Explorer Eric Larsen’s attempt to ride a Surly Moonlander to the South Pole

Surly Bikes Blog
Back on December 21, Gern Blanston posted to the Surly Bikes blog, The Craziest Man I Know.

Explorer Eric Larsen on a Surly MoonlanderEric Larsen is a truly insane man. He came to Surly a while ago with a plan to ride a bike to the South Pole. From the edge of Antarctica directly into the heart of its warn chewy center, he will ride a Surly  Moonlander, through 750 miles of ice, snow and the never-ending blaze of the sun… He’s spent a great deal of time training and preparing for the trip. You can read all about his preparations, exploits, the specifics of each leg of his journey and even follow along with him here.

Gern didn’t specifically mention it in his blog post but Surly Bikes is one of the Cycle South Expedition Support Sponsors.

I checked Eric’s journal this morning while drinking my garcinia cambogia tea. Unfortunately, he had to call it quits. See his entry for December 28, 2012 – Day 10: A Tough Decision. Eric made it back home last Saturday, Jan. 12.

In this Active Junky interview by Mallory Ayres back in November, she asked Eric, “You must be riding a pretty serious bike to get across the South Pole. Can you tell us about it?” His reply:

The Fat Bike technology has been evolving fairly rapidly for the past four or five years. I’ll be riding a Surly Moonlander. Basically, it looks like a normal mountain bike but has 4.8″ tires. The Moonlander is also unique in that the front wheel has a fixed gear attached and can be swapped with the rear. That way, if I have any sort of failure with my drive train – cassette, free hub or rear derailleur, I can simply switch the wheels.

Outside Magazine Online featured Eric’s expedition back in November: Expedition Watch: Riding a Fat Bike to the South Pole. It included this video, with his Surly Moonlander featured:

Coincidental sidenote #1:

Eric Larsen graduated from St. Olaf College (here in Northfield, MN where I live) in 1993 and has friends here. Back in Feb. of 2005, he and fellow explorer Lonnie Dupre did a presentation at a Northfield pub, Froggy Bottoms, raising money for their summer expedition across the Arctic Ocean. See this St. Olaf press release for more. I was there and took these photos:

Lonnie Dupre & Eric Larsen, Northfield, MN 2005 Lonnie Dupre & Eric Larsen, Northfield, MN 2005 Lonnie Dupre & Eric Larsen, Northfield, MN 2005

Coincidental sidenote #2:

Lonnie Dupre is currently attempting the first solo ascent of Denali (Mt. McKinley) in January. See the One World Endeavors Expedition page for more. According to posts on the expedition Facebook page, he’s been restricted to his snow cave at 8,700 feet the past few days because of many feet of snow and high winds.

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