Sunday, May 25, 2014

Table of Contents


This little table of content is arranged by subject rather than just by order of posts. I hope this helps to navigate the blog. I am now posting to my blog.dan.burton.name blog and keeping this blog just for the South Pole expedition. Need bike parts? go to www.epicbiking.com


Hire Dan to speak to your group, click here.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Adventure Gear Expo

I have been invited to speak at the Adventure Gear Expo tomorrow at 7pm. Fox ran a little story about me and the expo.

http://fox13now.com/2014/05/08/utah-man-bikes-to-south-pole-2/

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Relationship to Sir Ernest H. Shackleton

Assuming I did this right:
Ernest Henry Shackleton Sir (1874 - 1922)
  is my 8th cousin 5x removed

Henry Shackleton (1847 - 1921)
  father of Ernest Henry Shackleton Sir
Ebenezer Shackleton (1784 - 1856)
  father of Henry Shackleton
Abraham Shackleton (1752 - 1818)
   father of Ebenezer Shackleton
Richard Shackleton (1726 - 1792)
   father of Abraham Shackleton
Abraham Shackleton (1696 - 1771)
   father of Richard Shackleton
Richard Shackleton (1643 - 1705)
   father of Abraham Shackleton
Roger Shackleton (1616 - 1677)
   father of Richard Shackleton
John Shackleton (1584 - 1634)
   father of Roger Shackleton
Rodger Shackleton (1555 - 1597)
   father of John Shackleton
William Shackleton (1586 - 1629)
   son of Rodger Shackleton
Roger Shackleton (1609 - 1636)
   son of William Shacleden Shackleton
John Shackleton (1635 - )
   son of Roger Shackleton
Roger Shackleton (1663 - 1732)
   son of John Shackleton
John SHACKLETON (1687 - 1733)
   son of Roger Shackleton
Christopher SHACKLETON (1723 - 1746)
   son of John SHACKLETON
Agnes (Nancy) SHACKLETON (1760 - 1836)
   daughter of Christopher SHACKLETON
Stephen Longstroth (1788 - 1861)
   son of Agnes (Nancy) SHACKLETON
Nanny Longstroth (1828 - 1911)
   daughter of Stephen Longstroth
Alice Ann Richards (1849 - 1940)
   daughter of Nanny Longstroth
Willard Richards Smith (1872 - 1951)
   son of Alice Ann Richards
Maud Smith (1898 - 1990)
   daughter of Willard Richards Smith
Sheril Dale Burton (1935 - )
   son of Maud Smith
Daniel Paul Burton
   son of Sheril Dale Burton

Monday, February 24, 2014

National Geographic Inteview

I'm often asked if it was worth it to bike to the South Pole. I half jokingly say getting interviewed by National Geographic made it all worthwhile.

Here is the interview: National Geographic Weekend

Friday, February 21, 2014

KSL News


Jed Boal of KSL always does a good job with his news stories. He is also great to talk to when he interviews me. Anyway here is the latest news story. http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=210&sid=28803794

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Not Puffy Clouds

This may not be as interesting to you as it was to me. This short video shows the "landscape" of the Antarctic ice cap. I didn't realize how much I would be going up and down over and over. It was frustrating to climb a couple hundred feet only to drop back down. Especially since the downhill seldom felt like I was going down. When I was flying back I took this video out of the airplane window thinking I was filming clouds. After a while I realized that this was the ice I had been biking over. Even though I had been biking in this for nearly two months I didn't really understand it until I saw it from the air.




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Crevasse!

This may be hard to see and understand, but the hole just left of the sled is the crevasse I fell into. The scary thing about this picture is that without the hole you would never know that this is a snow bridge across a crevasse. 

How big and deep is this crevasse? I don't know. I wanted to go back and get a better picture, but I was too scared to get any closer to it. Also interesting in this picture is the number of ski tracks going over the crevasse. All the other expeditions skied over this. In fact Richard Park skied over this just about 30 minutes before I fell into it.



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Three Great Explorers

There are a lot of amazing explorers in this world. I met a bunch of them in Antarctica. I felt like a midget amongst giants when I would sit down with seven submitters and amazing mountaineer and polar adventurers.

However there are three great adventurers that were the inspiration for my expedition. 

Eric Larsen
In December 2012, just as I was getting into snow biking Eric started his expedition to bike to the South Pole. I followed his expedition. In 8 days he traveled 1/4 of the way to the South Pole.  It took me 16 days to cover the same distance. 

I would never have even thought about biking to the South Pole if I hadn't heard of Eric's expedition. I studied his blog to learn as much as I could about biking to the South Pole. While I was on my expedition I would often remember things I had read in his blog, and think that now I understood what he was talking about. Eric is a true inspiration and his expedition convinced me that biking to the South Pole was possible. 

Hannah McKeand 
Hannah use to hold the record for the fastest solo expedition to the South Pole. I read her blog and learned a lot about polar expeditions from it. I was very honored to have her bring me food when I ran out one day before I reached the pole. 

