Introducing The Last Degree, the first ever group fat bike expedition to the South Pole.
In this incredible 18 day adventure, participants will cycle 111 km from the 89th parallel to the most southerly point on Earth – the Geographic South Pole. The cyclists will have an opportunity to experience firsthand the unforgiving but magical Antarctic landscape. They will be rewarded with the satisfaction of completing what was, until now, simply never done.
Yes, now you can plug the giant hole in your heart with Earth's least civilized continent (Australia excluded), and if you're a middle-aged man who has too much money and nothing to brag about at your children's private school functions then riding across Antarctica will surely freeze your ennui so you can smash it into a million little pieces.
But first, in order to prove you have the mental fortitude for the ultimate in luxury hardship and prepackaged accomplishment, you'll have to endure a soul-crushing trip to Lake Winnipeg:
There is a mandatory training camp being held on Lake Winnipeg in February 2016 to make sure all participants are well prepared for the Antarctic conditions.
If you can handle that level of boredom then Antarctica should be a breeze.
Anyway, here's some propaganda from the organizers:
"You might think that you could never do this, that you could never ride your bike from Beijing to Istanbul."
No. I know I could ride my bike from Beijing to Istanbul, just as long as give you $21,300.
"'Where would I find the strength?'"
Where would I find the strength? More like where would I find the time and money--though that one's a relative bargain at only $15,200. (Though this doesn't include an additional $10,000 deposit against any fines for helmetless riding.)
But these are just warm-ups for the main event, and here's the itinerary:
Day 1 to 4: Punta Arenas
Testing equipment, safety briefings, gear inspection, environmental standards assessment.
There's nothing that makes cyclists feel more important than fussing with their equipment before the big ride, so one can only imagine the massive Fred boners everyone will be sporting as they ask each other #whatpressureyourunning before heading to the South Pole.
Day 5 to 7: Union Glacier base camp
4.5hr flight to Union Glacier base camp. Welcome dinner. An overnight ride out of Union Glacier base camp to fine tune our equipment, and gear.
Translation: more #whatpressureyourunning, bigger Fred boners.
Day 8 to 16: Fat Bike to the South Pole
Flight to the 89°S latitude. Expedition to South Pole. Approximately 20 km riding per day on average (adjusting to conditions), with additional days built into the schedule for potential bad weather, riding conditions, injury/ailment or any other unforeseen delays. Arrive at the Geographic South Pole, South Pole camp and research station. Evening celebration.
The evening celebration will involve comparing notes on what pressure you were running, as well as memorializing or possibly even eating any members of the party who did not survive owing to sub-optimal tire pressure curation.
Day 17 to 18: Return to Punta Arenas
Fly back to Union Glacier base camp. Official celebration, awards and certificate of completion. Flight back to Punta Arenas and transfer to the hotel. Reception at the hotel bar to celebrate the successful first group fat bike expedition to the Last Degree.
So how much to you pay for a frigid fat bike wankathon complete with an award presentation at the end? Well, if you have to ask you probably can't afford it, but if you insist on being vulgar by discussing numbers it's a relative bargain at US$70,000:
Clicking the "more info" unfurls a PDF with the particulars, and while your $70,000 does include a fat bike from you-know-who that you get to keep in your trophy room:
It does not include any of the following:
• Flights to and from Punta Arenas, Chile
• Special Antarctic travel insurance
• Meals in Punta Arenas
• Frame packs and/or sled
• Specialized cold-weather clothing and footwear
• Sleeping bag rated to -40°C
• Mandatory training camp at Lake Winnipeg
• Cost of evacuation in the event of emergency
Wow. So what happens if you have to be evacuated? Do they arrange it and simply add that onto the bill like when you order room service, or if you're not a head of state and can't call for a rescue by your nation's military do they just leave you to die?
Either way, you shouldn't feel guilty about rubbing your dick all over one of the few remaining patches of the planet that hasn't been jizzed on by human beings, because spending $70,000 to ride a Specialized in Antarctica promotes "greater awareness" somehow:
We are also very aware that wherever one journeys there will be some footprint. Especially in Antarctica. We believe in minimizing these footprints and that the positives of these trips will outweigh the negatives whether through greater awareness of issues or simply by motivating individuals - after doing the tours - towards positive and sustainable actions.
I look forward to hearing what sort of "positive and sustainable actions" riding a fat bike across Earth's Scranus and drinking wine and beer in an ice cave inspires its participants to perform when they get home:
At Union Glacier meals are prepared by ALE’s experienced international chefs. ALE regularly flies in fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and fish from Chile and maintain an ample stock of pastas, grains and other staples in their ice cave. Dinners are accompanied by wine and beer.
I'm guessing it probably involves buying a Tesla.
Meanwhile, some tennis person failed a doping test for something called meldonium, and everyone's making a big deal about it:
Sharapova, a 28-year-old Russian who is one of the world’s most visible sports figures, is by far the most prominent athlete to be barred for meldonium, a drug originally developed in Latvia for heart patients that aids oxygen flow and is not approved for sale in the United States.
What? More visible than Eduard Vorganov?!?
(Trapped between two milkmaids, Vorganov looks concerned.)
Meldonium, a drug manufactured in Latvia, is new to the WADA prohibited list this year after studies proved that athletes were using the drug to enhance performance. According to an article in Drug Testing and Analysis, researchers found it "demonstrates an increase in endurance performance of athletes, improved rehabilitation after exercise, protection against stress, and enhanced activations of central nervous system (CNS) functions."
Yes, evidently meldonium only made the banned list this year, which means it's pretty safe to assume the peloton has been on it for ages. I'm sure the amateurs are using it too, since you can order it online:
(I'm not linking directly to this site since online pharmacies scare me.)
Though when I checked yesterday evening (it's for my cat!) there was already a run on the stuff, presumably due to the Sharapova bust:
Which is too bad, because the stuff gets great reviews:
"Achive" is obviously a typo. Petar Bruno is probably an archivist, and what he's saying is that after a hit of meldonium he'll archive the shit out of everything.
And if you don't think the Freds and their ilk are all over this stuff, consider this post on an Internet forum from some tridork looking for doping advice:
Some background info:
I’m an age grouper/amateur triathlete training mostly for Ironman full distance and ½Ironman, 10-20 hours a week. Of various reasons (I do not want to bother you with here), I’m looking for some PEDs to enhance my Performance, both in terms of training to become stronger/better, but also to perform better on “race days”. I’m 34 years old, 179 cm high and weight around 68 kg’s.
As an amateur, I’m not subject to any unannounced doping controls during the season, but I can potentially be subject to one during my race days. This I need to incorporate into my cycles and timing of the different PEDs.
Lastly, if you're vertically advantaged you may be interested in this Kickstarter:
And even if you're not it's totally worth it for the 36er porn:
C'mon, LOOK AT THAT!
The wheels are taller than the guardrail for Lob's sake!
And look how teeny the chainring looks between those two unicycle wheels!
Best of all, it dwarfs every other bike at the bar:
I expect we'll see a 36er fat bike by this time next year.