Update: Fatbike Expedition Comes to a Quiet Halt
On Thursday, Adventure Ethics published a story based on our investigation of the outcome of a solo fatbiking-packrafting expedition, launched this spring by Andrew Badenoch and based on a Kickstarter campaign we wrote about this past winter.
Andrew Badenoch has responded to this article and directly to me via Twitter, two direct emails, and two lengthy posts on his 77Zero website. One of these posts is a response to this article, the other recounts the various delays and logistical issues that he encountered. He also wrote a direct message to his Kickstarter backers (viewable only to backers).
Badenoch claims he made it clear that he would not be able to correspond with me about the expedition due to limited communications access. In fact, in an email on September 23, he said only that he had had "not much communications access lately" and then, in response to my request for an interview, provided a single-sentence update on his trip: "Had to postpone the expedition after logistical nightmares made me miss the weather window."
Badenoch did not give any indication that he lacked access to a phone or Skype connection, nor did he mention that his satellite phone was not working. He did not respond to my subsequent emails or phone calls. In the updates he posted last night, however, he wrote "I carry a ruggedized smartphone that was depleted of credits due to receiving massive spam texts at international rates." He added that he can only use this when he occassionally finds Wi-Fi access.
In addition, I received confirmation from PBS Interactive that it had entered into an agreement with Badenoch to produce an episodic video series about the trip, based on footage Badenoch would provide from the trail. PBS never received any footage and since mid-August Badenoch has not responsed to emails his PBS contacts have sent him.
In his September 23 email to me, Badenoch also mentioned that he had run into a friend of mine on the Oregon coast. My friend confirmed this and noted he had run into Badenoch on a couple occassions during a surf trip near Manzanita, Oregon, during mid-September. Yesterday, after my story was published, my friend also noted that Badenoch had asked him to "wait a few days" before mentioning their chance meeting to me.
For now, Badenoch is reassuring his backers that he is determined to again take up the gauntlet in the spring. We'll keep you posted.
—Mary Catherine O'Connor