Aaron Linsdau
Aaron set the record for the most days to get to the South Pole. He took 81 days to get to the pole. When most people would have given up he continued on. I felt I needed to train myself mentally to be prepared to continue on no matter what. This was as important, or maybe more important than any physical training I could do. I wanted to have the perseverance of Aaron. I had to draw on that mental preparation in order to finish

There are many great explorers but those three are the ones that inspired me the most as I biked to the South Pole. Thanks Eric, Hannah, and Aaron!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Miss My Bike

My bike is still in Punta Arenas. In order to get it shipped home I have to provide a list of everything in the box it is being shipped in. I sent the packing list to Mark at ALE twice but somehow he never got it. I'm betting it is a spam filter issue. 

Borealis was very generous and sent me a demo bike to use while I wait for my bike to get back from Chile. I still had my  old Moonlander at home so I rode it to the store this morning, and rode the Borealis home tonight. The Borealis is so much nicer in every way. However, the handling/steering of the Borealis vs the Moonlander is probably the biggest thing I notice. The Borealis just feels like it should and the Moonlander just has a funky feeling to the way it steers. 

Anyway the demo Borealis is great, but I miss my bike. I spent a lot of time with that bike and I like my custom build. I will be so glad to get my bike back. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Welcome Home Party


On Saturday, February 8, 2104 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm we will be having a Welcome Home reception with light refreshments. At 7 pm we will have a video presentation after which Daniel will answer some questions about the expedition. All are invited to come and welcome Daniel back.


Schedule:
Reception and visiting 6 - 7 pm
Presentation and Q&A 7 - 8 pm

Location:
LDS meeting house located at
9475 Mustang Way, Eagle Mountain, UT 84005
http://binged.it/1cLkNiy
(note Google maps does not map this address correctly)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cold tiles

Cold floor tiles in the morning are no problem when your feet are mostly numb.


I stayed up all night talking to my daughter's boyfriend. I really should get more rest. Today I need to get all my stuff into a box a shipped back home, and then catch a flight home myself. Oh yeah, and see if I can get someone to ask the firgadorific company, in Spanish, if they can help me find my gps. I'm pretty sure the security guards picked it up but don't know enough Spanish to ask if they found it and to offer them a reward for its return. 





Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Body Strikes Back

I think my body is still in rebellion. My pants fit like I'm Harry Potter and my pants are Dudley hand-me-downs. My few hour bike ride today has made my legs very weak and tired, and this morning I about passed out on the way to breakfast. A little orange juice fixed this morning's problem.

Before I left Chile for Antarctica one day I had ice cream for lunch and ice cream soup for dinner. I went and had pizza with Vesa just a little bit ago, and was very full. But now I am already hungry again, so I am doing the ice cream/ice cream soup thing again tonight. I also got a few other high sugar items to keep me going until morning. It is just too long between meals right now to go all night without eating. 

Penguin hunting

My penguin hunt turned out to be a disaster. 

I got some food and supplies, loaded up my panniers and headed out to see if I could find Seno Otway where there is a penguin colony. I rode down to the Strait of Magellan and then headed north. The wind was at my back and I was cursing along knowing that eventually I would have to bike back into the wind, but hey I had biked to the pole and I was on a penguin hunt. 

The instructions I had found were that you turn left on a dirt rode after the police police check point. So I'm not sure how far this is and I stop at the security booth for Frigorifico Simunovic S.A.

I talk to a couple of young men and figure out I am still heard the right direction. A little after I leave them I look down and my gps is gone. It must have fallen out when I was layer the bike down to talk to them. So I go back, they are gone and some older gentleman is there. I can't figure out how to get him to realize that I had dropped the gps and the other two must have picked it up. So I lost the gps with all my South Pole trip data on it! I want that back so much! If I could figure out how to offer the security guards a reward for the return of the gps I would. 

I eventually give up and in a bit of a sad mood continue on. It is windy. It is always windy here. The tailwind turns into a crosswind with a bit of headwind. I remember why I got rid of the panniers at Thiels. They are so hard to move into a headwind. I am biking with a 30° lean to the left and keep,getting bown off the street. I realize I am not enjoying this. I biked for two months with bad winds and no penguin is going to be cute enough to make this worthwhile. So, at about half way to the penguin colony I turn back, lean 30° to the right and pedal along. When I get to the airport I grab a taxi and go back to the hotel. 

No penguin pictures, no fun, and now no gps data. :-(

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In Chile for Another Day

Looks like I have to book a new flight. Orbitz quoted us a price then when we tried to book it the price they charged was higher than what was quoted. Then we got an email saying that the booking failed and now the price has gone up again. Not too happy with orbitz right now.

My Spanish Sucks

What I thought was shampoo turned out to be hair conditioner. So now what is suppose to be my long scraggly expedition beard is not only short and pathetic, but is also nice and soft. 
What is the deal with people always posting pictures of themselves in front of the bathroom mirror anyway? Oh well, I finally broke down and did it. 

Tent Drying

The tent I have have been using is awesome. Even when it was so cold it would freeze a coke so fast it was like one of those science demonstrations where they show how fast liquid nitrogen freezes stuff,  my tent was usually nice and warm inside. So to make sure it is dry before sending home and stays free of mild I had to set the tent up one last time... in my hotel room. Here it is drying out. 


