Last winter, polar explorer Eric Larsen attempted to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole. Continually stymied by deep, unrideable snow, Larsen fell behind schedule and was forced to abandon the attempt. This year, several others are taking up the challenge. Thirty-five year-old British adventurer Maria Leijerstam is hoping the ticket to success is a fat-tired recumbent trike built to task.
While most of us are buying last-minute gifts and preparing to welcome loved ones into our homes, Leijerstam is pedaling herself and 99 lb (45 kg) worth of gear across the frozen continent. Unlike Larsen, who made his attempt without competition from other cyclists, Leijerstam is racing against Spaniard Juan Mendez and American Daniel Burton. They will take different routes, but they are all striving to be the first to the Pole.
Larsen used a customized Surly Moonlander fat bike during his attempt last winter, and both Mendez and Burton are using two-wheelers. Leijerstam has a different idea: a recumbent trike designed by the UK's Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE).