Archive for January, 2024 / Kraemer Aviation January 2024 Wheels & Wings Newsletter

Friday, January 26th, 2024

Welcome to the Kraemer Aviation/ Wheels & Wings Newsletter.

This month we have a special feature, we’re highlighting Maria Leijerstam. Maria is an adventurer with numerous expeditions under her belt. She even has a Guinness World Record. Click here for her story and parts of Harry’s interview with her.

You can view past newsletters here. January is the middle of winter here in the Northeast. We’re not enjoying our collector vehicles and we’re not flying too much in January. So this month we’re featuring “decorating your home with wheels & wings”.

Interested in living at an airport?  Visit our Aviation Real Estate page here. You can view price data for airport property in our Market Watch section of the Flymall. Here is the data for all airport property. You can refine the search by “state” simply by searching for the desired state under “Model”.

Want to have your business highlighted on the Flymall???  We offer inexpensive rates to have your business featured on our Wheels & Wings page.  Contact us for more info.

History Trivia: Chevrolet has been building trucks since 1918. The first production truck from Chevrolet was inspired by vehicles used in plants to move parts and pieces from place to place. Essentially a rolling chassis with a configurable body or cargo area allowed the original Chevrolet pickup to be the versatile vehicle of choice for hauling goods to and fro. The Chevrolet C/K series ran from 1960 to the year 2002 when it was replaced by the Silverado.

Here’s what you can do with your old Chevrolet pickup that is no longer road worthy.

And here’s a bed for the helicopter pilots.

If you enjoy history we have a new aviation history fact each day at the bottom of our webpages.  Some days there may be more than one, just refresh the page.  And if you like Beatles history, checkout our Events Calendar and select the Beatles category.  This is a work in progress, we’re building the most comprehensive calendar of important dates in Beatle history.  For those that like to stick with current news, we have an aviation news ticker on our home page.  This is updated daily to show the current aviation news.

Achievements & Special Recognition: This month we should remember the crew of Challenger whom lost their lives in the exploration of space on January 28 1986.

Instructors, what to highlight your students first solo or other achievement here?  Just send us a short write-up and a picture or two and we’ll post it here for you.  Click here for our contact info.

Aviation/Aviators in the news: This month we have to mention a private pilot applicant that did his practical test with Harry earlier in January. Eyal is the first applicant that Harry had that did not get ONE question incorrect during the ground portion of the test. This is amazing. Great job Eyal.

The aviation section of the Flymall is full of aviation news, training info, and much more for the aviator.

An airplane bed.

Air show season is always just around the corner.  Want to travel to air shows in your own aircraft?  Visit our used aircraft page on the Flymall to view our inventory.

Car/Motorcycle Show News:   The Laytonsville Cruise In is the place to be on a Friday night in Montgomery County.  The Laytonsville Cruise In was started by Harry in 2010. It has become one of the most popular cruise ins in the area. You can follow Harry on Facebook for daily updates during the many shows and events he attends.

We have sad news to report on this month. Earlier in January, our friend from the Laytonsville Cruise In, Less Slick passed away. Here he is in his beloved Corvette.

Stay tuned for our February newsletter. Harry will be attending the Glenn Curtiss Winter Cycle Therapy next month and our February newsletter will have full coverage of this event.

How about cooking up some homemade soup on this awesome VW themed kitchen stove?

After you cooked dinner on the VW stove, you can enjoy it on this awesome table.

Or if you’re a rider, here’s your table of preference.

Speaking of riding, the Flymall team attended Cars, Bikes, & Coffee at District Harley Davidson on January 27. Jett & Ace were also on hand. The weather was perfect.

Our Events Calendar has the most current info regarding local and national car shows, air shows, and more.  With nearly 30 categories, there is something for everyone.  The Day Tripper section of the Flymall has dozens of day trip ideas and interesting places to visit.  Check it out here.

For the car enthusiast, having to go to work and being away from your babies at home in the garage, is a drag. Unless your office is as cool as this office.

Barn Finds/Hangar Finds:  Need an appraisal on your barn find?  Visit our Appraisal Page for information on our appraisals.  Here’s a barn find for you, a 1974 Ducati 750 SS. Earlier this month Harry was asked to do an appraisal for an estate of a gentleman that recently passed away. The attorney for the estate said they guy kept an old motorcycle in his house. Well that old motorcycle turned out to be an original 1974 Ducati 750 SS “Green Frame” bike. These bikes can sell for upwards of $190,000 or more.

If you’re looking for parts for your barn find, try the Howard Country Motorcycle Swap Meet held each year.

If you not sure what to do with that old firetruck that you found in a barn, here’s an idea. Click on each image for a larger view.

Visit our online store to search for hard to find car parts, aircraft parts, and much more.  You can pay online in our secure store, just click on the Store button on our home page.

Got an old Jeep that doesn’t run? Here’s an idea.

Visit the Test Drive section of the Flymall for reviews on automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and more. Read about it before you buy it.  You can also research price info on a wide variety of vehicles, collectibles, and more in the Market Watch section of the Flymall. 