Too much time bogging and sending pictures. I need to go find a charger for my iPad. It is too cloudy here to get a charge from the solar panels. 


Pictures

All these are from my wifi enabled camera. Photos from other cameras will have to come later. 

Picts from the first and so far only real bike expedition to the South Pole:
At the pole calling home. Thanks SatPhoneStore!



Monday, January 27, 2014

The End of a Very Long Day

I feel like Phil in the movie Goundhog Day. This is the end of a very long day it started almost two months ago and finally it is dark. The first night I have had since last November. Yet I have been spending so much time posting replies to comments and posting pictures to Facebook and stuff like that that I am still awake 3:34 am. I need to get to bed. Soon. Mike says I look like a homeless dude and he wants to give me $5. I'll take it.

But whether my wife likes it or not the beard stays until I got to church at least once. It is a bit of an expedition trophy. I have my tent and everything spread all over my room here in Punta Arenas to dry out. When they brought my bike to my room I went down to the bike shop where a cassette and cassette lock ring took were purchased to thank them and to get a bolt I,lost on the trip. I tried to tell them thanks and let them know they are part of history by making the first bike expedition to the South Pole a success but I don't think they understood what I was saying. I love Punta Arenas, but it is sometimes hard when my Spanish is near zero and people don't speak English here. 

I'm tired and going to get some sleep, I'll start adding pictures into the blog posts tomorrow. In the mean time I posted some higher res pictures on Facebook. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Crevasses

I fell into one crevasse. Only one leg fell in and I used my bike to pull myself back out. I got away from it as quickly as I could and then wanted to get a picture of it, but I didn't dare get close enough to it to be able to see how big or deep it was or to get the picture. This is a picture of a small crevasse with my glove to show the size. I biked over hundreds of these. One day I ended up setting my tent up with the tent on one side, and the rope holding the tent down staked to the other side of a small crevasse like this one.

Sastrugi

It was hard for me to get a picture that truly showed the size of the sastrugi that I was biking in. Here the sled has turned over as I went through a sastrugi that was about 6 feet high.

Sending Blog Updates

Picture of me getting a blog entry sent.

Navigating a Whiteout

It was really easy to get turned around in the whiteout conditions, and if I wasn't careful I would just go in a big circle. Here, I tried putting my compass on top of my handlebar bag. But even there it was impossible to bike and also keep an eye on the compass to make sure I was continuing in the right direction.

Desert?

They say Antarctic is a desert because it has such low humidity and receives so little snowfall. However we got a light snowfall for several days and here you can see the snow is sticking to the bike. The soft snore was one of my worst enemies. There is a nice firm base under the snow here so biking was still possible, but the sleds would be a lot harder to pull and the traction would be low requiring a very low tire pressure.

Whiteout Pic

This is a good example of the whiteout conditions I biked in frequently. Notice that the background is nothing but white, and you can't even tell the difference between ice and sky. Without being able to see the sastrugi, riding on days like this was very difficult. Also, I had problems being able to keep my goggles free of fog when there was no wind and it was higher humidity like here. So I risked snow blindness and frostbite a few times so that I could almost see where I was going.

Jan 24 -- Ghost Camp

It's almost like a little Ghost Town here now. I'm waiting for my flight back to Chile which is scheduled for the 27th, but may get bumped to the 26th because of weather. In the meantime, they are in the process of taking down camp and getting everything ready to be sent back to Chile until next season. So it is continually getting to be less and less of a camp.

It's not too bad outside here right now, just a little below freezing. Much warmer than it was at the pole. Vesa told me today that the temperature inside his tent was 80 degrees. I had to open the flaps on my tent because it was so warm inside.

I've been trying and trying to send pictures, but I just can't get a good enough charge on my batteries to be able to send them. Minus 40 degrees is very hard on batteries. After I get to Chile I can send some pictures. I don't know when I will fly home to Utah yet. I am waiting to buy a return flight ticket until I know for sure when I will be back in Chile. The flights out of Antarctica can be delayed because of weather and that has happened a lot this year.

Thank you for following me as I rode my bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jan 23 -- Final Day's Recap and Back at Union Glacier Camp

Final Day's Recap

Okay, I'm finally getting sleepy. I have completely lost track of time and days. It could be said that it is still the same day that it was when I arrived here back in November, as the sun has not set once since I've been here. But to me, though, the last few days, I can't tell how many they were and what was what day.

After I ran out of food, Hannah from ALE came to my rescue with new food. I then set up my tent and went through the food. I said in my blog entry that I got some sleep while my clothes were drying. I really wanted to sleep, but it just wouldn't come to me, so I headed south. After about six miles, I reached the top of a hill and I could see the South Pole Station. I broke down in emotional joy. I then went for a short distance, and for some reason it became very difficult to move forward. It took me a while to realize that the rear tire had gone completely flat. I quickly changed the flat. After all, it was so cold that it froze a Coke that Hannah gave me from a warm state to slush in less time than it took to get the bottle open and to my mouth. I was only able to get three-quarters of it out of the bottle.

