Until now, no one reached the South Pole through cycling. Last winter, polar explorer Eric Larsen attempted to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole, but due to extreme adverse weather, he was forced to abandon the attempt. However, this year many people also attempted to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole, and finally, 35-year-old British adventurer Maria Leijerstam has become the very first person, cycling to the South Pole.
Last year, when Larsen tried to become the first person to reach the South Pole through cycling, he had no opponent. But this year, when Maria Leijerstam started her journey towards the South Pole through cycling, she had two more contenders – Juan Mendez (Spain) and Daniel Burton (US). However, to become the world’s first person reaching to the South Pole through cycling, Leijerstam used a recumbent fat-tired tricycle, nicknamed the White ICE Cycle, which is manufacturer by the UK’s Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE).
Leijerstam chose to go with recumbent tricycle because it would allow her to maintain stability in the often very-high winds. That’s not all. The tricycle also allowed her move faster and to concentrate simply on moving forward, instead of having to waste time and effort keeping her balance. ICE used its Sprint trike as the basis for the extreme build, including standard components like its ergonomic mesh seat and indirect steering system. In order to prepare the vessel for the harsh challenges of extended Antarctic travel, ICE upgraded the design from a US$3,000 stock trike to a ~$33,000 extreme polar-cycle.
Leijerstam said, “Fat bikes fail because they get blown over in the high winds, or can’t ride fast enough through the snow to stay upright. I knew I needed something that would overcome these limitations.”
Leijerstam started her journey from Ross Ice Shelf, the edge of the Antarctic continent on Dec 17, traveled a journey of approximately 400 miles (644 km) via Leverett Glacier, and finally reached to the South Pole on Dec 27 at 1:00 am GMT. Here’a video of White ICE Cycle.
Source: Inspired Cycle Engineering