A Canadian adventure cycling company has launched the world’s first group fat bike ride to the South Pole in Antarctica – but the 18-day trip comes with a hefty price tag of around $70,000 (£45,000).
The expedition, called The Last Degree, has been dreamt up by Toronto-based TDA Global Cycling and takes place in December 2016.
Participants will spend four days at Punta Arenas in Chile preparing for the expedition before flying to Antarctica’s Union Glacier base camp.
After making final preparations and test-riding the fat bikes, the group will be flown to the 89th Parallel to make the 111-kilometre trip to the South Pole.
According to the company, “The cyclists will have an opportunity to experience first-hand the unforgiving but magical Antarctic landscape.
“They will be rewarded with the satisfaction of completing what was, until now, simply never done.”
While it will be the first group ride to reach the South Pole, the riders won’t be the first to cycle there.
That distinction was claimed by British woman Maria Leijerstram in December 2013, riding a recumbent fat trike, and what’s more her nine-day journey covered 400 miles.
While The Last Degree is significantly shorter in distance, in its detailed brochure for the tour, TDA Global Cycling says: “In order to accomplish a world-first group expedition, it is only feasible to consider the Last Degree.
“Costs and time commitments would prevent most people from being able to consider the longer journey.
“Cycling the Last Degree is the ideal choice for those who want the serious challenge of a polar expedition but do not have the time or resources to commit to a full-length expedition from the Antarctic coast that would take months to complete at a significantly higher cost.”
Anyone signing up to the expedition will be required to take part in a one-week camp in February run by TDA Global Cycling at Lake Winnipeg in Canada to make sure they have the requisite skills and fitness to deal with conditions in Antarctica.
Founded more than a decade ago by Henry Gold with its first event, the Tour d’Afrique, seeing 33 cyclists spend four months riding from the Pyramids at Giza to Cape Town, the company now organises events around the world, some of them showcased in this video.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.