I then proceeded to the South Pole. The South Pole camp had been taken down the day before I arrived, so there was nobody there and my actual finish felt very anti-climactic. I sat around in my tent eating and maybe getting a bit of a nap. Then my new best friend, Vesa Luomala (solo ski, from Finland), arrived. A little after that, we visited the South Pole Station, took pictures of each other at the pole, and I gathered up as many snowmen as I could. I packed up my tent and we flew back to the Union Glacier base camp.

Everything is in cleanup mode here. I took so long that Vesa and I are the last two non-ALE people left. I have been hanging around doing anything besides setting up my tent yet again. To get this blog entry sent, and to try to send a few pictures, I have to leave this dining tent, since the insulation is also a radio shield. It has been a long journey.

The next flight out of Antarctica is on January 27, so I am here for a few more days.

** Sorry, but I can't seem to get any pictures sent. The batteries don't like having been frozen, and they simply aren't charging. I will keep trying to get something sent.

Who Let the Dogs Out

They no longer allow dogs in Antarctica. Nobody told these sun dogs and they followed me all day.

At South Pole

DB call home

Finally, a photo!!

This is one of my favorite pictures I took.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Am I a Pro Athlete?

The following scene was repeated throughout my childhood. Sometimes it was for football (American), or baseball, or basketball, volleyball, steal the flag or even just tag, but whatever the team event the general plot was the same.

First, the two self declared best athletes would be designated as team captains. Then everyone else would stand in a big group and wait as the captains would alternate choosing who would be on their team. It wouldn't take long before those that were clearly the best were chosen and then the average people would start to get picked. I always thought that was where I belonged, somewhere in the middle of the pack.

After a while though, the average athletes were all gone and the captains would start picking through the mediocre people. Well, I think I am better than that, but I can live with being picked out of that group. Soon all those are gone and now all that remains are those that they take onto their team because they have to. It is sad that I am amongst those, but, hey, if I get to play that is OK. Then it gets down to the real dregs of the group, a couple of real losers, and I think to myself, "How could you have picked him over me?" Finally it is down to the last two people--you've got to be kidding me! The worst kid in the whole group gets picked before me.

The game starts. If it is football, nobody pays any attention to me. They hike the ball and I easily slip through the offensive line and tackle the quarterback. I guess they figure it is a fluke and still ignore me. After sacking the quarterback a few times, they put someone on me and put an end to my sacking. Surely, though, I am helping the team by tying up a player that could be doing something else. Next time I will get picked earlier. But it never turns out that way.

Same basic thing happens in other games. If it is steal the flag, everyone has forgotten what team got stuck with me and I easily walk back to the flag, grab it and run. I make good progress at getting the flag across the line, but yet again nobody seems to appreciate my contribution to the team.

Maybe I am the worst athlete. After all, I was the last kid in the neighborhood to learn to ride a bike. Eight years old, and kids half my age are riding around on bikes, and I have a great big trike.

When I start mountain biking with the guys at Novell, they seem impressed with how quickly I go from a beginner to riding with almost keeping up with the most serious riders. Before long, I get this strange reputation as being an advanced mountain biker. I invite someone to go biking with us and get turned down because they feel they can't ride at my level. I know that it really isn't because I am that good, but rather it is because I am hanging out with others that are that good.

So here I am, somewhere out on the Polar Plateau, biking towards the South Pole. Is it possible that I am a professional athlete? When my Shimano rep handed over the donations from Shimano, he told me that they don't do this for anyone but professional athletes. "Wow!" I thought, "It is cool that they are making this exception." He continues to tell me of the feed back that Shimano and Pearl Izumi want on how their products work for me.

As I worked on getting all the gear for the expedition, I requested a sponsorship from a lot of companies and got turned down by most. Columbia said I could make a submission for their pro program. Filling out the forms, it asked what category I was applying as. Best fit I could find was a pro athlete. When they accepted my application to be considered a pro athlete I was a bit impressed.

That was when I was simply talking about what I was planning on doing. Now that I am here, is it really possible that the last guy chosen for any team--the computer geek--is it possible that he is a professional athlete?

Thank you to those sponsors and companies that had faith in me. And thank you to all of you family, friends and supporters who have cheered me on throughout this journey,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jan 21 -- It is COLD here!


Hannah gave me a bottle of coke with the food she brought yesterday. I warmed it up before I started this morning and then packed it in the middle of my parka. It was still warm when I got it out, but before I could unscrew the lid it turned to slush. Almost like the liquid nitrogen tricks. It is COLD here.

I'm sure I'll miss people, but I'll try to recognize everyone as soon as I can. For now--

Thanks to my family for their love, patience and support!

Super big thank you to all the guys who've run my bike store while I've been gone: Jake, Greg, John, Joel, Steve, Ron, Myron 

Thank you to everyone who donated to my expedition at GoFundMe!

A special shout out to all of my sponsors! Please support them if you can--and let your friends and neighbors know about them, too.



