South Wales to South Pole: Record finish in sight for adventuring cyclist

Posted: December 24, 2013 by kirisyko in Bike, Endurance cycling
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Adventurer Maria Leijerstam

Adventurer Maria Leijerstam

Adventurer Maria Leijerstam has been battered by brutal Antarctic conditions as she presses on with an audacious bid to cycle to the South Pole in record time.

Ms Leijerstam, 35, is competing with two male rivals to claim the coveted record and raise cash for the Alzheimer’s Society.

But despite the heated rivalry between the three, Ms Leijerstam, from the Vale of Glamorgan, set off days later than the other competitors.

She also chose to take an ambitious, lesser-known route to reach the pole.

Welsh adventurer faces race to secure world record for cycling to the South Pole

Setting off on December 17 from the rim of the Ross Iceshelf, she has since faced punishing head winds and heavy snowfall.

After 50 miles, Maria was forced to confront the Leverett glacier – an ascent that took a gruelling two days.

At one point the conditions were so extreme that her speed dipped below 2.5mph – a fraction of the maximum speeds she has hit on other stages of the expedition.

Now the glacier stage is over, Maria has set her mind to cycling across more than 310 miles of polar plateau in the face of white-outs and bitterly cold conditions.

Despite the testing climate, Ms Leijerstam is still managing to cover up to 40 miles every day.

And as well as opting for a pioneering route from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole, Ms Leijerstam is also using the cutting edge of bicycle technology.

Maria is using a three-wheeled Polar Cycle, custom developed specially for her ambitious polar foray.

The tricycle is designed to cope not just with the tough climate but also her 55kg kit bag.

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  1. […] South Wales to South Pole: Record finish in sight for adventuring cyclist ( […]

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