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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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Old 08-14-17, 04:44 AM   #8
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Anything is possible!

I would be up for that.

Contact me direct and we can discuss.
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Old 08-14-17, 05:47 AM   #9
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At one of our club's meetings once, we had a speaker that did an organized cross-country ski trip from Russia to the north pole. I'm sure a bike trip would be *as* possible, but it's not going to be the cake-walk you might think. Unlike the Antarctic trips of a few years ago, the Arctic is across ocean. The difference is, sea ice moves, creating ridges and yes occasional open areas. So you won't know ahead of time how many rough ridges you'll have to cross or detours you'll have to make. And the time window isn't as long as you'd think, unless of course you're planning on getting air-lifted back to land.

It would be a totally awesome adventure, though. For someone else. I like the cold, but only in small doses.
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Old 08-14-17, 07:11 AM   #10
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Kinda hard to bike to where one sails: Sailing To The North Pole, Thanks To Global Warming : NPR

But yeah, as others mentioned, you won't be traveling 5MPH. I'm sure it is probably possible, for one with extensive funds and experienced in trekking in an arctic environment, but it is certainly not a trip I would care to undertake.

If you do, though, here is a two wheel drive bike designed for an Antarctic expedition to the South Pole: Christini All Wheel Drive Bicycles ? AWD Fat Bikes & Mountain Bikes

Ugh, ZOMBIE post.
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Old 08-14-17, 07:51 AM   #11
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Seems like I recall reading a story a while back about an individual having a "fat tire" bike built up special for the purpose to navigate the South (?) Pole. Seems like I also recall reading a bit later about them almost dying from exposure.
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Old 08-14-17, 11:16 AM   #12
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I would prefer riding in Hawaii or some other tropical paradise instead. But you go ahead and enjoy 400 miles of frozen tundra.
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Old 08-14-17, 02:06 PM   #13
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Staying home. I like it here.
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Old 08-14-17, 02:37 PM   #14
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TerraTrike Rambler All Terrain with snow tires. 'nuff said.
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Old 08-15-17, 02:19 AM   #15
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Go to youtube and search Iohan Gueorguiev.
He biked as far north as a road would take him in the middle of winter.
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Old 08-15-17, 08:52 AM   #16
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Old 08-16-17, 08:55 AM   #17
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Bike or trike to the north pole. I dont think so. Remember the North pole is above the Arctic ocean, and mostly covered with a jumble of ice cakes. It is unlike the South pole that is a land mass.

Last edited by rydabent; 08-17-17 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 08-21-17, 11:58 AM   #18
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So no takers then? It's only 400 miles there and 400 back to the nearest settlement.....

COME ON......
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Old 08-27-17, 07:32 PM   #19
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The gas station has a fountain with an ice maker.
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