Jan 21 -- I'M AT THE SOUTH POLE!!!!!!!

South 90 degrees 00.000

The South Pole station came into view when I was about 13 nautical miles away. When I saw it, I was so overcome with joy! I called home to my wife and lost all control of my emotions. The black dots on the horizon were the most wonderful thing I have ever seen. It was starting to feel like I would never make it.

I am now at the pole and have set up camp. I need to find where they cached my clean clothes and other items. I made a quick visit to the actual pole marker, but will go back later and bike around the pole to the song Around the World after I get all my batteries charged. I am so happy to have finally finished biking to the pole, going the full distance, 100% by bike.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jan 20 -- Dumb Dan, But HUGE Thanks Hannah!!

South 89 degrees 44.070 West 076 degrees 5.711 Elevation 9,179 ft  7.5 nm
18.3 statute miles remaining

I've done a few dumb things. First, early in the expedition I had extra food, so at the halfway resupply, I sent a lot of food back to base camp. Then at the three-quarter resupply, I went through my food and fuel as fast as I could to reduce my weight. I thought I would be done a week ago. I had some extra food in case I didn't make it as soon as I thought. Well, this morning I ate my remaining food. Part of the problem I've had the past couple of days is I didn't have enough food to keep my pace.

The next dumb thing that I did was to follow some truck track until it took me over six miles off course. I then headed toward my next way point which is at the start of the corridor that you have to use to go to the pole. That was a good choice, but this morning I made another bad choice and decided to return to my planned route. This meant going west three miles, but the corridor is east of where I was, so this was a bit of going the wrong direction. I was hoping that it would be worth going the wrong direction if I could get back on the track left by the arctic trucks. But when I reached my planned route there were no tracks. I then continued on the planned route, but by then I was tired and out of strength.

Then the famous Hannah from ALE (who has held the record for the fastest solo unsupported ski trip to the South Pole) showed up with a bunch of food--candy, cookies, sandwiches, and chocolate bars. I needed to go through the new supplies and eat some, so I  set up my tent. Once I did that, then I had to dry out all of my gear before I could go again, or else with how cold it is, I would freeze to death. So I got some sleep while things dried out.

I have to call in to the base camp and let them know I am okay at 9:40 p.m. (Chilean time) each day. Failing to call in can trigger a search and rescue operation, and of course I don't want to do that. So after the call in, I will pack up my tent and get going again. With fewer than 20 miles to go, Hannah's tracks to follow, and candy and trail mix to keep my energy up, I should be able to finish biking through the night and into tomorrow. My plan is to keep going until I get to the Pole, so my next blog entry should be at the South Pole.

Feeling good about my odds of finishing the first real bicycle riding expedition to the South Pole tomorrow.

Thanks for following me as I ride my bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jan 19 -- Fun! Fun! Fun!

South 89 degrees 39.396 West 070 degrees 56.714 11.6 nm Elevation 9,106 ft. 28 miles to go.

Most of the time I have been able to follow the tracks from the ski expeditions and the tracks left behind by the arctic trucks. However the track I was following yesterday was headed too far east. So I had to leave the track and am now traveling without any tracks to follow. I didn't have any tracks to follow at the beginning near Patriot Hills, but I could use the mountains to help navigate. Now there is nothing but snow. Yesterday, I used the wind to navigate, but it was a bit of a crosswind today and was not good for navigating. So I had a lot of fun trying different methods of using my compass and my GPS for navigation. It was a bit like a kid playing in the snow.

Today was a mix of sunshine and whiteout. There is still soft snow so biking is hard and I once again got low mileage. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get to the end. I now have only two meals remaining, so I need to finish soon.

Thanks for following me as I ride my bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jan 18 -- Head Winds

South 89 degrees 29.139 West 073 degrees 03.322 Elevation 9,160 ft 11 nm
Only 35.4 statute miles left to go

It has gotten extremely cold the last couple of days. I have to be very careful when I get in the tent and unpack my sleds. Everything is so cold that if I touch things with my hands I get instant frostbite. It was nice and sunny today, but the winds were straight out of the south. The snow is still soft, which makes setting up the tent easy, but biking hard.

With the strong winds and blowing snow, navigation was easy--head straight into the blowing wind.

In a lot of ways, this feels a lot like the first couple of weeks, only colder. It feels like I am always climbing, but it is just the soft snow and wind. I gain a hundred feet and then lose it over and over. Fortunately I am now better at working with my gear and sleds and don't spend as much time adjusting things. Still it is hard to be back to getting low mileage. Half a degree to go...not long now.

Congratulations to Juan for finishing his skiing/biking expedition. He has accomplished a great feat, because traveling to the south pole is challenging. When I spoke with him at the beginning of our separate journeys, he told me that he would not say he did something that he didn't do. He knows, as do others, how much biking he really did, so now is the time for him to do the honorable thing and be honest in his claims.

