The first man to reach the geographic South Pole on bicycle (1 Viewer)



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(By Correne Coetzer) Spaniard, Juan Menendez Granados, and his fatbike reached the South Pole on January 17th, solo, unassisted and unsupported, after traveling 1130 km in 46 days from Hercules Inlet (80ºS); a route not groomed for biking. The last week, when he ran out of food, and weather and snow conditions turned worse, Juan showed how much he wanted to be the first to reach the Geographic South Pole with a bicycle, without assistance or support.

He was determined to pull all his food, fuel and gear on a sled from the start to the end and travel without any cars driving with for support or navigation. The last week tested the affirmations he repeated to himself during the two years of preparation; fearless, resilience, fight, adversity, constancy, perseverance, concentration, determination. Juan survived only on a mix of leftover nuts, cocoa powder and sunflower oil. On top of that, he travelled 15 hours per day, cycling most of the time, and slept only 4 to 5 hours.

The second last day was a long day, said his Norwegian home team to ExWeb, and he camped 20 km from the South Pole (90ºS), “he is actually pretty sad it is going to be over, but he will love some food.”

Today his Spanish home team reported to ExWeb, a tired and excited Juan has reached the Pole last night, January 17th, Chilean time, the time zone the Hercules Inlet adventurers use.

The two years preceding the time Antarctica was a rough ride in itself. The young Spaniard fought a battle to get on the ice. He was doing two jobs every day to get money and eventually, at the last minute, decided to borrow money to make up the balance. In between the jobs he had to make time to practice and stay fit as well.

At sixteen Juan did his first cycle trip and, at the time, what was at first a hobby, became his way of life. To date, apart from the South Pole cycle, he has cycled more than 25,800 km and his dream was, "the greatest challenge of it all", he said, to cycle solo to the South Pole; that is without any help.

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