Superfatty goes to the South Pole- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Superfatty goes to the South Pole

    BBC News - Helen Skelton plans South Pole mission

    8" tyres?

    Ignore all the "longest distance stuff - this is TV celeb fundraising at its finest :-)

  2. #2
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    Someone who hasn't thought this through nor tested the bike much. I say bring back the days of early polar exploring where you have to eat your dogs if you get in trouble and hope for the best instead of getting rescued by a rescue team at someone elses expense.

    I knew a guy who did sea rescues and some yachties got in trouble more than once and when called on it said, "Hey, you're supposed to rescue us, do your job."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinguwin View Post
    I knew a guy who did sea rescues and some yachties got in trouble more than once and when called on it said, "Hey, you're supposed to rescue us, do your job."
    Kinda OT sorry OP, but it struck a nerve. Spent many years climbing and backpacking in the mountains up in Northern NY. Same gig. You needed to be prepared, to take care of yourself. Have afew buddies who are rangers up there, and the stories they tell just kill me. Have a few of my own too.

    Had a group of hikers get stuck on peak by a snow storm, yes, mid winter. Big storm. They had left with two sandwiches, and a couple cans of soda. Minimal winter gear, for a 156 mile round trip hike to one of the taller peaks in the state,well above tree line. Called on their cell phone to request rescue. Rangers and volunteers had to wait till the storm passed. The hikers lived, but lost a few "personal items", so what's a grateful hiker to do? Sue the state and the club who's property they were staying at, for not responding fast enough.

    Or how about the guys who were sledding down a slope that was in excess of 50 degrees, at the top of another above tree line peak, 10 miles back in the woods? Did I mention the dead stop into trees directly at the bottom of the sled run? SLEDS?? Broken pelvis. Good plan. Cell phones deployed. Rangers have a long hike in, have to spend the night with them at below zero F, since they can't helicopter evacuate from that spot, and need to move the guy down hill a good bit.

    Errrg. Sorry, but the era of personal responsibility is over, and I, for one, miss it.
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    Yup, ride so you don't need rescued.

    BBC shows pics of Ms Skelton and while she's a fine looking woman, I would have preferred to see a pic of the bike. (That's when you realise you're a sad case).
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, I want to know more about the bike!!!
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  6. #6
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    She plans to ride a hanebrink. While pulling 80K of weight in a sled. Really? BBC - CBBC - Helen Skelton's Polar Challenge For Sport Relief: Diary
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  7. #7
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    Good looking female tv stars - lots of them to see.

    Need pictures of the bike. Info on the tires. Details of drivetrain layout.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wadester View Post
    ...Need pictures of the bike. Info on the tires. Details of drivetrain layout.


    I think she's not going to get far on that.
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  9. #9
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    Once I've arrived in Antarctica, I'm going to be using three types of transport to get to the South Pole: skiiing, kite skiing and ice biking.
    Here's a pic of the ice bike - cool isn't it? I've tried it out on sand and it didn't work very well but the experts tell me it will definitely work better on ice and snow. It better!





    No good on sand surely it wont be good on snow?
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  10. #10
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    "The adventurous TV star will travel 500 miles across Antarctica in January, using an ice bike, skis and a kite to raise money for Sport Relief.

    In the process, she will hope to set a new world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow."

    500 miles is a world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow??? I guess the ITI doesn't count?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by druidh View Post
    Ignore all the "longest distance stuff - this is TV celeb fundraising at its finest :-)
    Like I said.....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post


    I think she's not going to get far on that.
    I would think she might be wise to take along a well-appointed fat bike as backup.

    Has anyone ever done ultra distances on a Hanebrink in the snow?

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=SteveRice;8820277In the process, she will hope to set a new world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow."

    500 miles is a world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow??? I guess the ITI doesn't count?[/QUOTE]

    Sort of like the claim in the IMBA article that the Arrowhead is the reigning snow bike race in both history and cool (no pun intended). Not that it isn't a very cool race but really history and cool?
    Latitude 61

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    Someone needs to educate her! That Hanebrink just isn't going to cut it. Tire width is just one variable in the equation. Those little tires fall into holes and soft spots like a rock. And they're angle of approach hitting ledges &etc. sucks (I have one). They also use a rim that's only half as wide as the tire... seriously limits how low you can run 'em. They were cool in they're day, but they just don't even compare to the fat bikes we ride today!! Put that gal on something w/ BFL's & Hunndies!! Or follow her w/ a snowcat...

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    I would be shocked if she didn't have a full support team and then some. Kind of like when swimmers used to swim from Cuba to Miami or wherever. Sure they swam, but in a shark cage in the middle of a specially equipped boat.

    Her expedition is pure Hollywood.

  16. #16
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    How close is that rear mech to the deck....that's not going to last long
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  17. #17
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    Agree on all of the above... but... she is FIT

    Sorry cant resist, tell here to pop round to coastkid cottage for a loan of a fatty, though i will have to check her cardio
    Last edited by coastkid71; 12-13-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Agree on all of the above... but... she is FIT

    Sorry cant resist, tell here to pop round to coastkid cottage for a loan of a fatty, though i will have to check her cardo
    I suspect we'll need to check yours after the visit...
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  19. #19
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    i imagine the 'ice biking' will be about 2 miles of the journey
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  20. #20
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    The South Pole has been attempted before on a very similar set-up, back in 2003. The guy had already skied across Antarctica and was not successful in the bike expedition. I don't remember the reason, but an article about his trip is located here. This Biker Brakes for Penguins

    I agree she likely has a large entourage and the risk to her life is more minimal than it seems. So it will be interesting the watch her progress. I also agree that the bike is probably going to prove a lot less useful and spend a lot more time in that 180-pound sled than she's anticipating. She needs to take lessons from more recent self-supported snow bike expeditions and use a bicycle with a larger wheel base, wider rims, and the capability to carry more weight on the bike itself. She also should either leave the skis and kite at home, or leave the bike at home. She's over-engineering the entire plan.

  21. #21
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    Amazing. Oh to be a young, attractive tv personality, with all the right connections...