Thanks for following me as I bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jan 17 -- I'm Going To Quit ;) -- After I've Finished

South 89 degrees 19.466 West 074 degrees 13.644 13 nautical miles Elevation 9,080 ft

Only 46.4 miles to the South Pole, and then I'm going to quit. I am so tired and ready to finish this. Still, at this point, 46.4 miles feels like a long way to go, but I can do it. Today was sunny with low winds. The snow is getting harder, so I'm hoping tomorrow will be sunny with low winds again--I'm hoping, but will deal with whatever tomorrow brings. There's still another good climb between here and the pole.

Thanks for following me as I bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jan 16 -- The Final Degree!

South 89 degrees 09.687 West 082 degrees 49.224 14.6 nautical miles Elevation 9,036 ft

Nine degrees, nine minutes down, 51 minutes to go.

The heavy clouds, low visibility, light snow fall and soft snow conditions continue. Tomorrow's weather forecast is for more of the same. I just have to face the fact that this is probably what I will get the rest of the way.

I have started shouting out the remaining miles as I finish each mile. I don't know why, but it makes me feel good.

Thanks for following me as I bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jan 15 -- Chased By Dogs

South 88 degrees 55.555 West 82 degrees 43.134 13.5 nautical miles Elevation 9,033 ft.

I had this fear come over me today that I would end up biking over 600 miles and end up failing in the last 100 remaining miles. It was cloudy and I didn't want to get going but knew I had to. The snow is still soft, making biking very difficult. But at least there was enough light to see by.

The clouds made two full circle rainbows around the sun and a halo that went through the middle of the sun and around the sky. It produced a pack of sun dogs that followed me most of the day.

Thanks for following me as I bike to the South Pole. Remember to get out and be active!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jan 14 -- Soft Snow and Cookies

South 88 degrees 42.833 West 082 degrees 29.960 2.5 nautical miles Elevation 8,962 ft.

It has been snowing today and there has been heavy cloud cover. The snow is very soft. The biking was extremely difficult and I could not see what I was doing. After a couple of hours I gave up and spent the rest of the day in my tent waiting for better weather. I need to at least be able to see where I am going. They say the clouds should break up tomorrow.

I heard a plane fly over today. Hopefully that was a good sign.

I slept a lot and dreamed of big, soft cookies.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jan 13 -- Master, The Tempest Is Raging

South 88 degrees 40.529 West 082 degrees 27.680 16 nautical miles Elevation 8,961 ft.

There has been a light snow fall and lots of clouds the last few days. The result is the softest snow I've had to deal with for a long time. Also, as I was sleeping and when I awoke today the wind was blowing. However, when I started riding the wind died down and it seemed there was always just enough of a break in the clouds all day to provide me with enough light to see. I am very grateful for this.

Overall it was a relatively flat ride today. If it hadn't been for the soft snow it would have been perfect conditions. With the soft snow, though, it was very hard pedaling. There are now ski tracks from multiple ski expeditions ahead of me. If I follow in their trails, it helps a lot. I am moving at such a slow speed that it is hard to maintain balance and stay on the ski tracks. When I get off the ski tracks I can still go, it is just harder.  I am very tired from a hard day's work that didn't result in as many miles as I would have  liked.

Snow Biking Tip:
If you are having trouble with traction in the soft snow, lower the tire pressure. At times I have had the tire pressure so low that the tube doesn't fully fill the tire.  Today I needed low pressure, but not that low. Also, if you come up on a soft patch of snow, move your weight back. With low tire pressure and the weight back, you can power through some pretty soft snow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jan 12 -- Last Week?

Same location as yesterday.

Well, hopefully this is my last week of biking to the south pole. I hope to arrive by Saturday. Today was a nice sunny day with low winds, but I took a rest day and recharged batteries, both those for my electronics and hopefully my body. I spent the day getting a lot of sleep.

I've been told that Juan is having problems with dizziness and running out of food, so my prayers today have been with him. While our expeditions are different, his being a solo ski/bike expedition with no support or resupplies, and mine being only biking but with three resupplies, we have traveled the same route. I have usually been a day or two behind him, but for the most part we've experienced the same weather and snow conditions. Juan has done a great job and I would like to congratulate him. If I don't finish too far behind him, I may see him at the pole, at base camp, or back in Chile. If so, I'll congratulate him personally. Otherwise, I'll just use this post to say, "Good job, Juan!"

Thanks for following me as I bike to the south pole. Remember to get out and be active!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jan 11 -- Eureka--I Bonked!!

South 88 degrees 35.132 West 083 degrees 13.976 8,866 ft.

Mike Boyd says that the hill from Elberta to Eureka takes one hour no matter how hard you push. One time, I tried to climb the hill as fast as I could. I figured I could recover while I waited for him and Bob to climb the hill. I, of course, was wrong and I had a really hard time finishing the ride.

Earlier this week, I decided to spend what should have been my sleeping hours to go get my third and final cache. I then put in a full day's ride. The next day I struggled. Then came the white-out day, so I gave up another night's sleep to try to make up for the bad days, which didn't work. This made it so that I had nothing left. I could barely pedal the bike today.

