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  1. #1
    Owner Epic Biking
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    The South Pole Epic

    Inspired by Eric Larsen's attempt to bike to the South Pole, I have decided to lead my own expedition to the South Pole. I have actually been working on this for some time now, and have decided it is time to go public with the plan.

    I've created a blog and a Facebook page for the expedition
    The South Pole Epic
    The South Pole Epic | Facebook

    Anyway, since I learned about Eric's trip on mtbr, I figured I would make my first public announcement of my plan here.

  2. #2
    nothing to see here
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    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  3. #3
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    Excited to read about your project until I saw kickstarter....

  4. #4
    Owner Epic Biking
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkoskinen View Post
    Excited to read about your project until I saw kickstarter....
    Not sure why the kickstarter hating, but let me give you the "short" version of why kickstarter.

    I had a successful career as a computer programmer, but there is much more to life than making money. I credit mountain biking with saving my life. I decided I wanted to do something to help others. So, I gave up my career as programmer and sunk my life savings into a bike store, hoping to use it to help other gain the benefits of an active lifestyle, and of course biking being that activity.

    Anyway, when I decided to do the trip to the South Pole I had a few things to figure out. Can I use this trip to further my goal of promoting an active lifestyle? and how do I pay for this. Like I said, I already sunk my life savings into the bike store, so I can't put it into The South Pole Epic. However using Kickstarter helps with both of those goals. By creating a cool documentary I can share what it is like to bike to the South Pole with everyone else, and hopefully I can have it be a way of promoting an active lifestyle. Kickstarter is a way for me to be able to accomplish the goals for the trip.

  5. #5
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    Don't worry about knockers. They never achieve anything and don't want anyone else to.

    I'm in.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  6. #6
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    Best of luck to you and I look forward to following your adventure. This guy did not do you any favors with his kickstarter project last year. The Curious Case of Andrew Badenoch and His Zero-Fuel Arctic Expedition | Outdoor Adventure Blog | OutsideOnline.com
    laotzucycles.blogspot.com

  7. #7
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    The Curious Case of Daniel Burton and His Zero-Fat South Pole Epic!

  8. #8
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    I assume it will be a snowmobile that carries all your food, water and camping gear. Would make it a lot easier if you just had the snowmobile lay a fresh track for you to ride on your way there, or will you have some sort of "rule" against that? He could drive ahead an hour or so, set up camp and have a hot meal ready by the time you arrive! Of course, that might take a little too much of the challenge away, so are you limiting what duties the support team can perform?

    I decided I wanted to do something to help others. So, I gave up my career as programmer and sunk my life savings into a bike store, hoping to use it to help other gain the benefits of an active lifestyle, and of course biking being that activity.
    I work for myself, a one man business. For some reason it's the kind of gig where occasionally someone will tell me what a "wonderful thing it is that I do what I do." Like I'm doing it for the benefit of mankind or something. I make it a point to tell them, "I do it because it's the least offensive job I've ever had, and to make money." It's good to see not everyone is as selfish or greedy as me.

  9. #9
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    If you're into biking a lot and changing to a healthier lifestyle, starting your own bikeshop might not have been the best of ideas . I for one would never again make a job out of a hobby.

    That said, I like your down to earth approach of the expedition. Trying such an expedition with a bike so heavy you would be hard pushed to bike it over normal rough-terrain trails for such a distance and timeframe is doomed from the start. If you go without luggage on your bike, I see no reason not to make it but bad luck with the weather, equipment or health issues (which is still plenty ).

    There's a purpose-built Sandman fatbike at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Antarctica base since last year. It went there because they wanted to explore the possibilities of their zero-emission base concept and see if they could use a bike for short- and even medium distance trips to their scientific projects (instead of using a scooter).

    I know they're pretty happy with it. They probably have the most experience by now of biking on Antarctica on rugged terrain, if you want to I can try to put you in touch with them (pm me).

  10. #10
    Owner Epic Biking
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    My number one rule is that I bike and/or hike-a-bike the whole distance. The snowmobiles are for carrying gear. It leaves the door open for someone else to do a new first, like first unsupported, or first solo unsupported etc. I can't take everything away from Eric.

    I want this to be a true adventure so riding in the snowmobile tracks would take away from that. However for the most part the ice in Antarctica is suppose to be pretty good for fat bike travel. The bigger issue really is the wind.