    If she has a full support crew nearby (and I can't imagine she won't) she might make it a good distance.

    Without a crew I don't give her much of a chance.

  22. #22
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    heeheehee!! looks like her gear weighs twice what she does.
    "I didn't think this one through" is an understatement of betelgeusian proportions.
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  23. #23
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    Dummer

    Hate to be the negative Nate, but we are a all a little dumber because of people like her.
    Still cleaning my Fatback.
    It's a life style.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Amazing. Oh to be a young, attractive tv personality, with all the right connections...
    If she has a full support crew nearby (and I can't imagine she won't) she might make it a good distance.
    Without a crew I don't give her much of a chance.
    But don't underestimate her.

    She works for a kids programme called Blue Peter and the presenters are expected to do all sorts of physical things. The selection process for the job is pretty tough physically, so she's not just an empty headed pretty face.

    She done stuff that I would never try.

    I don't have any doubt about her personal capability to do the trip, just her choice of tool.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    But don't underestimate her.

    She works for a kids programme called Blue Peter and the presenters are expected to do all sorts of physical things. The selection process for the job is pretty tough physically, so she's not just an empty headed pretty face.

    She done stuff that I would never try.

    I don't have any doubt about her personal capability to do the trip, just her choice of tool.
    I did some Googling (which is vastly different from oogling) and gathered what you've summarized here. And I stand by what I've said.

    The physical nature of a trip like she's proposing, at least what I understand of it, accounts for a small % of the total required to succeed. Gear selection and prep, as well as understanding how that gear can and cannot help you, are a lot more important. Having the psychological wherewithal to keep moving, safely, above and despite all else, is probably the most important.

    Which is why I think she'll go far if she has a crew to jump start her actions or even outright act on her behalf (melting snow, setting and breaking camp, mending gear, etc...) when things get rough.

    Which isn't all bad. She'll be bringing an exciting thing (Antarctica!) to millions of kids, not to mention the idea of exploring, outdoors, in an exotic place. Lots of good can come from that.

    I've already blocked out the idea that it'll be any kind of 'first' or 'longest'. Seems borderline criminal, and more and more common, to make claims like that.

    MC

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    ...I've already blocked out the idea that it'll be any kind of 'first' or 'longest'. Seems borderline criminal, and more and more common, to make claims like that...
    Yeah, that sort of claim really annoys me too. It's a worthy enough expedition in its own right, so it doesn't need to be spoiled by media hype. Hopefully it will inspire some of her audience to have a crack at winter biking.

    I may have a go at this "oogling" though.
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  27. #27
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    Of course if she had been Scottish then it would have been a breeze for her...
    But she is south of the border but as said she is a tough cookie, i hope she makes it, for herself and the charity, and cause she is fit.. oh i said that already

    She needs to get in some Artic training with the SAS

    If your interested in Antartic exploration read up about the less known Scotsman William Spears Bruce;
    wiki page; William Speirs Bruce - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Largely overshadowed by the heroes Scott and Amundsen , Bruce was a polar naturalist and oceangrapher who spent many winters on Ben Nevis summit meteorological station before several Artic and then Antartic expeditions, It was Bruce who established the first weather station in Antartica after funding from Argentina after Britain would not provide further funding for his explorations as Scotts sponser was only interested in winning the race to the pole,
    Yet it was Bruce who charted the Antartic waters and produced the first film from Antartica of Penguins ,
    Mostly forgotten because of Scotts (ill fated and ignorant) expedition William Spears Bruce is remembered here in Scotland as he founded Edinburgh Zoo but largely unrecognised for his work,

    More info here; Antarctic Explorers: William S. Bruce
    Last edited by coastkid71; 12-14-2011 at 11:53 PM.
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  28. #28
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    Nice to see Jill Homer on the form. The first female snow biker I was aware of. Thanks for being one of the internet peoples who helped inspire me to go fat.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaredbe View Post
    Nice to see Jill Homer on the form. The first female snow biker I was aware of. Thanks for being one of the internet peoples who helped inspire me to go fat.
    Aw, thanks Jaredbe. There are many awesome women snow bikers out there who inspired me when I was first discovering the sport in 2005 — Kathi Merchant, Janice Tower, Kathy Sarns. And of course there's Tracey Petervary who has ridden to Nome on both the Northern and Southern routes without the benefit of sponsorships and crew support. If I were to put together a "fantasy football team" of women who I thought had a good shot at a successful self-supported expedition to the South Pole, it would have to include Tracey.

    I do think what Helen is trying to do is a bit different. I also admire her ambition and determination, but I think her inexperience causes everybody pause. Because this is the kind of thing where, as Mike C. points out, toughness is only a small part of the equation. Just because she "really wants" that bike to work ain't gonna make it work. And this isn't the Amazon, where if you're too tired to go on, you can pull your kayak to the side of the river and rest for a few minutes without risking the onset of hypothermia. The inaccurate claims about records are also unfortunate, but I have a feeling those are being perpetuated more by her publicity machine than by Helen herself.

    Here's a good article that seems to portray Helen's honest attitude about the trip: Video: Helen Skelton takes on South Pole challenge - Telegraph

    Anyway, I wish her the best and hope there's great online coverage during the trip. She has a kite-ski expert guide and they're only giving themselves 25 days to complete the distance. Hope the weather cooperates.

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    Interesting timing of this thread as today is exactly 100 years to the day that Norwegian Roald Amunsten's expedition first set foot on the South Pole, 12/14/1911!
    Helens preparation and gear choice have me thinking that if she were not being supported & rescued, her fate would end much more like Scott's expedition. Poor planning and lack of experience played a huge part in the demise of Scott.

    Another (rival to Helen?) SP expedition that is currently underway is Felicity Astons first ever solo, unsupported SP trip by a woman;
    Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition
    She is about 100 miles from the SP today, making the trek on skis, no supperfatty icebike. I would place my bets on Felicity over Helen.
    Last edited by GrayJay; 12-14-2011 at 12:12 PM.

