  44. #44
    N8R
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    There's definitely a difference, but I see it as no more than the difference between alpine touring skis and cross country skis with regards to travelling to the pole
    I don't think that's an accurate comparison. Your comparison is more like comparing two slight variations of the same two wheeled mountain bike. Going from a bike to a trike is a much bigger difference than two mildly different styles of two ski skiing. To be more accurate I think a third ski would somehow have to be factored in.

    In addition to function, it's also a lot about the perception, feel, and culture of two vs three wheels. I just think it's a mistake to lump trikes and bikes and any form of pedal powered machine all into the same category.

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    Lets talk about food on the trip. What did you do for food? I heard Robert Swan talk and all he brought was butter and cooking oil.

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    Well, to add one more pointless opinion to the debate... I have to say I agree with N8R on the bike/trike thing. It is no less of an accomplishment, but it is a different one. I think something I see as a major difference is that if you want to take a break on a trike, you just stop pedaling. On a bike you have to put a foot down, or get off the bike and rest. While that may not seem like a significant difference on a day ride, when covering the amount of ground required in this expedition I believe it would be a difference, especially in soft snow that requires getting on and off the bike a lot.
    At the end of the longest rides I've done I found it quite the effort to swing my leg over the top tube and climb back on the bike.

    Also, just ask a motorcyclist if those Can-Am threewheelers are the same thing. They'll tell you no almost every time. Personally I love the feel of 2 wheels. No lateral g-forces, smooth carving corners, and a level of balance required at slow speeds that's just not needed on a trike.

    My disclaimer is that all three of the folks being discussed are far, far, far tougher than I've ever been or ever will be. It is amazing that all three of them made it, and honestly I think something that is worth considering is that it couldn't have been that long ago that no one would have ever thought we'd be having this debate. Personally, I think no matter what the mode is..., bike, trike, or ski/bike, it's a win for cycles and especially a win for fat cycles.

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