Last night, when I called in to ALE, I was reminded of my post about enjoying where you are. I had gotten so focused on finishing quickly so I could go home to my family that I was just pushing too hard. I decided to go back to just enjoying the ride. Today, I took a lot of breaks to eat freeze dried fruits and drink hot chocolate (provided by TheReadyStore.com--Big Thank You!) Pedaling at a bonked effort, I was still able to keep moving and got in a respectable number of miles. I committed myself to just enjoying the final days of what will be the first bike expedition to the south pole. If it takes a little longer, that is fine.

I've heard that Juan is out of food, so I'm asking that everyone keep him in their prayers.

Thanks for following me as I bike to the south pole.

Jan 10 -- The Mind Is Willing, But The Flesh Is Weak

South 88 degrees 08.088 West 82 degrees 06.888 Elevation 8,570 ft. 16 nautical miles

I wanted to get some extra miles in today to make up for the past two days, but the sleds felt heavy and it felt like I was climbing all day even though I wasn't. My legs were tired and I was just slow. I spent a little time rearranging the load in the sleds and trying to figure what was wrong. Then I realized that yesterday was a tail wind and today was a headwind. 121 miles to go. I think I can make it by next Saturday.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jan 9 -- I Bike Alone

South 87 degrees 53.000 West 82 degrees 01.111 12 nautical miles 8,318 ft

Sorry for the low mileage today. My old man eyes just don't do well with the low light conditions like today. One of the songs on my iPod says, "My shadow's the only one that walks beside me." Well, I must stink so badly that not even my shadow would bike with me today.

Today was actually the easiest day I've had so far, at least aerobically. But it was a difficult day because of the lighting. The first ten miles were pretty much flat and the sleds seemed to just glide along. Then there was a short downhill. I hit some of the highest speeds that I have gone the whole time, but I couldn't see where I was going. It was like biking downhill with a white sheet of paper in front of my eyes.

I have one fork and one spoon. Usually I can only find one or the other. The last few days it has been the fork. Today I found my spoon so I figured I wouldn't be able to find my fork, but I found it, too!

Remember to go out and be active!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jan 8 -- I'm In Love

South 87 degrees 42.000 West 082 degrees 38.936 15 nautical miles (+8.5 to go get the cache) Elevation 8,239 ft.

I love my new yellow wheel! It looks amazingly cool with the red wheel in front and the yellow wheel in back. It works really well with the DHL sticker. You'll have to wait until I get to the south pole to see it. The new wheel makes things so much easier. I can now attack the climbs up the sastrugi without fear of breaking spokes, and then when they drop off ten feet, I can quit pedaling and move back behind the seat and not have to worry about going over the handlebars.

I really love this bike! Before I left, someone posted on Facebook about how inadequate the fat bike he had at the south pole was. The Borealis bike is awesome! I find it ironic that the Borealis will be the first bike to the south pole, as borealis means "northern" and the bike has an Alaskan flag with the north star on it. I have to find the best pressure for the tire again--low enough to be able to move forward in the soft snow, but not too low so that when I hit the sastrugi, it doesn't cause a pinch flat.

The new supplies from the cache have made the sleds heavy again and it makes the hills and even the flat much harder. I am only about 1,100 feet lower than the pole now, so at least there isn't much climbing left. I just have to eat a lot at the stops to give me energy and lighten up the sleds. I also found a Christmas card and Christmas treats from ALE in my cache this morning. I think being alone for so long is messing with my emotions. I was overcome with joy at getting those.

I hear that Juan has been worried that I might pass him. I don't understand why he would care. He gets one more day of biking each week, so I doubt I'll pass him, anyway. However, no matter who gets there first, he will not be able to honestly say he was the first to bike to the south pole. He is skiing to the pole and rides his bike for a few miles every day or so. For example, yesterday, he rode three and a half miles. I don't know what his total miles for the day were, but I know it was more than 15. Riding for one-fifth of the distance in a day, and skiing for 80% of the total distance does not qualify for biking to the south pole. Besides, he disqualified himself as biking to the south pole when he rode for fewer than 4 miles out of the first 100. So it really doesn't matter if he gets there first.

It looks like clouds might be moving in for tomorrow.  :(
I'm terrible at biking in the low contrast. But I'm going to just enjoy these remaining days. I can now average about 15 miles and make it to the south pole by next Saturday. The couple of extra miles per day doesn't make much difference at this point.

Shout out and big thank you to some of my many sponsors, especially Borealis, who shipped me this new wheel, the SatPhoneStore who has provided me with the Iridium 9575 satellite phone so that I am able to make these blog posts, all the guys running my bike shop Epic Biking back home, and all of you who have donated to my expedition. You're the greatest!

Remember to go out and be active!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jan 7 -- Russian Roulette

South 87 degrees 28.065 West 083 degrees 04.102 17.8 nautical miles Elevation 7,803 ft

My final cache is about 4 miles east of here. Before I started the expedition, we looked at the ground penetrating radar. The planned route veers a bit to the west here to avoid a dangerous crevasse field that's to the east. There are two crevasses one mile south of my cache, so now the trick is to get to the cache but avoid the crevasses. Once I get the cache, I will come back to this location to get ready for the last quarter of the expedition. From here, the south pole is about ten days away. I will get some food and rest and then go get the cache in the morning. So tomorrow will be a short travel day and I will have more weight.