    I'm on my second career now, first was a computer programmer. Both times I chose to turn my passion into my career. Both times I have been glad I did. I love what I am doing. Seriously though if what I wanted was to make a lot of money, I can do that as a computer programmer. The bike store is definitely not just about making money.

    I will be adding the Salsa line to my store starting with the 2014 bikes, so I am currently planning on using a Salsa bike. However if one of the other fat bike manufactures offers to be a sponsor I will consider their offer.

  11. #11
    Owner Epic Biking
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  12. #12
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    Good luck and all the best!
    I wish you all the best in your attempt,

    Though i think i would not expect that much support from North American readers on here, some top North American artic racers have posted their opinion on here in the past that the south pole is easier than the North pole, and just dismissed attempts on the South Pole, their negative atitude to attempts i have found dissapointing, yet they have not stepped up to the challange?...
    If you have read your history then you will know of the challanges Europeans have faced to try and get there, and what you will today face in your attempt and i wish you all the best, Bruce
    History of Antarctica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Owner Epic Biking
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    I'll confess, now that the snow is gone I am back to riding my skinny mountain and road bikes. It snowed last Saturday so I took the fat bike out as a "training" ride for the South Pole Epic.

    I have a friend that is telling me I should be riding the fat bike exclusively for training, but I think riding is the important part. Anyway, I decided to use the fat bike this morning on my rocky technical ride and again call it a training ride for the South Pole Epic. Last time I tried riding the fat bike on rocky trails I got a pinch flat so I put more air in the tires today. Oh man that was a harsh ride!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbeagle View Post
    Last time I tried riding the fat bike on rocky trails I got a pinch flat so I put more air in the tires today.
    Tubeless Time!

  15. #15
    Owner Epic Biking
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    Yeah, maybe.

  16. #16
    This place needs an enema
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    Until recently I had been plotting, planning and working toward my own south pole attempt. Different route, different mentality, entirely different style than yours.

    I started researching every aspect from every angle back in 2004, and spent the next 6 years fiddling with gear, nutrition, and all of the little things that would ultimately give me a fighting chance once on the ice. Recently, after much thought and introspection, I've concluded that I wouldn't get enough enjoyment out of it to make it worth doing. A lack of interesting things to look at along the way is my main reason for losing interest. And that's not even factoring in the enormous cost of getting to and from the continent.

    I lead with that intro so that you'll know that I have a very, very good handle on the logistics of this trip.

    My $.02 is that you are doing yourself (and those that would attempt it in the future) an enormous disservice by going from "nothing" to Antarctica. In other words, please, for your own good if no one else's, go somewhere else (Alaska, Norway, Greenland, NWT, wherever) and do a big, scary, push-your-limits shakedown ride (or three, or more) before moving forward on 'The Big One'. The point is to do your learning in a safer place, biting off bigger and bigger chunks before committing to something that, quite frankly, you do not and cannot grasp yet.

    Another way to put it? Mistakes are the best teacher, and you should make as many as you can and embrace the lesson imparted by each. I don't think Antarctica is the place to do that.

    I used the Colorado alpine as my main proving ground, then went to AK every February to put what I'd learned into practice. And you know what? No matter how many mistakes I made and lessons I learned, there was always another just around the corner.

    Please give it some thought. I'd like to see the next group succeed, instead of just provide more no-room-for-private-expeditions fodder for the NSF and others of their ilk.

    Best of luck,

    MC

  17. #17
    Owner Epic Biking
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    My $.02. You don't know me nor my abilities and to make such a statement with so little knowledge is another one of your mistakes. There will be plenty of doubters like you, but come next January you will be proven wrong.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbeagle View Post
    My $.02. You don't know me nor my abilities and to make such a statement with so little knowledge is another one of your mistakes. There will be plenty of doubters like you, but come next January you will be proven wrong.
    I made the assumptions I did based on the information you used to sell the trip. I do hope there's more to the story.

    Sorry if I touched a nerve. I really was trying to be helpful.

    Again, best of luck.

    MC

  19. #19
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    Yeah, it is really hard to really understand someone based solely on what is online. I was a bit harsh in my reply. I understand your concern, this is, to put it extremely lightly, an extreme challenge, but I am capable, and will complete this expedition.

  20. #20
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    Are you trying to raise money for this trip through donations? If so, how much is it going to take to get 2 guys and a crew on snowmobiles to Antarctica?

