Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Meeting the Prime Minister

David Cameron seemed pleased with his collage.

I was accompanied by my local MP, Alun Cairns

...and my VERY proud mother!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Total Women's Cycling Award

I'm delighted to say that I've been chosen as a finalist for the Outstanding Achievement Award!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

No place like home!

Even though it's rained almost constantly since I landed yesterday, I always love to come home.

Hobbling through Heathrow and seeing my family for the first time in over a month was the best welcome home.

My father was quick to point out that on christmas day he'd received a nasty surprise when he got a 'Deadman alert' from my tracker, which he was obviously not too pleased with. We are still trying to figure out how that happened, besides firstly I'm definitely not dead and secondly I'm still a woman!

Today has been the first day that I've sat at my computer and am rather over-whelmed at the amazing messages I've received from all over the world - thanks to everyone for their great support.

This expedition has always been about doing things differently, in a modernised way and achieving something amazing through clever planning and expedition execution rather that doing an expedition that is longer, harder, tougher and hence a huge story about human sacrifice. In today's modern world I believe that only historical journey's can be classed as human sacrifice because we now all have the kit, equipment, clothing and more importantly a sat phone to call in help when we need it.

Having said that I've definitely sacrificed my knee as I don't believe it will ever been the same again and I can confirm that I went through the most immense pain for the last 5 days! Pain is temporary became my motto...

I am planning to write a book and have in fact already started writing and hope to have it available towards the end of the year. Details will be posted on my website.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported me and my crazy idea and to all sponsors who have provided kit and equipment, advice and support.

Thanks to my mother for being the most amazing PR Consultant in my absence, My father who helped with the initial concept for the Polar cycle and design of skis (which fortunately/unfortunately I did not need to use!), Marcus & Chris (From Qoroz Titanium Bikes) for believing in my ideas and also helping to conceptualise the polar cycle, ICE for joining the project with very little notice and building the most amazing polar cycle EVER!, my boyfriend Wayne who not only endured a month in Antarctica (he's from Africa and hates the cold!) but also 2 years of me getting up at 6.00am in the morning to train and supporting me in all ways possible and finally all of my friends who I've been practically ignoring for the last few years...please can I have you back now - I'm sorry???!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Waiting to fly out of Antarctica, January 2

It took two days of travel this time in the relative comfort of a truck for Maria to return to Union Glacier from the South Pole where she is waiting for a flight out of Antartica to Chile.
She has been plastering her swollen knee with ice and not to be daunted by injury she is hoping to do some skiing before she leaves!
She has enjoyed her first shower for a month - no more wet wipes - and she is no longer lugging a spade around in order to go to the toilet!
On the drive back from the South Pole she passed the two other cyclists who are attempting to cycle to the South Pole. The Spaniard Juan Menendez Granados was happy to give her a hug! Good sportsman!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Maria claims two world titles

I've done it I've done it, I've done it! Maria claimed two world records this morning as the first person to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of the continent in 10 days beating all other speed records.

“Her success was down to meticulous planning, super fitness both physically and mentally and pure determination,” said her mother Adrianne Leijerstam.

“From the time she was 12 years old and announced she wanted to be an astronaut, Maria has always been an adventurer. We are thrilled she has made it in such good time.”

Maria, a former management consultant, who now runs Multisport Wales describes Antartica as vicious. Her journey has not been without its problems. At one point the sweat on the inside of her boots froze making keeping her feet warm incredibly difficult.

Snow drifts, complete white outs and high winds marred her passage but even so she was able to cycle the whole distance on her three wheeled recumbent PolarCycleTM 

A two year planning and development programme by the White Ice Cycle team produced the concept for this unique PolarCycleTM   that was then manufactured by Inspired Cycle Engineering of Cornwall.
Roald Amundsen, was the first person to reach the South Pole in 1911 using 2 metre long skis which made crevasse crossing easier for him and he also had assistance from dogs. He was five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott as part of the Terra Nova Expedition. Amundsen and his team returned safely to their base, and later learned that Scott and his four companions had died on their return journey.