Today has been a good day for travel. I was lazy and got a late start, but I knew I would have to stop after about 18 miles so I could get my cache, so I wasn't too worried about starting late.

The climbing continued today. I am now only about 1,500 ft lower in elevation than the pole. The sastrugi keep getting bigger and harder to bike through. I manage most of them, but occasionally I have to get off and push to make it safely through them. At one point my bag fell out of one of my sleds, and it took a while before I realized it and I had to go back and get it. You'd think that I would notice the difference of losing half of my load.

One of the songs that I have on my iPod is Russian Roulette by Rihanna. That song played today and it made me think that with all of the crevasses around me that I'm kind of in a Russian roulette game. I hope I can make it to the pole without falling into one of them. If not, then I guess this will be my last blogpost, and I will leave my family at home destitute, trying to repay the loans I've taken out to finance this expedition. If you feel inclined, you can still help contribute to my expedition at http://www.gofundme.com/SouthPoleEpic

Thank you to the many people who have helped and are still helping and supporting me in this adventure. It wouldn't be possible without you all.

Remember to go out and be active.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jan 6 -- Crevasses and Sastrugi

South 87 degrees 12.000 West 081 degrees 47.980 21 nautical miles Elevation 7,425 ft

I finished my 7th degree--only 3 more to go!

I had a hard time convincing myself to get going this morning. It was windy and cold and I kept hoping the wind would die down a bit. Eventually I decided I'd better get going if I wanted to get a good day of miles in.

The sastrugi are getting really big, which makes for some very technical biking. The sastrugi are sharp, hard,  and have 6 foot drops in them. A lot of times there is just enough drop and then rise that it will stop the front wheel, making it very likely to do an endo. Fortunately, I was always able to get my feet down and stop before any serious crashes. I removed the brakes back at the halfway point. Maybe it wasn't a good idea. Dropping off sastrugi without brakes is scary!

The day was mostly spent climbing. There was one short, steep downhill, followed by what seemed like a wall. I climbed 400 feet in a short distance. Throughout this climb, there were small lines in the snow that when I first saw I thought were crevasses. It turns out that they were. I found a couple that had openings in them. Most of them were about 2 to 5 inches wide, so not enough to be dangerous. But still, I was glad to get off of that slope, both because of the climb and the fear of the crevasses.

Tomorrow's route takes a jog to the west to get around a dangerous crevasse area. The pole is only about 2,000 feet higher than I am now, and the climbing should mellow out soon. I should be there at the pole in less than two weeks.

Remember to go out and be active.

January 5-- Just Like LoToJa

South 86 degrees 52.546 West 081 degrees 43.409 Elevation 6,644 ft. 0 Nautical Miles

It is 198 nautical miles to the south pole, which is 227 statute miles. LoToJa is 206 miles, so now it's just like that--well, a few things are different.
In my tent on Jan 5, 2014

This is 21 miles longer. LoToJa is on a road, this is on snow. In LoToJa, I have skinny, smooth tires. Here, I have 5 inch wide knobby tires. LoToJa goes through three states, and, of course, this is Antarctica. It is 100 degrees colder here. LoToJa has three big climbs, but also three nice downhills. This doesn't have as steep of climbs, but you can't coast on the downhills. I travel about 20 miles an hour doing LoToJa, but here I'm happy to get 2 knots. LoToJa is a one day event, but I still have two weeks of travel left here. On LoToJa, there are rest stops where family or friends are there to give you food. Here, I drag my food and gear behind me on two sleds. LoToJa has a wheel car that gives you a new wheel if you need it. But here, my wheel had to be flown in by plane. (Huge Thank You to Borealis!!!!!) It will be in my next cache. For LoToJa, you have to finish before dark. Well, here I have to finish before dark, too.

So, other than these minor details, this is just like LoToJa. If I can finish LoToJa 6 times, I think I can do this. South pole here I come!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4 -- This Is Not My Idea Of Fun

South 86º52.546' West 081º43.409' Elevation 6,644 ft. 23 Nautical Miles

I set up my tent yesterday and ate dinner and in the couple of hours that it took me to eat and call in my blog, it went from being a nice sunny day to being really cloudy with no visibility.

I wanted to get to 87 degrees today, so I started very early. But I couldn't see where I was going. The sastrugi are now getting really big and spectacular. But when you bike over them and can't see, it's very scary and treacherous. You'll be going along and all of a sudden you'll have a four foot drop that you didn't even see coming, which is very painful, even if you don't crash. So I was creeping along very slowly for most of the day.

Finally I got cold and needed to add some layers, so I stopped and ate lunch and added the layers. While I was eating, the visibility improved some, so I was able to travel better. Later on, the sun came out and it got a lot clearer. I could now see the six foot sastrugi that I'd been trying to work my way through before. It was much easier and a lot more fun to be able to pick your way through them instead of blindly hitting them. That lasted about an hour and then visibility dropped to zero again. So overall, I put in a lot of hours but didn't get many miles.