  21. #21
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    We are working on several sources to fund the expedition. I can't give out the numbers but needless to say, it is going to be very expensive.

  22. #22
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    ..."training" on a regular bike is probably not so much of a good idea...you really want your body used to the quirks of a fatbike...specifically the wider Q factor...even if you have to put a 29'er wheelset on your fatbike for summer, do it, your knees and pelvis will thank you later...$0.02
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnitman View Post
    ..."training" on a regular bike is probably not so much of a good idea...you really want your body used to the quirks of a fatbike...specifically the wider Q factor...even if you have to put a 29'er wheelset on your fatbike for summer, do it, your knees and pelvis will thank you later...$0.02
    Good point. There was a good windy storm this morning so I went for a ride on the Moonlander. Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Training ride for the South Pole Epic near Saratoga Springs | Times and Records | Strava We have a nice trail we are building that I took it out on. I have put a lot of miles on my Moonlander, and so far the quirks of the fatbike haven't seemed to cause any problems for me.

  24. #24
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    Saying that this is the first time a bike has been ridden to the South Pole before it has actually been done seems a bit odd. It has been attempted before and you will be attempting to do so again.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  25. #25
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    I never said it is the first time it HAS been done, nor the first time it has been atempted. I am saying it is the first time it will be done. Of course there is much more to it than that, which is why I have a Facebook page and blog that give more details.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbeagle View Post
    I never said it is the first time it HAS been done, nor the first time it has been atempted. I am saying it is the first time it will be done. Of course there is much more to it than that, which is why I have a Facebook page and blog that give more details.
    Wow...man, I certainly hope you succeed with confidence and arrogance like that...

    Yikes.

  27. #27
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbeagle View Post
    My $.02. You don't know me nor my abilities and to make such a statement with so little knowledge is another one of your mistakes. There will be plenty of doubters like you, but come next January you will be proven wrong.

    You should really add some info regarding your abilities to the "My Story" section of the Why? page on your blog. The way it reads right now is the only reason you were questioned, as it makes it look like your only ability is your desire to do it. Explaining your experience with winter/(ant)arctic/alpine/desolate conditions and long distances would go a long way to inspiring confidence in others for your journey.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfelter View Post
    Wow...man, I certainly hope you succeed with confidence and arrogance like that...

    Yikes.
    Hey, fair go!

    Without a solid self confidence he'd never succeed. That is a quality he'll need to make it. As for arrogance, I don't see it. Maybe a bit prickly, but not arrogant.

    Let's encourage those who have the guts to try the impossible.

    If it was me I'd be paying more attention to mikesee though
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  29. #29
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    Good response sean. I understand where mtbeagle is coming from. I've never ridden in Alaska but I've had my own musings about doing an Antarctic ride, and people would be voicing the same concerns with me. The Antarctic doesn't seem to be that harsh during their summer months. The weather stations there are some of my favorites that I check frequently. Right now, it is -83 degrees at the south pole with 12 mph winds. That is harsh, but no one is riding there this time of the year.

    It would be good for him to post some information about his extreme rides so people would have more confidence in his preparedness.

    It's easy to think one is prepared when in actuality you are not. My most extreme ride this winter was about -20 with winds over 40. That is worse than the Antarctica during their summer months.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    If it was me I'd be paying more attention to mikesee though
    +1 and other folks that get big trips done - then talk about them.
    Safe riding,

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  31. #31
    giddy up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post

    If it was me I'd be paying more attention to mikesee though
    Mike's advice is sound. It's way too dangerous/expensive of a trip to take on without at least some sort of serious winter touring experience. It would be smart to plan it out a few years and gain experience in safer, more economically reasonable locales.

    All of this talk begs the question: How can they be soo sure that this trip is going to happen when funding(seemingly) hasn't been secured. I can't imagine how a person would find the means to do the trip on their own dime.....and I can't imagine someone footing the bill given the current lack of info about their credentials.

    Also, don't get me wrong: I wish you nothing but success......I just think you could dramatically improve your odds by taking advice from those with experience doing the type of thing you're hoping to do.
    Last edited by donkey; 04-02-2013 at 01:20 PM.
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  32. #32
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    National Geographic had nice piece about Eric's journey on their radio show a couple of days ago. April 7, 2013: Cycling to the South Pole, Swimming With Manatees and More – News Watch

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