  31. #31
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    As a matter of interest why has Discovery or National Geographic channel etc not documented fatbiking adventures or winter races like Iditabike etc over your side of the pond?...

    Please take no offence to this but we get loads of these outdoor worky type series of supposedly extreme working enviroments, like Deadliest catch, Ice road Truckers where nothing ever happens, except brakes freezing, and no trucks going through the ice despite them showing that after every break!,
    and er axe men , and hillbilly swamp loggers

    When i have watched BBC nature documentrys from Canada and Alaska the scenery is amazing!, like the Yellowstone 4 part series, it really captured the outdoors out there, and the serious winter weather...
    If they could produce a series on winter biking with all that it would be amazing viewing

    A series on Scotland coastal riding would be good too,
    We have do have `The Adventure show` on BBC2 which should really be renamed `The Weekend Competitor Show` as unfortuantly it is hardly ever about adventure when it comes to cycling but endurance races on both road or offroad cycling,
    Funny thing is of the 6 fatbikes around here none off us race or have any interest in racing,
    but all would love to (afford) Alpaca rafts and do some trips in Scotland,

    Oh i have a Blue Peter badge somewhere Velobike i was on TV when i was 5
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Of course if she had been Scottish then it would have been a breeze for her...
    But she is south of the border but as said she is a tough cookie,
    "South of the border" <=====HA!

    That's a totally different thing here in the U.S.

    I get what you mean, being of Scottish heritage myself, but that gave me a laugh, I must say.

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  33. #33
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    Only 'just' south of the border, Helen is from Cumbria ......and NORTH Cumbria at that
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  34. #34
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  35. #35
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    Looks like this isn't the first time her, or at least her publicity team, have either lied or willfully neglected to do some very simple searching, about her and her "world record"s...

    Helen Skelton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Kayaking the Amazon

    In early 2010, Skelton kayaked the entire length of the River Amazon for Sport Relief 2010. She kayaked 2,010 miles (3,230 km) on a solo journey from Nauta in Peru on 20 January, to Almeirim, Brazil on 28 February, achieving two world records (awaiting verification) from Guinness World Records: the longest solo journey by kayak, and the longest distance in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman.[9]

    Conservative MP for the Ribble Valley Nigel Evans tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons after her Amazon challenge:[10]
    “ That this House congratulates Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton on her 2,000 mile kayak along the Amazon to raise money for Sport Relief; notes her considerable position as a role model to young people and the magnificent example she sets; further notes the forthcoming verification by Guinness World Records of the two records set by Helen during her effort - longest solo journey by kayak and the longest distance travelled in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman; and further notes the work of Sport Relief in raising money to help transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people, both in the UK and all over the world. ”

    Proved flase several times on this page:

    : Chronology of Sea Kayak Expeditions

    and this page:

    Sea kayak - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    She's a phony, borderline fraud. There is no excuse for not doing a little bit of reasearch before making a claim of a world record.

  36. #36
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    Oh i have a Blue Peter badge somewhere Velobike i was on TV when i was 5 [/QUOTE]

    Yep, we found the picture of " young Wee Bruce"
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Superfatty goes to the South Pole-coastkid5year.jpg  


  37. #37
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    LOL Tommy,
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  38. #38
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    Maybe her PR or research team team need a talking to.

    But good luck to her, anything that promotes bike use here in the UK is always good news and it's a for a good charity.

  39. #39
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    More info on her bike

    BBC News - Polar challenge: How do you cycle to the South Pole?

    I think I would have picked a Moonlander instead.

  40. #40
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    I have a feeling that despite her sizable crew, even more sizable budget, and a whole lotta desire, in a few weeks *she* will be the one asking the question in the BBC headline: How *do* you cycle to the South Pole?

    I have a sneaking suspicion it doesn't involve a 9 pound suspension fork.

    Unfortunately, even if she doesn't ride more than a mile the whole way, I suspect she and her PR team will still spin the result to make it sound like the bike was ridden to the pole.

    MC

  41. #41
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    It is designed to be as minimalist as possible, to make it aerodynamic and very low maintenance.
    Hope that was the BBC misinterpreting the builder.

    "They're a lot like the tyres for golf carts," says Fortune. "They are designed to leave the smallest impression as possible, so the grass on the green isn't damaged."
    One doesn't drive on the green. At least in my limited experience of that strange sport of chasing a ball around a manicured grounds.

    She also won't be taking a puncture repair kit with her as it is extremely unlikely the tyres will puncture due to the steel belts woven inside.
    WTF? Steel belts woven inside?

    The frame also needs to be as light and aerodynamic as possible, as well as durable.

    It is made from seamless aluminium aircraft tubing, which is heat treated to withstand the harshest environments.

    The rear-only disc brake is set to give as little drag as possible while providing maximum braking power.
    Doesn't sound like that is adjusted correctly.

    Skelton's handlebar is equipped with adjustable clip on handle bars, as seen on triathlon bikes. This will allow her to adjust her positioning for warmth, comfort and aerodynamics during long hours and harsh conditions.
    Again with the aerodynamics. Really? I can understand the want to change positions - but will her route be packed and smooth enough to be comfortable on these?



    I guess I should have just quoted the whole article.

  42. #42
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    By happy coincidence I just ran into my friend who is very experienced on the ice, he has guided multiple unsupported South Pole trips as well as stuff in Greenland and the arctic.

    He had not heard of the trip but when I described the bike he knew exactly what I was talking about. He said he'd seen one tried out, pulling a small sled, the person went less than a km and came back pushing the bike. His verdict was 'too heavy' and 'doesn't work.'

    He does think the trip would be doable on a Pugsley or similar bike.

  43. #43
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    Well she definitly does have the wrong people organising her trip for her to raise money for charity, as you have all pointed out, however... seeing as this forum is quick enough to shoot her down or rather the unexperianced organisers of it all, surely then some of you lot being the expert snow endurance cyclists that you are stateside should have already been there by bike
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Well she definitly does have the wrong people organising her trip for her to raise money for charity, as you have all pointed out, however... seeing as this forum is quick enough to shoot her down or rather the unexperianced organisers of it all, surely then some of you lot being the expert snow endurance cyclists that you are stateside should have already been there by bike
    It only takes a cursory glance to understand that a trip like this is waaaaaaaay outside the budget of most, TV personalities and Sugar Daddies (and their spouses) notwithstanding.

