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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

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

I'm in.
 

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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.;)
 

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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 :eekster:).

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).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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.
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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!
 

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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
 

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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.
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
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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.
 

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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?
 
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