If you’re restoring a fabric aircraft, Ira Walker of Walker Aviation is your resource.  Visit his page on the Flymall by clicking here

CFI / DPE Notes:  Visit Harry’s Practical Test page for information on his checkrides.  You will also find useful information there to help you prepare for your checkride.  You can also visit Harry’s Lesson Plan section of the Flymall for other flight training information.  Visit our Flight Training page for information on our aviation training classes.

Weather in the news: In early January, the Mid-Atlantic was hit with back to back storms. First was Ember and Finn followed a few days later.

Winter storm Ember.

Winter storm Finn.

Here’s winter storm Finn on January 9 as it moved into the Mid-Atlantic region. And after Finn, the country saw numerous other storms move across from west to east.

Here’s some pictures of the flooding we had on January 28 after a line of heavy storms moved through the night before.

Three Wheel Association (TWA) &  Harry started the Three Wheel Association in 2013 to promote/support the industry of three wheel vehicles of all types. Visit the Three Wheel Association page on the Flymall for more info on the association. On, we now have over 900 listings in the A to Z list with many sub categories as well. And we have some very nice coffee cups and beer mugs available in our Cafe Press shop.

Want a reproduction vintage 3 wheeler.  Walker Aviation can scratch built from pictures or drawings.  Visit his page on the Flymall.  

Prototypes: Our “Concepts” section on has some awesome prototypes and other concept 3 wheelers. Here is the Toyota i-Road electric concept vehicle seen at the Washington DC auto show in 2014.

Nautical Notes: This is cool! Enjoying a movie indoors sitting on the deck of this boat.

Riding The Rails: And if decorating with car, plane, or boat parts isn’t enough, how about an entire motel made from caboose cars? The Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant did just that. Your motel room is an actual caboose.

Native American Indian Transportation: This odd looking boat is called a Bull Boat. It was used by Native American Indians. It was made using a framework of willow poles, covered with raw buffalo hides. Its said they they were not very stable.

Animals in the headlines: Since we will celebrate “Groundhog Day” next month, here’s a little history on that day. What is the history on letting a rodent forecast the weather? It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrows on this day and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will go on for six more weeks; if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early. The Pennsylvania Dutch were immigrants from German-speaking areas of Europe. The Germans had a tradition of marking Candlemas (February 2) as “Badger Day” (Dachstag), on which if a badger emerging from its den encountered a sunny day, thereby casting a shadow, it presaged four more weeks of winter. The Pennsylvanians maintained the same tradition as the Germans on Groundhog Day, except that winter’s spell would be prolonged for six weeks instead of four.  For the Pennsylvania Dutch, the badger became the dox, which in Deitsch referred to “groundhog”

We close this newsletter with these words: Make it a habit to do nice things for other people without them asking for it.

Maria Leijerstam’s Journey to the South Pole

Saturday, January 13th, 2024

This month we’re highlighting Maria Leijerstam. Maria is an adventurer with numerous expeditions under her belt. She even has a Guinness World Record.

In 2013 Maria Leijerstam became the first person to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of the continent. Her expedition was named the White Ice Cycle and the bicycle was called the Polar Cycle. Click here for details on her bike used in 2013. Her bicycle was a custom-built recumbent trike. It was made by Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE). During this trip, Maria set a human-powered speed record that still stands today. At the time of the 2013 journey, Maria had two male competitors that left for the South Pole two days before her and she ended up getting to the South Pole first. This was a grueling 10 day trip in extremely harsh conditions. Some days, Maria cycled up to 17 hours. And she had to endure temperatures as cold as minus 40 degrees Celsius. Maria spent years planning the South Pole trip. Click here for Maria’s website that cover her trip to the South Pole.

When we asked Maria what her daily routine was like, here’s what she had to say “Basically I cycled between 12-17hrs per day. I slept/dozed for between 1-4hrs per night. It took me about 3 hours every stop to put up my tent, melt snow and ice to make water to drink and to rehydrate my food, eat, to tend to my alignments, such as my knee injury and get myself sorted to sleep, then to take the tent down and get going again. During the day I would cycle for 10k then have a 2 minute stop. I was able to eat and drink on the move as well as take photos/film. This is the benefit of recumbent cycling that doesn’t need much steering!  Having said that once I got to the sastrugi section on the polar plates I was having to navigate large boulders of ice which required a lot of concentration.”

Obtaining a world record from Guinness is a very rigorous process. Every detail of the trip needs to be documented as well as getting signatures from people along the way.

Cycling to the South Pole wasn’t a new idea, others have tried before Maria and failed. Maria was in top condition physically and this gave her an advantage. Her day job is running different adventure races in South Wales teaching people to be active and stay fit. Maria once ran 6 marathons in 7 days across the Sarah Desert. Maria also competed in the Black Ice Race in Siberia. Thirty people started this race and only 8 finished and Maria finished second. Some of Maria’s training for the South Pole trip included spending a day in an industrial freezer all day on the Polar Cycle at temperatures of minus 30 degrees.

She did made this incredible trip on a custom made tricycle called the Polar Cycle.