    I wish her luck, but I'm afraid that matters little with some of the choices she's made. I just hope she (and her crew) don't bung things up for future attempts. There's a lot more at stake than just her failure.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    By happy coincidence I just ran into my friend who is very experienced on the ice, he has guided multiple unsupported South Pole trips as well as stuff in Greenland and the arctic.

    He had not heard of the trip but when I described the bike he knew exactly what I was talking about. He said he'd seen one tried out, pulling a small sled, the person went less than a km and came back pushing the bike. His verdict was 'too heavy' and 'doesn't work.'

    He does think the trip would be doable on a Pugsley or similar bike.
    A friend of mine was working in Antarctica at the time the "other person" attempted his south pole trip on a Hanebrink... an exact quote from him: "that didn't go so well".

    Having ridden one (in sand only), I can tell you, they're 4" wide rim w/ 8" wide tire is not a "high floatation" system, especially at the tire's short hight (don't have it front of me but I believe it's under 17". His (Hanebrink's) earlier proto models had 8" wide rims w/ a much taller tire and did appear to work much better floatation wise. I plan on restoring mine someday (too many other "fat" priorities/options these day's) in the manner of the originals. Still, just a novelty item... a "big truck bike" for hauling a case of beer to the beach fire or etc...

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    all the gear in the world, all the prep, the biggest budget, means diddly when it comes to getting out of the sleeping bag, digging your bike out of the drift and slinging your cold aching leg over that saddle.
    then.... THEN.... you get to ride at an effort level that makes you want to puke. blowing snot rockets that turn to ice before spearing the snow. wondering if food will ever be hot and not just lukewarm. knowing full well that the fact that you can't feel your toes could mean that frostbite has taken them...

    the people that would make it have the same "it" that paris-dakar racers have.
    it's not balls, not guts, not drive or determination... those are concepts too simple to encompass what it really is.
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    I thought those Hanebrink's used a jack-shaft drivetrain, or whatever it's called. Chainline on that one has got to be whack!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    I thought those Hanebrink's used a jack-shaft drivetrain, or whatever it's called. Chainline on that one has got to be whack!
    They had jack shafts for the first few years, which was cool 'cause you could change the "primary" drive gearing and they could fit a bigger tire. They eventually got rid of it to simplify & cut costs.

  49. #49
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    Pretty sure there will be a camera crew accompanying her, as well as a support vehicle of some sort to transport the bike when she's not using it. I would be willing to bet she's not going to have to worry too much about bivying.

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    This looks like the previous (and very similar) attempt:

    This Biker Brakes for Penguins

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    alternative

    Would be interesting to see her try on a more conventional fat bike. Would be at least remove the bike as the likely sticking point of the expedition.

  52. #52
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    I like their theory about saddles other than Brooks freezing and shattering like glass at sub zero temperatures..... So far my plastic based saddle has stayed in tact down to -45ish.

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    "Bike builders Dan Hanebrink and Kane Fortune spent three months working on Skelton’s ride, applying what they learned building one for Doug Stoup, who rode 200 miles in Antarctica, and tweaking it for Skelton."

    “I didn’t really think this one through,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like it. When I went out to New Zealand [to prepare], that was my first experience of something that cold. I just didn’t think about what it would entail – camping in the snow, using the water to cook your food, lugging all your stuff around, so yeah, it’s been a steep learning curve.” -Skelton
    via Adventure Journal
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    Again with the aerodynamics. Really? I can understand the want to change positions - but will her route be packed and smooth enough to be comfortable on these?
    I think the idea is that if she's going into a 50mph headwind, then she can go 3mph instead of 2mph. The bike might be the best way for her to make forward progress in such conditions since the ski's would put her even more upright and exposed to the wind.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It only takes a cursory glance to understand that a trip like this is waaaaaaaay outside the budget of most, TV personalities and Sugar Daddies (and their spouses) notwithstanding.
    Mike, by your comments on this thread it sounds like you might be willing to attempt this sort of challenge yourself if you had the funding, is that so? Perhaps we could start passing the hat around... I know I'd put in $100 to see get it started. How much do we need to throw in a hat to make it happen?
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    It looks like they started yesterday, and they were planning to start on the bikes. About 10 miles are filled in on the progress bar (they were hoping for 25/day).

    They tried out the bikes 12/28 and reported this:
    First day on the ice bike

    28th December 2011 8.19pm

    Today Niklas and I tried the ice bike for the first time. Towing our sledges behind the bikes was very hard. We went 1.5 miles in about 1.5 hours.

    I asked the crew to take the sledges off the bikes to see if we could cycle faster. We could, but after another two miles we took the decision to take the kite out again.

    We are flying a sail which is a smaller kite - it's great for my confidence and Niklas can give me coaching tips as I tow him behind me.

    Helen and the team x

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    So, wide tires for float? Yet not expecting any deep snow, apparently?
    And even if you're only expecting ice and headwinds, why not taller skinnier tires with studs?

    This is either an elaborate April fools affair, or worthy of a double face palm.
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    I'm surprised by the harshness of the comments here. Yes, she's obviously not in the same league as the world's top female athletes, but remember, she brings these stories to children, and hopefully it will get them to drop the Wii and get outside a little more. The update showing the blisters on her feet does mean she is putting in at least some effort, and compared to those fat-assed beotch fake-celebrity Kardashian chicks we have here (who have never lifted a finger in their lives), Ms.Skelton deserves at least a little credit.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by caminoloco View Post
    This looks like the previous (and very similar) attempt:

    This Biker Brakes for Penguins
    same bike im sure.

    how it pulls weight, with a tiny rear wide wheel with that gearing i have no idea........wouldnt it just spin far too easy???

