Scores of adults and children stayed home this week after their businesses and schools were closed due to freezing temperatures and snowstorms. For one Utah man, however, those frigid conditions have become par for the course.
Daniel Burton, a native of Saratoga Springs, Utah, is attempting to become the first person to bike to the South Pole. He began his journey in November 2013 and is roughly three quarters of the way done (he's completed 500 of 700 miles, already a record). But his deadline is fast approaching -- he must finish the ride before Jan. 23, when the final plane departs from Antarctica.
"He seems to be doing very well and is determined to complete it," Burton's wife, Media Burton, told KSL TV. "He's got the capability and the determination."
Burton started ice biking last year, riding across the frozen Utah Lake. He's not the only person traversing Antarctica on a bike, but he is the only one doing it by himself and without any sponsors. Burton rides 20 or 30 miles each day and sleeps in a tent at night.
A British woman named Maria Leijerstam reached the South Pole in late December with a three-wheeled seated cycle. Burton is riding an upright two-wheeler.
An expedition company placed three catches of food across the route and will pick Burton up when he's finished. Temperatures range from highs of the minus teens to lows of -40.
Burton's mother died from a heart attack in 2012, and he says he is doing his ride to raise awareness for physical fitness.
"If I can help somebody else gain fitness and live a longer life," Burton said in November, "then it's all worthwhile."
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