TDA Global Cycling is a pretty cutting edges cycling adventure tour company. If their worldwide tours like Cairo to Cape Town, Beijing to Istanbul, and Anchorage to Mexico City can’t convince you of such, maybe their latest adventure will. The Last Degree: traversing the final continent in an expedition on fat bikes to the South Pole. The trip will include about a 9 day expedition after leaving out of the Union Glacier base camp to be dropped off at the 89th parallel where the riding will commence. The trip will take in somewhere around 110-150km of loaded Antarctic touring pulling sleds before reaching the Pole.
TDA plans to lead the first cycling expedition to the South Pole at the end of December 2016. They will guide up to 30 cyclists as they pedal from the last degree of longitude in Antarctica to the South Pole on Specialized fat bikes, specifically set up for the expedition. This will not only mark the first of any such trip, but is a milestone for TDA as it makes them the first cycle touring company to now run trips on every continent. They’ve worked together with Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the multi-national group that oversees environmental and tourism impacts in Antarctica, to create a truly unique experience.
And the trip isn’t going cheap. Each cyclist will shell out around $70,000 for the opportunity, something comparable to an Everest climb expedition. Don’t worry if that is out of your price range this year, if you aren’t already in on the deal you’re too late anyway. In order to go prospective cyclists had to do a six-day prep training trip on Lake Winnipeg in Canada which just wrapped up last week. That’s where we’ve got these chilling photos as the potential pool of riders were seeing what it takes for such a trip. They spent the week preparing as a group for the harsh realities of life on the snow pack, learning the importance of layering for warmth, packing their bikes, and just experiencing the conditions on the bike.
TDA Global partnered with Specialized to kit out the group with men riding Fatboy Expert carbon bikes and women on Hellga Experts – the industry’s first women-specific fat bike. As part of that big sign-up fee, those who make the call to carry through with the Antarctic expedition will keep the new 2016 bikes to train throughout the year and to ride their own bike when they embark on their trip at the end of the year. Canada Goose and 45nrth also joined on as key sponsors to provide clothing and gear to help the group survive such a harsh environment.
Lots more info on the trip are available at TDA’s website (and to be fair there is still a way to get in on the trip if you are really qualified) with a breakdown of why they are doing it, what obstacles they anticipate (even from extreme cold bike functionality), and teasers of shorter Antarctic trips being planned for the coming years.