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We'll be providing lots of entertaining updates about our bikes and trikes and life here at ICE.
The ICE team
Monday, December 23, 2013 - 06:46 AM
British adventurer Maria Leijerstam is well ahead of her two male rivals in a race to be the first to cycle to the South Pole. Earlier today Maria crossed the halfway point, extending the gap between her and her closest rival to a massive 250 miles (400km).
Despite starting days later than her competitors Maria is significantly closer to the finish than American, Daniel Burton, and Spaniard, Juan Menendez Granados. The two men are cycling the most common route from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole on Fat Bikes – an approach that has been taken before but without success.
Maria has taken a different strategy: she’s riding a recumbent trike, specially designed for the challenge by Inspired Cycle Engineering.
“Fat bikes fail because they get blown over in the high winds, or can’t ride fast enough through the snow to stay upright” said Maria.
The custom-made trike is stable and aerodynamic, which enables Maria to focus her energy on progressing through the gale-force winds and hazardous terrain.
The ability to climb hills with relative ease is a huge advantage for Maria. It has enabled her to take a different, shorter, route which requires climbing the formidable Transantarctic Mountains; a similar route to that of Scott and Amundsen in their legendary South Pole expeditions. Maria identified the Leverett Glacier as a cyclable route through the mountains to the polar plateau. In the first three days Maria climbed from sea level to nearly 8700 feet (2650m) on the recumbent trike against very strong head winds and deep snow.
“The trike is amazing. It’s completely stable , even in extreme winds and I can take on long steep hills that I’d never be able to climb on a bike” said Maria.
With the glacier behind her Maria faced over 300 miles of the polar plateaux. The snow, wind and sastrugi made progress slow and arduous, but by cycling in 12 hours stints Maria continued to progress 25-35 miles (40 – 60km) each day. Earlier today Maria crossed the halfway point on her 400 mile (650km) race.
After a hard days’ cycling just getting her tent up in the ferocious winds is a challenge. From the relative comfort of her tent Maria updates her @whiteicecycle Twitter feed, and a tracker records her progress on her website www.whiteicecycle.com.
Maintaining her current pace Maria should reach the South Pole well ahead of schedule, but will still have to forego Christmas celebrations for a hard days’ cycling.
Monday, December 23, 2013 - 02:57 AM
Inspired Cycle Engineering Ltd (ICE Trikes) announces the launch of their brand new ICE Neck Rest, available on both mesh and hard-shell ICE seats. ICE is driven to provide accessories that meet the same high standard as their trikes providing a seamlessly high quality product.
ICE’s design team have returned to the drawing board to redesign the ICE Neck Rest. The outcome is yet another breakthrough in design. The newly designed fitting systems for both seat configurations as well as a brand new Neck Rest Frame and Padding System make it the most comfortable, simple and adaptable Neck Rest on the market.
The new clamps massively reduce the time taken to fit and adjust the Neck Rest. This has been achieved by reducing the amount of assembly components. ICE has also strengthened the clamping system on mesh seats to prevent the clamp from rotating around the seat frame. Both fitting systems allow the height and angle of the neck rest to be adjusted.
The Neck Rest frame is made from a high strength aluminium bar rail that provides a balance of strength and comfort. The uprights are now a standard bike saddle rail width to allow the clamping of standard bike accessories.
The Padding system is now made from two parts. An adjustable tensioning strap that fits around the Neck Rest frame allows the rider to alter the tension and support of the Neck Rest and the Pad.
The Pad itself is wider than its predecessor for better weight distribution. The cover contains a dense piece of foam selected by ICE to provide optimum support and comfort. The foam is easily accessible so that it can be removed when the cover is washed. The cover, made from a breathable material then wraps around the tension strap using Velcro. The rear of the cover now has a highly reflective strip for improved visibility.
Realising that the Neck Rest is also used to manoeuvre the trike by hand ICE have incorporated a handle into the frame making it even easier to move the trike around.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 06:50 AM
“Can you build me a trike so I can cycle to the South Pole?” That was the improbable challenge given by adventurer Maria Leijerstam earlier this year.
Maria is determined to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of the Antarctic continent. She will be racing against two men who will be riding standard winter bikes called Fat Bikes. After two years research Maria has taken a radical new approach of riding a recumbent trike that could help win her the title and re-define the future of polar expeditions.
Maria starts her world record attempt a few days before Christmas 2013. She will be carrying all her food and equipment on a custom-made recumbent trike built by Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE Trikes). The trike is stable and aerodynamic, with oversize tyres and super-easy gearing; essential qualities when cycling into 50 mile an hour headwinds, through snowstorms and up glaciers.
After her final training expedition in Iceland, Maria brought the trike to the ICE workshops for a full service in preparation for Antarctica. Watch this time-lapse video which shows the trike being re-built, with Chris Parker, who designed and built the trike, mechanic Matt Evans, and Maria Leijerstam.
After flying to Cape Town, South Africa, Maria flew on to the Novolazarevskaya Airbase in Antarctica where she is currently waiting for a good weather window to start her epic adventure to the South Pole.
"The first five days will be tough, but I am well prepared. Then it will be the hardest climb of my life up the Leverett glacier that rises almost 2,500 metres above sea level which will slow my progress down considerably, especially as the weather conditions are so unpredictable. The weight of my kit will be approximately 45kg on top of the weight of the Polar cycle and my body weight which I have to be able to peddle up the glacier,” said Maria.
After two years of intensive training and trials in Siberia, Norway and Iceland, Maria, 35, from Wales is determined to beat the competition for the title from Spaniard Juan Mendez and American Daniel Burton. Even though they have set off two weeks prior to Maria, Maria's cycle choice, route choice and expedition planning means her journey could be achieved by January 7.