Why Cycle North to South?

I’m a big fan of making every mistake, but only once. During 10DL Europe we mistakenly cycled north to south. We didn’t know that this was the wrong way to cycle the UK. We had a 10 mph headwind most of the way.

According to the book, “Bicycle The Pacific Coast“, if we cycle north to south–we’ll have a 10 mph tailwind most of the way. That sounds exhilarating, fast and fun.

Which 10DL will be the hardest?

antarctica_ski

I’ve always thought that Antarctica will be the most physically difficult expedition of all our 7 10DL expeditions. Until now I never had a structured way of thinking about how to measure “difficulty”. From a energy expenditure perspective, Antarctica will be the hardest. Here’s how I performed my calculations. 

1. The first step is to breakdown the activities of 10DL. The 10 Degrees Latitude is an expedition series that consists of 5 sports. Those being:

  • Cycling 
  • Open water swimming
  • Kite assisted skiing cross country
  • Hiking cross country
  • Kayaking

2. The second step is to assume that calorie count is a proxy for “effort”. It’s possible to make a caloric estimate for each expedition assuming the athlete is 190 pounds and that each activity consumes a predictable amount of calories per hour at high exertion. Using this method we can figure out which of the 10DL expeditions is “hardest”, by virtue of the caloric expenditure required to complete it. The source for the calorie count information is here.

3. The third and last step is to type all this into Excel. The results show that the caloric expenditure ranges from the lowest of 57,500 calories in 10DL Australia to 138,000 calories in 10DL Antarctica. It’s not surprising that Antarctica is one of the hardest, and that calorie estimate doesn’t even take into the account the cold temperature, which will consume even more calories as our bodies try to keep warm. Below is the model I used.

 

The mental side of the “difficulty” equation is much more difficult to measure. I don’t have a measure for that.

Photos from 10 Degrees Europe

We did it man, and here are the photographs to show you our journey.


Best Western - Travel BlogA shout-out to Best Western, especially Marie Yarroll, Senior Manager of Public Relations. Best Western sponsored 10 Degrees Latitude and asked Neal to contribute content for their newly launched blog called “You Must Be Trippin”. The latest one is Healthy Continental Breakfasting. Give it a read and tell us what you think.