Man prepares to Ride special ‘Fat Bike’ to South Pole

Polar adventurer Eric Larsen next month will saddle up on the snow and pedal south. Way south. The goal of his solo expedition, which starts in December, is the geographic South Pole and a world record as the first man to do the trip on two wheels.

Larsen on a training trip in Canada
Larsen on a training trip in Canada

New gear in the world of bikes, namely fat tires and the frames to support them, allow riders to make tracks easier on snow. Larsen picked the Surly Moonlander bike, which has 5-inch-wide tires and can haul copious gear on racks and panniers.

The trip is 750 miles to reach the pole. He’ll follow a route that will traverse from Hercules Inlet to the Geographic South Pole. If conditions permit, he will also pedal 750 miles back to the coast again. (If not, he’ll get an air lift.)

There will be three food drops during the solo trip. Larsen is riding to raise donations for nonprofit partners Davis Phinney Foundation, WorldBike, and the Winter Wildlands Alliance. Daily blog posts and tweets will be sent from a tent and the aid of a DeLorme inReach satellite beacon.

Said Larsen, “There 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.” He added: “Ultimately, the most important goal of this expedition is to raise donations for my nonprofit partners.”

Surly Moonlander bike “floats” on snow

He hopes to produce a documentary film and book from the experience and, we assume, grow his Twitter audience with cyclists and armchair explorers following him along the icy way.

—Stephen Regenold covered gear used on Eric Larsen’s “Save The Poles” expedition in 2011 in a post “Save the Poles Gear.”

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.