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Old 05-29-11, 09:06 PM   #1
RaiderInBlue47
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Biking to the North Pole? Hmmm...

So I'm sitting here at home, watching the Top Gear Polar Special.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, here's a link. You can find the episode online pretty easily.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Gear:_Polar_Special

In it, Jeremy Clarkson and James May drive a Toyota Hilux to the North Pole and Richard Hammond rides a dog sled.

This begs the question: Do you think biking to the North Pole would be possible? From Resolute, Nunavut, it's 400 miles to the pole. You figure 5 miles an hour for 8 to 10 hours would be 40-50 miles. So 10 days or so to get to the North Pole?

A heavy duty mountain bike, even loaded down with gear, would be lighter than a dog sled with 10 dogs, and a LOT lighter than a heavy duty pickup truck. 2 people could split the gear pretty efficiently and make things pretty manageable weight-wise. Cold wouldn't be awful, but possible.

The only issue I could see would be getting out. You'd have to ride the 400 miles back. Or, if you had the money, hiring a plane to evacuate you would be possible. Finding components working properly at almost -30C would be hard too.

I guess what I'm asking...is anyone interested in coming along? And has some deep pockets?

Also, for fun, what kind of bike would you take? A full suspension would come in handy as there are a lot of ice boulders and ice mountains all over. I'm not a MTB guy so I wouldn't know, but maybe a steel full suspension bike?

Just thought I'd stir some discussion and maybe motivate someone to make some history (or maybe it's already been done and google didn't tell me!).
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Old 05-29-11, 10:43 PM   #2
HappyStuffing
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Wow that sounds like some adventure. I like the idea. I think equipment failure would be my greatest concern. All sorts of funky things happen to my bike when I bike in the winter.

Changing a flat at -30C should be fun, eh?
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Old 05-30-11, 01:03 AM   #3
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Lay off the sauce, would you?
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Old 05-30-11, 02:46 AM   #4
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Not the North Pole, but if you want to participate in winter events in the north ... here you go ...

Iditarod
http://www.alaskaultrasport.com/
http://www.alaskaultrasport.com/alas...home_page.html

Susitna
http://www.susitna100.com/
http://www.susitna100.com/Results/su...1Results.htm?x

Arrowhead
http://www.arrowheadultra.com/index.php

You should be able to get some advice on the type of bicycle and gear required for a ride to the North Pole.

Keep something in mind, however ... if you've ever followed the Iditarod, you'll know that it is almost faster to walk than to cycle. So you won't likely be travelling 5 miles an hour ... 2-3 miles an hour might be more realistic. And based on my experiences riding centuries in the winter in Canada, 8-10 hours on the bicycle in the cold and dark is a very long day. Comfortably, I don't think I'd want to plan on anything longer than 8 hours.

I'd recommend doing the Susitna first and seeing how you go with that. The Susitna is a 100 mile ride in Alaska in February.

And another link for you ... a mtn bike event at the North Pole
http://www.npbikeextreme.com/
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Old 05-30-11, 09:41 AM   #5
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You are not the only idiot in the village.
The obvious bike to use is a Surly Pugsley.
You would probably need a trailer to carry supplies.
I'm not sure if its viable, the terrain is often rutted and ruckked so you have to carry/roll your bike over the surface. You also have to deal with snow-melt. If you came prepared to ditch your bike and continue by kayak, you may survive.
This is how real polar explorers do it.
The organised North Pole bike race do some mechanical preparation of the surface.
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Old 05-31-11, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
You are not the only idiot in the village.
The obvious bike to use is a Surly Pugsley.
You would probably need a trailer to carry supplies.
I'm not sure if its viable, the terrain is often rutted and ruckked so you have to carry/roll your bike over the surface. You also have to deal with snow-melt. If you came prepared to ditch your bike and continue by kayak, you may survive.
This is how real polar explorers do it.
The organised North Pole bike race do some mechanical preparation of the surface.
Having treked around and flown to the North Pole a few times over the years, I can almost assure a failed mission. The ice pack is pretty rough and the weather unforgiving. Nice dream but let it stay just that.
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Old 05-31-11, 07:34 PM   #7
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YOU might Sail there in the summer, with the Ice melting so fast..,.
maybe feed the hungry polar bears , instead.
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