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  59. #59
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    Apparently putting TV hosts through extreme situations is a long-standing British tradition, or so I'm told by my cubicle neighbor who is from the UK. I have nothing but respect for her doing it, just wishing maybe she had gotten some better advice and training.

    From what I can tell that 'Ice Axe' expedition never went anywhere beyond testing the bike.
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  60. #60
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    Helen Skelton begins 500-mile journey across Antarctica on specially-built 'ice bike' | Mail Online

    "Helen is aiming to set a new world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow"

    Her trip is 500 miles and she is only biking parts of it.

    The Iditarod Trail Invitational to Nome is 1000 miles and has been completed by a number of bikers, and I am sure there must be other longer snow bike rides.

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    For what it's worth, DailyMail is kinda BS, on a similar accuracy/sensation sort of quality as Huffington Post.
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  62. #62
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    +1 deuxdiesel reading some of the negative replies on here is like being on the UK STW forum , i hope she completes here challange, even if the cycling part is a failure,

    And very true of the Daily Mail

    Celebs doing stuff like this is the norm for TV, they have the money, and they can present on tv, it will be filmed well being the BBC and should capture the beauty of Antartica,

    She will struggle no doubt, and suffer a lot, but i doubt they wil fake anything and omit any stuff, if she cannot bike she will admit it, then carry on kiting etc...
    Our tv culture in the UK craves reality stuff where folk suffer, but she will still camp etc... dispite a back up crew she will try and do the challange,
    The series should make decent watching with her personality, more interesting than the usual Soap Operas, extreme loggers or Ice Road Truckers!
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    ...... but i doubt they wil fake anything and omit any stuff, .......


    You missed the part about her/them omitting the decency of checking some simple facts before making false claims? She still claims to have a world record for longest journey by kayak, and she/they are still claiming this will be the record for longest snow bike ride, both of which are 100% false. That's the part people are taking issue with. We would all be supporting her if there was nothing but honest publicity and good intentions surrounding this trip. By all means it sounds like it will be a fun/difficult trip.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    +1 deuxdiesel reading some of the negative replies on here is like being on the UK STW forum , i hope she completes here challange, even if the cycling part is a failure...
    I think it's more concern about the unsuitability (suspected - we may be wrong) of her bike.

    I would love to see her succeed or, even if she fails, full kudos for trying.

    But like Sean I'm a bit unhappy about the record claims.
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    Aye, missed that bit about the claims , i was on about her over all ability of doing stuff, Maybe the BBC/website needs contacted about these world record claims if they are indeed not true?, i too know that the Iditabike 1000 mile ride must be the longest snow ride,

    If she decides to do a pin up calander i will buy one anyway
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    If she decides to do a pin up calander i will buy one anyway
    JANUARY:


    FEBRUARY:


    MARCH:


    APRIL:


    MAY:


    JUNE:


    JULY: (showing some skin!!)


    AUGUST: (another risqué shot, I can almost see her ears!)


    SEPTEMBER:


    OCTOBER:


    NOVEMBER:


    ...... DECEMBER:

    Last edited by FishMan473; 01-05-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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    Funny to read the posts in here.

    The race organizer Tony Martin from Extreme World Races will do just anything to get publicity. He seems to have managed to do just that. This bike will not be ridden to the pole, it will be laying in the back of Tony´s truck on the way to the pole.

    The world of records in Antarctica is without rules. Everyone claims to be the first one to do this and that, but the fact is that an only a handful of people is doing something worth recognizing. But hey, what don´t you do to raise funds for your expedition. The airfare alone is at least 45.000 USD to Antarctica. I have witnessed so many lies about expeditions in Antarctica that I stopped counting long time ago. It is especially common among the Brits as they have fierce internal competition to raise funds for their expeditions in the UK. And this will only get worse. I would love to see a real fat bike ridden to the pole. I think they will smoke the skiers if they get the right conditions.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by aronreyn View Post
    Funny to read the posts in here.

    The race organizer Tony Martin from Extreme World Races will do just anything to get publicity. He seems to have managed to do just that. This bike will not be ridden to the pole, it will be laying in the back of Tony´s truck on the way to the pole.

    The world of records in Antarctica is without rules. Everyone claims to be the first one to do this and that, but the fact is that an only a handful of people is doing something worth recognizing. But hey, what don´t you do to raise funds for your expedition. The airfare alone is at least 45.000 USD to Antarctica. I have witnessed so many lies about expeditions in Antarctica that I stopped counting long time ago. It is especially common among the Brits as they have fierce internal competition to raise funds for their expeditions in the UK. And this will only get worse. I would love to see a real fat bike ridden to the pole. I think they will smoke the skiers if they get the right conditions.
    Isn't the South pole a bit for pussies, relative to the North Pole?

    Top Gear supposedly rode the first car there. Not sure whether that's true, or whether a bike's been there. The ice boulder fields seemed to make it interesting.

    If human power speed were an issue, I'd have larger rim diameter BFL's made, and commissioned a trike or quad for it. Superb float, no worries to mention even on thin ice.
    No balancing involved, much more mentally easy to pedal away. I'm telling you it'd be quick. A recumbent layout could even have an aerogel insulated cockpit, heated by manpower. When the going gets too tough, you get out and snowshoe for a bit dragging a near dragless trike/quad. With open fields and tailwind, it becomes like a car rally.
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    I am an Arctic Trucks employee and we took Top Gear to the "magnetic" north pole and we have made several expeditions to the south pole including the one we are discussing. Seven of our trucks support this race. The North pole it self is not safe as there are open waters and thin Ice. It is to risky with a truck. Scientists claim it will be inaccessable in three years from know.

    I thin you would do just fine on a two wheel bike, you don´t need a trike or quad. It will only make it harder.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by aronreyn View Post
    I am an Arctic Trucks employee and we took Top Gear to the "magnetic" north pole and we have made several expeditions to the south pole including the one we are discussing. Seven of our trucks support this race....
    So can you tell us more about the ice road. Is this basically a graded ice road with a risk of crevasses where the ice sheets meet?

