Breaking the Cycle South Pole
The story of the project
For many years I have dreamed of cycling across Antarctica, inspired by stories of the explorers of the heroic age (Mawson, Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton) and by several more recent expeditions.
With no experience of the conditions and the unique challenges of tackling the terrain, I found the prospect of emulating such feats on two wheels daunting, to say the least. No one had attempted cycling across the Antarctic continent, and I wasn’t sure that it could be done.
As I learned about many of the poverty-related issues during my Breaking the Cycle in Africa expedition, a 22,000km journey by bicycle from Senegal to Somalia, I often felt frustrated and powerless to do anything about them and vowed to do my best to make more of a difference in the future.
Gradually I convinced myself that with the right preparations, equipment and support, a determined cyclist could conquer the Antarctic. Fortunately, I have found a few people who agree and are prepared to help.
Breaking the Cycle South Pole will be the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent. It will raise funds for and awareness of the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa and establish a global leadership education program. The aim is to inspire people and communities – especially women and girls – to aim high achieve their full potential.
The Polar Bike
With no experience of cycling in snow and ice and extreme cold I consulted experts in North America to work out what the ultimate bike for polar conditions would be. I decided to try combining the latest fat-bike technology (12cm wide tyres), with the Christini all-wheel-drive system. I tracked down Steve Christini in Philadelphia and he was inspired by my project, accepting the challenge of designing the world’s first all-wheel-drive fatbike. The frame had to be designed from scratch as the technology must fit precisely within the frame.
The Expert Team
Training in Spitsbergen, Norway
I collected the Christini all-wheel-drive fat-bike in the USA and travelled with the team to Spitsbergen, Arctic islands at approximately 80 degrees North for the first test run. You can see we are excited to assemble the bike for the first time.
1. A documentary series (working with production company, Artemis International to secure broadcast partners, finance and series production). We have some broadcast interest, one being for a six part series for BBC World News (80 million weekly viewers).
2. Raising funds and awareness for AIDS in Africa via Charity Miles, (RED) and The Global Fund. 100% of the funds raised will reach HIV/AIDS initiatives in Africa.
3. Education for leadership – an e-learning education programme connecting students in the ‘global village’. Several education organisations are ready to take part once I can secure the funding.
4. A comprehensive web-based campaign; mobile application and social media platforms. A mobile app and website will enable people to follow the expedition in real time and engage in the fundraising initiative.
5. The opportunity for a broadcaster to promote and follow the expedition as it happens.
6. A role model for women and girls to aim high to achieve their full potential.
7. Branding opportunities on clothing and website, watermarks on broadcast coverage, streaming and app (for principle sponsors)
8. Unique film and photo assets supplied en route (for major sponsors)
9. Availability for PR and advertising (major sponsors).
Why I need your support
By contributing toward my Breaking the Cycle South Pole expedition you will be helping to bring to fruition a world first expedition that embraces innovation, supports education and HIV/AIDS in Africa, inspires people and communities to aim high and achieve their full potential and encourages active participation. To support Breaking the Cycle South Pole means you will be a part of my team, regularly updated with developments as they happen and strongly encouraged to take part while improving your fitness at the same time (raising money for (RED) via the Charity Miles app). So please, JOIN MY TEAM!
Some of my other work
How the funds will be used
As the first priority of this Pozible campaign is to cover the expedition preparations, I have set the minimum amount as $80K; a target that will also allow me an opportunity to achieve the credible outcome of the first bicycle crossing of Greenland by a woman.
As outlined in the Capital needs summary below, we require a total of $800K to achieve all of the proposed outcomes (apart from the documentary for which funds are being raised separately). To fully fund Breaking the Cycle South Pole from this campaign is the ultimate.
If you would like to become a principal sponsor of the Breaking the Cycle South Pole expedition, please contact me directly at Kate@KateLeeming.com.