Thursday, November 19, 2015

Want to Ride a Bike to the South Pole in 2016?

The 2015 Antarctic season is just barely getting underway, but there is already a reason to start looking ahead to next year. That's because TDA Cycling – a company that specializes in long distance trips by bike – has announced the first ever guided bike expedition to the South Pole.

The new trip will launch in December of 2016, and will cover the last degree to Pole. Riders will be flown to the 89th parallel to begin their journey in Punta Arenas, Chile where they will first spend four days prepping for the challenges they'll face out on the ice. After that, it'll be on to Union Glacier Ice Camp for a brief stay before proceeding to the 89th parallel, which is where they'll start pedaling to the Pole. It is expected to take nine days to cover the distance to 90ºS, with the team covering approximately 20km (12.4 miles) per day.

The ride will be conducted on fat bikes, which are the only ones that are suitable for the Antarctic terrain. These types of bikes are big, and heavy, but the wide tires are very forgiving on snow and ice. There have already been a couple of people who have ridden to the South Pole, so the usefulness of the fat bike has already been proven in these conditions.

Before you can sign up for this one-of-a-kind tour, TDA is requiring all participants to first take part in a training ride in Lake Winnipeg this coming February. That tour will be used to get everyone accustomed to riding in the snow, and get acquainted with their bikes. Successfully completing the training ride will demonstrate to the TDA guides that you are ready for your polar expedition.

As you can imagine, a trip like this one doesn't come cheap. The price is $70,000, which doesn't include flights to Punta Arenas, travel insurance, gear, the Lake Winnipeg training session, or even a bike. In other words, this is one expensive adventure. But if you have the cash, it looks like it would be the experience of a lifetime.

Check out this tour, and all of TDA's cycling expedition, on the company's website. And watch the video below for more information.

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