    I reckon this could be a good time to put together an mtbr fatbike expedition.

    Anyone interested?
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    ...A recumbent layout could even have an aerogel insulated cockpit, heated by manpower. When the going gets too tough, you get out and snowshoe for a bit dragging a near dragless trike/quad. With open fields and tailwind, it becomes like a car rally.
    Strange, I was thinking much the same.

    We must be getting our water from the same well...
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    So can you tell us more about the ice road. Is this basically a graded ice road with a risk of crevasses where the ice sheets meet?

    I reckon this could be a good time to put together an mtbr fatbike expedition.

    Anyone interested?
    Ofcourse, when do we leave ? On a more serious note, there's a very serious fat bike leaving for Antarctica very soon. Not for some weird race or conquest but as a testbed for a low impact polar vehicle. It's a Belgian Sandman bike which will be used by the scientists at the first zero-emission polar station: Home - Princess Elisabeth Antarctica

    They want to try to get a bit closer to zero emissions once outside too, while going about the things that scientists do around the base like checking on their scientific projects.

    If someone would want to try to reach the south pole with it, it will be there soon & be my guest , I'm sure the scientists will be happy to lend it back if the project is sound. It'd be good to see how far it can go there. But let's first see if it works as it should. I'll try to post some pictures of it next week, it's a darn impressive and polar-purpose made bike.

  73. #73
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    If your paying the flight in i`m game! Velobike i am bored S#####ss at work so up for it, would need some sponsership mind!, hey a Scots expedition! been a while!

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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by caminoloco View Post
    ...... I'll try to post some pictures of it next week, it's a darn impressive and polar-purpose made bike.

    That's just cruel....

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Strange, I was thinking much the same.

    We must be getting our water from the same well...
    That doesn't make you a very sane person.

    I believe technology can overcome a lot of issues for human powered transport.

    If the other guy says a 2-wheelers will be fine even for the North I'll trust him on that.
    More so than scientist claiming the end of cold weather. We know who's been paying them, generously.

    I still want a crazy quad though. And it being a cold topic, I just threw in my usual aerogel appplication. I always see reason to use aerogel somewhere. Gotta love absolute insulation. It comes in a few mm thick blanket now. Oh so easy to work into a cockpit lining. Or a bike seat. Or boots. Etc. They once made an ultra-thin, near weightless snowboard jacket out of it. Boarders hated it. Too darn hot.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    That's just cruel....
    , I would have posted some earlier, but I just don't have any pictures of it now - it's getting tailormade panniers and bags made & fitted.

    That and I'm off to a beachrace in Holland right now, going to try to humiliate some 3500 other gung-ho bikers with skinny tires ... I think they're announcing 6 beaufort, 't will be interesting... we've put 52t chainrings in case we get some tailwind

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    More so than scientist claiming the end of cold weather. We know who's been paying them, generously.
    I don't want to turn this into a climate change debate, but I can't let this BS go. Who is paying them "generously"? Uhhhhh, the educational institutions they work for maybe? Professors make maybe 2-3 times what the average blue-collar worker makes... not unreasonable considering their level of education and the fact that these are manager level positions as they lead several graduate students and other researchers. On the other hand, CEO's of major corporations (including those with a vested interest in make something like 300 TIMES what the average American makes. Who do you think's got more coin to toss around trying to sell their view point about climate change?

    I don't have any intention of trying to change anyone's opinion on climate change, but at least base your opinion on some facts, not some stupid conspiracy theory. And more importantly, try to leave political BS out of otherwise friendly and interesting threads.
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  78. #78
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    I was just thinking that, in the context of British polar exploration, this is expedition is right on the money. Equal parts courage and stubborn foolishness. The hallmark of the British was to go too big, too heavy, ignore everything that had been learned about the environment they were working in, and ultimately fail with often disastrous results. See Franklin, Ross, McLure, Scott...

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    When you said British did you not mean English?

    There was also the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition 1902-04 was sponsered by an Edinburgh company and led by William Spears Bruce after ignored by English sponsers who were only interested in the goal of getting to the Pole and not to study Antartic weather, wildlife etc...
    Freeze Frame » Scottish National Antarctic Expedition 1902-04


    Williams Spears Bruce gets no little credit and publicity for his work in Antartica, He established the Weather Station still there today after he got Argentine sponsership when his funding ran out, he recorded the first film (of penguins) and it was Spears who mapped Antartica, Antarctic Explorers: William S. Bruce

    He started Edinburgh Zoo too

    As often to happen he is one of many Scottish Explorers forgotten about by the blundering exploits of higher social classes disasterous exploits!,
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    When you said British did you not mean English?

    There was also the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition 1902-04 was sponsered by an Edinburgh company and led by William Spears Bruce after ignored by English sponsers who were only interested in the goal of getting to the Pole and not to study Antartic weather, wildlife etc...
    Freeze Frame » Scottish National Antarctic Expedition 1902-04


    Williams Spears Bruce gets no little credit and publicity for his work in Antartica, He established the Weather Station still there today after he got Argentine sponsership when his funding ran out, he recorded the first film (of penguins) and it was Spears who mapped Antartica, Antarctic Explorers: William S. Bruce

    He started Edinburgh Zoo too

    As often to happen he is one of many Scottish Explorers forgotten about by the blundering exploits of higher social classes disasterous exploits!,
    Yeah, weren't McClure(Irish) and Ross(Scottish) successful in their expeditions??

  81. #81
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    We did Ross at primary school many moons ago!, here is the Wiki page with links to most of the famous Scottish explorers; Category:Scottish explorers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You guys maybe know of John Rae who left Edinburgh and worked for the Hudson Bay Company, he lived with the Inuit and learned to live off the land like they did, which enabled him to do long expeditions, including a 1200 mile winter forest walk,

    His wiki page quotes;
    "Although he found the last link in the much-sought-after Northwest Passage Rae was never awarded a Knighthood, nor was he remembered at the time of his death, dying quietly in London. In comparison fellow Scot and contemporary explorer David Livingstone was knighted and buried with full imperial honours in Westminster Abbey."