The bicycle for Maria’s 2013 expedition to the South Pole was completely her idea/design. Here’s Maria’s words on the 2013 bicycle; “The polar cycle was conceptualized by me and I drew up a user spec after lots of trails with normal 2 wheeled bikes on snow and ice.. It was then handed to Inspired Cycle Engineering who made it all in Falmouth in the UK. We went through a year of trail and testing and made multiple changes until we developed what is now the Polar Cycle. This was a name I created. ICE now have their version of it called the Full Fat, which is in full production selling 10-20 of them a month, mainly in the US and Canada. We have a special edition version of the FullFat coming out this year to celebrate my 10yrs of reaching the South Pole on it. It comes with my signature on it as well as a signed copy of my book and a few other things. It comes either as an electric or manual version. I still have the polar cycle but don’t ride it anymore as it’s too precious. I take it to talks and allow children to sit on it in schools. One day I will place it in a polar museum or a museum of British History.” From Maria’s idea/concept for the bike, it took 2 years to complete the custom build. One of the unique features on the Polar Cycle was an oval sprocket. This oval sprocket allowed Maria to have the power when needed and it gave her an easy stroke when that was needed.

You can read more about Maria’s incredible journey in her book Cycling To The South Pole.

Maria considered 2 wheel bicycles for the trip, however, they would have needed some sort of stabilizer system. And without enough knowledge on the subject or a suitable manufacturer, a 3 wheel bicycle became the better choice.

Maria said she was lucky her trip with regards to repairs on her bicycle. She only need to put air in the tires from time to time. And she had a brake freeze. She had no major repairs to make or major breakdowns. While in Iceland testing the Polar Cycle for the expedition, she had a chain break. While testing the bicycle, Maria and her team did make several minor changes. One was adding studs to the tires for traction. They also tried skies, however, they decided these were not a good idea.

The permit process and planning for the 2013 trip started a year in advance. Maria had numerous interviews in London and eventually was issued a permit to land on Antarctica.

Navigation for the South Pole trip was simple Maria said, it is just due South. Of course she had some minor deviations to avoid crevasses. She said most crevasses have been marked by the South Pole Traverse. However new ones can open up at any time. Maria did use GPS for the trip as well. Maria said that climbing the Leverett Glacier was challenging because she had to deviate a lot to avoid crevasses.

For most of the 2013 expedition to the South Pole, Maria carried all of her own equipment and supplies (55kg of gear). This included her food, camping supplies, cooking fuel, etc. Once she got onto the polar plateau, cycling conditions were much more difficult so she decided to use a support team to assist with her gear and supplies.

Here’s Maria with her custom bicycle after just arriving at the South Pole in 2013.

In December 2023, to commemorate her 2013 trip to the South Pole, Maria Leijerstam cycled from the east edge of Ireland all the way to the South Pole Inn on the west side of Ireland. She did the 320km trip in just under 27 hours. Here are some of Maria’s major points along her 2023 expedition across Ireland: Waterford, Cappoquin, Mallow, Newmarket, Castle Island, Castlemaine, South Pole Inn. Click here for some information on Maria’s bicycle used the 2023. Here’s Maria (pictured right) on her 2016 Scott Scale 910 Carbon Mountain Bike while on the 2023 expedition across Ireland. Maria used Komoot and Google maps for the planning of the actual trip/route for the Ireland trip.

Here’s Maria in 2023 celebrating her successful 2023 expedition with a glass of Guinness at the famous South Pole Inn in Ireland.

When we asked Maria “What is your next adventure?  Any more world records in the making?”, here’s her reply “I’ve always got more ideas!  In fact as the years go on and I watch other cyclists attempting to reach the south pole or do a full Antarctic crossing, but fail, it makes me think I’d like to head back to Antartica to do a Trans Antarctic crossing as I know how it could be done successfully! Chris Hoy, world famous professional British Cyclist was hoping to cycle to the South Pole but didn’t make it and this year Italian professional cyclists Omar De Felice tried for a 2nd time to cycle across Antarctica, but  didn’t make it. It goes to show you don’t have to be world famous or a professional cyclist. It’s all about having the right idea, equipment and willing to try something new! Becoming the first person to cycle across Antarctica from coast to coast is very appealing to me but this time I’d need sponsorship. I’m also very busy providing adventures for other people, in particular families with children. It’s Called the Burn Series and is modelled on the sport of Adventure Racing which I love so much. “

We asked Maria if the Polar Cycle may be used for her possible Trans Antarctic crossing and her reply was “Hi, no I’ve got some other ideas for a bike…. It’s the bit I love the most creating, designing and testing! It’s such a diverse project with so many elements to it.”

Maria also had this to say regarding future adventures, “So I did have a crazy idea of cycling across the Atlantic also, which you’ll read in my book.  It’s still somewhere in the background for the day when I get sponsorship and can really focus on doing world firsts without having to worry about everything else!”

In addition to her job at Burn Series, Maria stays busy with speaking engagements. She will do between 4 to 5 corporate talks per year as well as speaking at schools, sports clubs, and other related events. Be sure to follow Mari’s adventures on her website.

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