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South Pole

Three cyclists arrive at the South Pole

Friday, January 31, 2014 by: Antonia
Tags: South Pole, extreme cycling, expeditions

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(NaturalNews) In December and January, three cyclists from around the world were able to reach the South Pole on their bikes, each using a different approach and equipment types, but all achieving the goals they set before them. The first one was 35-year-old Maria Leijerstam, who completed the journey from the coast of the continent to the pole in just 10 days on December 27. Juan Menendez Granados, a 31-year-old from Spain, took 46 days to finish his ride on January 18. Dan Burton from the U.S. turned 50 on his 50-day expedition, arriving at the South Pole on January 21.

The race

"This has now become an international race to see who can get there first," wrote Burton in his blog, The South Pole Epic. However, it became obvious as the three started out that they wouldn't be competing on exactly equal terms, and by the time they reached the South Pole, each of the cyclists became first in their own right.

Maria Leijerstam

Leijerstam used a tricycle and started her expedition at Leverett Glacier, selecting the shortest legitimate route from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, roughly 370 miles. Her ride was also fully supported, with a truck riding by her side and carrying her supplies.

Dan Burton and Juan Menendez Granados

Both Burton and Granados chose a more challenging approach, each doing their rides on fat bicycles and taking a twice longer route from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, a total of about 730 miles. Granados went on his ride entirely unsupported and unassisted, meaning that he picked up his supplies on the beginning of the trip and made them last all the way to the pole, without having anyone by his side either. He did part of the expedition using his skis, however, while Burton solely relied on his bicycle the entire way. Burton rode unsupported but not unassisted - he received three planned supply drops along the way.

Cycling in harsh conditions

The two men both encountered lots of challenges, such as dealing with whiteouts, avoiding dangerous crevasses, getting lost, handling minus 40 temperatures and running out of supplies. Granados was particularly low on food and energy in the last few days of his expedition, describing his difficulties on his website. Burton too ran out of supplies just a day before reaching the South Pole, but was saved by a prompt ski delivery from Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions, the group he relied on for emergencies, navigation and supplies during his ride.

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About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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