Bicycling in Antarctica

One thing I have missed over the last three months is riding my bicycle.  I’ve been a commuting cyclist for forty years, and I also ride for fun on the weekends and on vacations.  In fact, if I had not gotten my physical qualification (PQ) to come down here my Plan B was to ride across the U.S. along a southern route.

There is cycling in Antarctica, at least in MacTown.  The recreation department has provided a number of mountain bikes, in various states of functionality.  These are free to use–just pick one up from where the last rider left it and peddle off.

A few days ago I rode out to Hut Point, just a kilometer or so, to see the Discovery Hut.  It was a cold windy ride, but fun.  Yesterday the weather looked horrible until around 4 or 5, but then it became great–very light wind and clear skies.  So, I took advantage of the weather and rode to Scott Base, the Kiwi base a few miles east of McMurdo, through the “gap” alongside Ob Hill.  Thursdays are American Night, when the Kiwis deign to allow yanks into their pub.   So, I rode over and had a beer, talked to Thomas and Ryan, who had just dug their balloon payload out of the middle of nowhere (where it had rested since it came down two years ago) and bought a little loot at the Scott Base Store.

At Hut Point

At Hut Point

At Scott Base. Mt. Erebus is out there, but I can't force it to show up in the photo.

At Scott Base. Mt. Erebus is out there, but I can’t force it to show up in the photo.

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