    Because central Africa was still for the grabbing (by the white man) he was a hero!
    Typical bloody upperclass gits!
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    A know one other big Scot who was on the North Pole!!

    Billy Connolly - A Scot In The Arctic - Part 1 of 4 - YouTube

    LOL

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    As mentioned, McLure was Irish and Ross (the elder) was Scottish so it was definitely a British thing.

    Were they successful? It depends on your definition of success... They definitely achieved a lot of goals in exploring the arctic, but in the end Amundsen claimed the ultimate prize using knowledge and tactics gained from past expeditions and from the Inuit. (He later ate Scott's lunch in the Antarctic basically the same way).

    The British continued to use hopeless tactics, for example pulling huge, heavy sledges with teams of men rather than going light and fast with dog teams, for example. If only half your men died or were completely debilitated by scurvy that was probably a success right there.

    There were definite exceptions to the rule, Rae being one of them. The crazy thing is whatever guys like Rae learned would be ignored by future expeditions.

    Courage in spades but history gives us the luxury of questioning their judgement.

    Highly recommend Pierre Berton's Arctic for a good read on the subject.

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    There must be many worldwide explorers unrecognised for there successful exploits,
    like in 2005 when our fatbike riding buddy Jakub Postrzygacz who was laughed at by 4x4 drivers when he asked about cycling unsupported the 2000Km Canning Stock Route across outback Austrailia - the longest remote track in the world, but he did it,
    and out side of people on here it is largely unknown about, , a documentry film of his journey would make excellent viewing with the outback scenery and big skys,
    Canning Stock Route by Bike 2005

    No bull, support crews, get out of free jail cards etc... Adventure TV should be like that!
    Last edited by coastkid71; 01-08-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo View Post
    I was just thinking that, in the context of British polar exploration, this is expedition is right on the money. Equal parts courage and stubborn foolishness. The hallmark of the British was to go too big, too heavy, ignore everything that had been learned about the environment they were working in, and ultimately fail with often disastrous results. See Franklin, Ross, McLure, Scott...
    Do you think a Norwegian TV host will pedal past her on a Moonlander? Maybe it's Andreas Viestad and he will grill a lovely penguin/whale lunch for the polar researchers when he gets there.

  87. #87
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    Sounds like the bikes have been relegated to the back of the trucks in favor of kites.

    BBC - CBBC - Helen Skelton&#39;s South Pole Challenge for Sport Relief: Diary

    Speaking of trucks, these are very cool. Definitely not traveling light on this expedition!


  88. #88
    viva la v-brakes!
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    Somebody's got to get down there and do it on a fat bike. I nominate Mike Curiak! Lets get a Kistarter Project going!
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  89. #89
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    Kickstarter might be the way to go.

    It occurred to me she might have taken a Hanebrink because, perhaps, they gave it to her for the plug. Product placement and all that. Although the expedition isn't reflecting well on the rig as a bike, for sure.

  90. #90
    viva la v-brakes!
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Although the expedition isn't reflecting well on the rig as a bike, for sure.
    The Hanebrink is pretty much obsolete in every way, isn't it?
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    Mike, by your comments on this thread it sounds like you might be willing to attempt this sort of challenge yourself if you had the funding, is that so? Perhaps we could start passing the hat around... I know I'd put in $100 to see get it started. How much do we need to throw in a hat to make it happen?
    I've devoted a few months of every year, since 2005, preparing for something very, very similar to this. Not days, not weeks. Months.

    My bike is dialed. Clothing, shoes, packs, sleeping bag, tent--all dialed. Food quantities and recipes have been fine tuned to the Nth degree.

    What's lacking is funding. It'd be a minimum of $70k just to get on the ice and back. Probably north of $90k all told--and that's for a lesser trip, something like Helen's attempting here.

    It'd cost much, much more to do it the *right* way--the way I've been prepping to do it for the last 7 years. With a more-than-full-time job I haven't been able to devote the time and $$$$ to finding an agent to beat the bushes and raise the funds. Seems out of reach, quite frankly.

    MC

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I've devoted a few months of every year, since 2005, preparing for something very, very similar to this. Not days, not weeks. Months.

    My bike is dialed. Clothing, shoes, packs, sleeping bag, tent--all dialed. Food quantities and recipes have been fine tuned to the Nth degree.

    What's lacking is funding. It'd be a minimum of $70k just to get on the ice and back. Probably north of $90k all told--and that's for a lesser trip, something like Helen's attempting here.

    It'd cost much, much more to do it the *right* way--the way I've been prepping to do it for the last 7 years. With a more-than-full-time job I haven't been able to devote the time and $$$$ to finding an agent to beat the bushes and raise the funds. Seems out of reach, quite frankly.

    MC

    I think Cloxxki is right anyway, "Isn't the South pole a bit for pussies, relative to the North Pole?"

    Kills me to think of all the money wasted on that **** show that could have gone towards the charity. I’d be willing to bet it cost more money than she raised to send trucks and film crews there. Crazy

  93. #93
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    I drove one of these trucks to the Pole last year. I think it is possible to ride a fat bike to the pole.

  94. #94
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    Seems like somebody is already riding a fat bike at the South Pole. By the sounds of it, the time of year that you choose to go is pretty critical.

    Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » A Letter from the South Pole
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    It is not the first bike at the South pole station, there are several mountainbikers there. It is no problem to ride in the area around the station as it is groomed. To ride from the Hercules inlet or any of the other starting points at the coast to the pole would be a real challenge.

  96. #96
    is buachail foighneach me
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    No longer bike related, but:

    More lies and missinformation about bs "world records" by this joke:


    Explorers query Helen Skelton kite-ski record - Telegraph

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    No longer bike related, but:

    More lies and missinformation about bs "world records" by this joke:


    Explorers query Helen Skelton kite-ski record - Telegraph
    When I first saw that record claim I was suspicious, too. There are trail running records for 100 kilometers in the eight-hour range. It didn't seem very impressive for kite skiing. It only continues to highlight the dubious nature of making "world record" claims of any sort. I mean, someone could submit a proposal for kite skiing 27.5K. I'm sure no one's ever thought about laying a claim to that distance.

