On December 12, Polar Adventurer Eric Larsen will attempt to conquer a new feat: biking to the South Pole. His expedition, Cycle South, will be a world-first bicycle journey across the Antarctic continent to the South Pole. Covering nearly 750 miles, the route will traverse from Hercules Inlet to the Geographic South Pole, and if conditions permit, 750 miles back to the coast again. In the past explorers have famously quipped, 'because it's there.’ However, the goal of the Cycle South expedition is to combine adventure and advocacy to demonstrate the many ways in which people can use a bicycle to protect our environment as well as improve the quality of our lives.
â€œThere are more than a few reasons why no one has ever completed this challenge; however, I feel my experience and preparation will be critical factors in my success,â€ said Eric Larsen. â€œUltimately, the most important goal of this expedition is to raise donations for my nonprofit partners: the Davis Phinney Foundation, WorldBike and the Winter Wildlands Alliance.â€
While bicycles have been around for nearly two centuries, the technology allowing efficient winter travel is relatively new. Therefore, cycling in Antarctica requires a wide variety of custom modifications to travel across such a varied terrain while carrying provisions, gear and supplies.
Departing Wednesday Dec. 12, Eric will pedal a Surly Moonlander bicycle that uses nearly five-inch wide low-pressure tires to provide float and traction over the snow and ice. He is also working with Minnesota-based company Ergodyne to develop and test cold weather gear.
Another 'first' during the Cycle South expedition will be real-time location tracking via DeLorme's inReach satellite beacon. Larsen will also have the ability to send and receive texts via the beacon during prearranged media events. Larsen has a long-standing relationship with the company, in 2010, he sent the first tweet in history from the summit of Mt. Everest via a DeLorme device.
â€œI am very excited to be partnered with DeLorme and Ergodyne,â€ said Larsen. â€œThe gear and equipment that both produce will be critical to my comfort, safety and ultimately, my success.â€
Along the route, Larsen will be able to stay connected to followers across the globe by harnessing Goal Zero solar power to assist with daily blog updates, tweets, podcasts and satellite phone calls. Using the story of his journey, Larsen hopes to inspire and educate. Through his web site www.ericlarsenexplore.com, @ELexplore Twitter feed and Facebook page people will be able to learn more about several bicycle-related charities and how they can directly support each organization.
The expedition's objectives are:
â€¢ Complete the first-ever bicycle expedition to the geographic South Pole
â€¢ Engage a global audience to educate about Antarctica through daily updates, podcasts, videos, and more
â€¢ Produce a documentary film and book
â€¢ Raise money for several bicycle-related advocacy groups (The Davis Phinney Foundation, Winter Wildlands Alliance and WorldBike)
â€¢ Develop a post expedition multi-media lecture series
Cold and remote is nothing new to Larsen. He has led three successful skiing expeditions to the South Pole spending six months total in Antarctica to date. In 2010, he completed the Save the Poles expedition, a world record journey to the South Pole, North Pole and top of Mt. Everest in a 365-day period. In 2006, he completed the first ever summer expedition to the North Pole.
The Cycle South expedition is sponsored by DeLorme and Ergodyne with major support from Wenger, MSR, Goal Zero, Clif Bar and Scream Agency. Additional expedition support is provided by Surly, Bergens, Stanley, Yaktrax, Scarpa, Vapur, Granite Gear, Optic Nerve, Mountain House, Napkin Labs, Therm-a-Rest, RoadPost, Wigwam, Princeton Tec, Skratch Labs and WebExpeditions. Eric is actively fundraising for the Cycle South expedition. For sponsorship or product endorsement inquiries, please contact: EricLarsenExplore@gmail.com.
About Eric Larsen
Polar adventurer, expedition guide, dog musher and educator, Eric Larsen has spent the past 15 years of his life traveling in some of the most remote and wild places left on earth. In 2006, Eric and Lonnie Dupre completed the first ever summer expedition to the North Pole. During this journey, the duo pulled and paddled specially modified canoes across 550 miles of shifting sea ice and open ocean. Eric successfully led his first expedition to the South Pole in 2008, covering nearly 600 miles in 41 days. Eric is now one of only a few Americans in to have skied to both the North and South Poles.
In November 2009, Eric returned to Antarctica for the first leg of his world record Save the Poles expedition. This time he completed a 750-mile ski traverse to the geographic South arriving on January 2, 2010. Two short months later he was dropped off at northern Ellesmere Island for a winter-style North Pole Journey. The international team reached the North Pole 51 days later on Earth Day – April 22, 2010. He completed the Save the Poles expedition by reaching the summit of Mt. Everest on October 15th, 2010 becoming the first person in history to reach the world's three 'poles' within a 365-day period.
Eric's other expeditions include dog sledding in the Canadian Arctic, training trips to Hudson Bay and countless dog sled races (including the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon). He has summited Mt. McKinley, ridden his bike across the United States, been a backcountry ranger in Alaska and a white water canoe guide in Colorado. Eric has dedicated his adult life to sharing his love for the outdoor world with others. As an educator, Eric strives to connect people to places and issues. In recognition of those efforts, Eric was elected as one of Outside Magazine's Eco All Stars in 2008.
Eric travels extensively giving motivational and educational lectures to schools, universities, non profit organizations and corporate groups. He is also finishing the documentary COLDER about the Save the Poles expedition. Eric lives Boulder, Colorado with his partner Maria Hennessey and their one month old baby boy, Merritt.
Note to media: To schedule an interview with Larsen prior to his departure or to receive photos, please contact: Lora Ledermann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-893-8608 ext. 202. To see a video sample of Larsen’s bike training visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D5onKm8Oz8