To Reach the South Pole on a Bike

By Tereza Antonova

Winter begins to announce its arrival, trying to persuade us to gently pet our bike, thank it for all the fun and let it peacefully hibernate in the basement. That, however, is definitely not our intention. We know winter cycling is possible, we also now know you can cycle to the South Pole in winter.

In order for humankind to move forward and reach new knowledge, accomplish feats previously unthinkable and generally fulfil the progressive concept so beloved by humans (and cyclists, for that matter), we need people we tend to label as insane.

These ingenious rebels who come with the most daring of ideas bear the burden of having to cope with endless comments on the lunacy of their plans. But then, sometimes, they get to say the satisfactory “See! I told you!”

Nice spot for a ride, isn’t it? © Profimedia

Undoubtedly, that must have been what a children’s TV show Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton listened to for the length of her preparations of her South Pole expedition. The goal set by the then 28-year-old was quite ambitious: to undertake an 800km long journey to the South Pole, using a cross-country ski, a kite-ski and a bike with wide tyres manufactured especially for this event.

On January 4, 2012, Helen embarked on her journey. It took temperatures as low as -48C, countless blisters, dehydration, stomach aches and 18 days to get to the finish “I told you” line. But she made it and eventually reached the South Pole on a bike. Don’t believe us? Check out the video from her journey below.