    For what it's worth, I think this woman has been swept up by the necessity of doing her "job" as a media personality. You can see it in her latest reports from the field —*she's tied by the expectations of her charity and her employer, Blue Peter. These expectations are almost certainly the reason for ongoing BS world record claims. But I've enjoyed reading her blog reports. (At least when she's not griping about her hair.) Some of her observations about the landscape are actually quite beautiful. Helen Skelton's Polar Challenge: the latest - Telegraph

    But I do think that even her hair gripes are largely directed at her intended audience for the benefit of her sponsors. From her latest, on why they've stashed their kites and returned to "riding" their bikes 20 miles in 14 hours: "Still, I almost feel like I'll be disappointing people if, upon my return, I can't tell tales of pain and struggle. It's become what people expect!"

    It's always been a reality show endeavor. It's just unfortunate that so many people confuse reality show concepts with reality.

  98. #98
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    103 more miles by bike in Antarctica than most of us

    23rd January 2012 11.40am

    We made it to the South Pole and we're very happy! Thank you for all your support along the way - reading your messages really helped me, especially when I was feeling down.

    I hope I've inspired you to enter the Sport Relief Mile. If I can go for 500 miles, why not try one mile yourself and help raise money for Sport Relief 2012.


    Overall stats:

    Miles on kite: 329 (8 days)
    Miles on bike: 103 (7 days)
    Miles on skis: 68 (3 days)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  99. #99
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    While we're on the topic, did anyone else see this guy planning a fatbike/packraft trip around Alaska? He's funding it on kickstarter.

  100. #100
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    Well done
    Despite all the negative comments posted on here,

    "Isn't the South pole a bit for pussies, relative to the North Pole?"
    ha ha what a tool!

    Possibly it is just the fact that there not down there doing what you guys did.
    It is pretty low to not at least support you guys, but hey let them be like that...
    There are a lot of folk out there who were interested in your challange.

    Despite what the press wrote (informed or misinformed) , and you riding what most think the wrong choice of bike, you did go, do it, and raise money, and seeing as the Guinness Book of Records recognise your achiements then it is an official world record so well done...

    Positive criticism is always better then negative criticism,
    I donated to the charity even though i thought some of the PR claims and statements as well as bike choice was a bit weird.
    Sometimes thinking about others rather than just yourself is important, well here in the UK it is, so again well done, look forward to the TV series,
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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  101. #101
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    People rode bikes from Dawson to Nome in 1898. If she is riding 500 miles and hopes to set a record for longest snow ride, her opportunity slipped through her fingers by a mere 114 years. My hunch is not much will come of this.
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  102. #102
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Well done
    Despite all the negative comments posted on here,


    ha ha what a tool!

    Possibly it is just the fact that there not down there doing what you guys did.
    It is pretty low to not at least support you guys, but hey let them be like that...
    There are a lot of folk out there who were interested in your challange.

    Despite what the press wrote (informed or misinformed) , and you riding what most think the wrong choice of bike, you did go, do it, and raise money, and seeing as the Guinness Book of Records recognise your achiements then it is an official world record so well done...

    Positive criticism is always better then negative criticism,
    I donated to the charity even though i thought some of the PR claims and statements as well as bike choice was a bit weird.
    Sometimes thinking about others rather than just yourself is important, well here in the UK it is, so again well done, look forward to the TV series,

    Would you be sucking up so much if the subject wasn't a good looking woman?

  103. #103
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    Also on topic (sort of; maybe not on this particular thread because no bikes were involved.) But Felicity Aston recently completed her solo ski across Antartica. She's also British, and had the historic first of being the first woman to cross Antarctica alone. Her expedition flew a lot further under the radar than Helen's, even in the British media. Perhaps unsurprising. Still, she kept a compelling blog and tweets via satellite phone while she was out there. Recommended read. Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition

  104. #104
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    Hmm good point

    Official World records do have to be sanctioned by the Guiness Book of Records.
    Of course there are loads of other undocumented recordeds set and firsts that have been done, but if not confirmed by GBR then not an officially recognised World record.

    A real solo unassited ride to either pole by someone with a daily online diary broadcast would be great, and of course better to the viewer to get a grasp of the expedition.
    Again i would be happy to make a wee payment for a charity to watch stuff like this

    There is a lot of crap on TV, Helens trip will still be way better to watch than a lot of so called evening entertainment
    Last edited by coastkid71; 01-30-2012 at 05:01 PM.
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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  105. #105
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    I think Helen Skelton is awesome, she's done something adventurous to inspire people and raise money for a good cause. I have all respect for her and her expedition. It's brilliant.

    What is not awesome is trying to hype this thing as a great polar exploration or some kind of half-baked world record. What she did was awesome enough, it doesn't have to be blown out of proportion with a bunch of hype. Especially in consideration of someone like the woman Jilleo linked to.

    What is also not awesome is the bike company pumping their tires about this unstoppable machine that took tens of thousands of dollars in R&D. The bikes didn't work out so well in the end, not such an amazing PR triumph for them after all.

  106. #106
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    I think Helen is a great example for her young audience. A real have-a-go type. She's done stuff that would frighten the recycled food products out of me.

    I just think it's sad that this has been over-hyped by her employers. It is an impressive enough journey in its own right.

    When Coastkid and I do it, we'd like the support vehicles too.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  107. #107
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    Helen can come along and give my feet a massage at night too if she likes
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

  108. #108
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  109. #109
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    Been thinking about this, no idea yet how to fund it.

    Who's up for a Scottish Fatbike expedition to the South Pole?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  110. #110
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    A zero emission vehicle for a zero emission polar station, at 1400 m altitude

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LYIOoBvbX...0/IMG_6155.JPG

    Due to the abrupt terrain surrounding the base we opted for spiked Nates (on a purpose built bike). Good gamble apparently because the scientists very much enjoyed the bike so far (the base is closed for the winter now).

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