Ripley Davenport had a cart built for his 2010 Mongolia trek which he called "Molly Brown". He used plans given to him by Louis-Phillipe Loncke, an established explorer and trailer puller. Several years on, Mr. Loncke has this to say about Ripley Davenport.

In an interview with Correne Coetzer in Explorers Web, Nov 18, 2009 Ripley described Molly:

"The trailer I have named Molly Brown has been fitted with the finest materials and weighs in at 27.7kg. Mollys Hubs are Custom made, specialized cassette, 36 hole, and anodised sealed cartridge bearings with a solid 20 mm axle. Her spokes are14-gauge stainless steel rods with brass nipples. Her rims are black, 36H high-grade aluminium. Strength was paramount. Her tires are specialized Greentyre puncture proof 20 inch 20 X 2.2125, 700g Blizzard and coloured green, non carcinogenic, CFC free and they release no harmful toxins to the atmosphere.

I have tested the expedition with a full load. In fact the trailer was tested with a weight of 680kg. However, I in no way intend on hauling that weight! I have tested the trailer with 250kg, which is near enough the weight I am looking at hauling and she handles superbly.

Molly is extremely well balanced and sturdy and with the aid of a specially made harness from Ed Bouffard (Ed's Wilderness Systems, LLC), Molly feels just like an extension of my body. I am putting her through some trials over the coming weeks to iron out any weaknesses but I am confident she up for the job.

Once I am 100% confident with her performance then Ill release images. Maybe!"

Two weeks after the Explorers Web interview, on December 4, 2009 Lasse Rahbek uploaded a video of Ripley Davenport training for Mongolia. Lasse had been recruited to help Ripley document his expedition in exchange for accompanying Ripley to Mongolia. Lasse was essentially volunteering his time and video skills to help Ripley promote himself. The promise of participation in Mongolia (including having his expenses paid) soon evaporated and Lasse and Ripley parted ways. The video was taken roughly two weeks AFTER Ripley gave the Exweb interview referenced above where clearly indicates that he has the trailer in his possession. There is no trailer in this video and there was not mention of the trailer at the time the video was taken. The first time Lasse saw the trailer was two and a half months later.

The only pictures of the cart in action in Denmark are at this video which was first uploaded on Feb 20, 2010.. The bags are filled with cushions, according to the videographer, Lasse Rahbeck. Ripley insisted that the video maker give the video the title "Three days of training trials" when in fact all the video was shot in an hour in a field near Ripley's home. On March 14, 2014 Ripley uploaded this same video to his own youtube channel, but has changed the title to: "Ripley Davenport. Winter film & photo shoot for the Mongolia 2010" and has disengenuously tried to explain that this was just a "promotional" shoot. Davenport claims that he "took a pause from his usual training regimen" to make the video. "Normally 250kg of sand and concrete slabs would be used as weight but not during the filming of this video." Yet, Lasse Rahbek, who at this time was a full "team member" never saw any sand, concrete or Ripley "training" with anything other than pillows.

In spite of claiming that Ripley had tested the trailer with nearly three times the anticipated weight, it still failed TWICE in 12 km. It defies logic that if Ripley had trained with the trailer fully weighted in Denmark with no problems, but had a failure immediately upon arriving in Mongolia which Ripley blamed on sand getting into bearings. And one should remember that Ripley has never produced a single image of himself training in Denmark with the trailer actually loaded. Ripley's primary sponsor to the tune of $9000.00 USD and various watches, Soren Braes of Pilotur, commented in the Politiken article on Ripley Davenport "That puzzled me. As a desert explorer you should know that there is sand in the desert,”

Again, Ripley claims in 2009 that the Molly was already built and tested and includes: "Mollys Hubs are Custom made, specialized cassette, 36 hole, and anodised sealed cartridge bearings with a solid 20 mm axle. Her spokes are14-gauge stainless steel rods with brass nipples. ..Strength was paramount."

Yet here is the description of the failure of the "sealed cartridge bearings" in Mongolia after less than 12 km: "The wheels were subjected to a lot of impact and relentless blowing sand and grit made its way in to everything. The problem was sourced in the wheel hub, which I am sad to say was not a sealed component. The riding rim for the ball bearings and ball bearings were eroded and several of these, what can only be described as her Achillies heal, were mere metal fragments and fine silver dust in two of the wheels. I did prepare for this likelihood and carried a few spares and exchanged the bearings in awkward conditions but the rugged terrain and weight got the better of her. There are only so many bearings to take as spares and I expended them all. I sat, having bearly covered 12km in 12 hours of walking, in the icy dry wind and lost it. I broke down. I'm not afriad to sat that I let out some emotional tears and screamed some disagreeable language. So much time and preparation went into this expedition that it became an obsession. I trained hard and trained well and simply never encountered problems with her bearings until now. A minor flaw in her design and one over-looked but one easily rectifiable. "

After watching this video and reading Ripley's description of Molly and his problems, this comment came in from Charlie Cunningham, an historic name in the evolution of mountain biking and an engineer and designer of bicycle components: ".. when the road has side tilt, or ruts, as I'm sure many do in Mongolia, the lateral spoke loading becomes severe. Bicycle hubs with 14 gauge spokes would quickly fail. From what I've seen of Mongolia, A) It does not suffer fools, B) For a trailer to last even a few days with 240kg, it would have to be built around motorcycle wheels with much thicker spokes, stronger rims, and hubs with bearings designed to handle lateral loads.

Bicycles wheels see mainly radial loads and are designed accordingly. Typical bicycle wheels have poor spoke bracing angles and use standard cartridge bearings which are designed for high speeds with radial loads, not low speeds with big lateral loads. Bicycle wheels don't belong in heavily loaded trailers because they won't fare well when subjected to lateral loads. From the video footage, it looks like the bearings were pushed completely out of the hubs by lateral loads.

I know there isn't much doubt, but I'd say this guy is full-on bogus."

Ripley did return to Mongolia in 2010 with the financial support of Todd Carmichael, another trailer puller (whose two attempts to cross Death Valley were illegal). Todd remains a stalwart supporter of Ripley. But Ripley has never explained what "fix" solved his bearing problem. Given all the effort and detail he put into making this trailer, it is odd that he doesn't share with the world and other trailer pullers the secret of his second effort. Regarding his second effort to pull across Mongolia in 2010. Ripley claims to have completed 2/3 of the distance that was his goal but gave up with a twisted ankle. Yet this website of the "record" which he always cites, he has erased from the internet. All the images of Ripley's 2010 walk appear to be taken at roughly the same point in the walk. There are no images showing the varied terrain that Ripley would have encountered over the course of 52 days if he had gone 2/3 of the distance and no pictures of people that he met along the way. By his own admission, what were supposedly "tracker" GPS points on the mongolia2010.com website were actually manually entered by Ripley. In short, there is nothing but Ripley's assertion to suggest that he actually did the walk in 2010.

It is notable that when Ripley returned from Mongolia in 2010 he failed to complete the agreed upon talks and slideshows which were part of his agreement with primary financial sponsor Danish watchmaker Pilotur. He did make this video , after returning from Mongolia but it includes no video or stills that show diversity of terrain. On it's face it purports to say that Ripley actually completed the planned distance, where as in fact he only did about 2/3 of the distance. It also claims a "world record" without ever identifying who previously held the record.

In short:

It appears that Davenport lied to his interviewer, Ms. Coetzer, when he claimed in November of 2009 that he has tested the cart and "she handles superbly" because the first time his "cameraman" and team member, Lasse, saw it was three months later and there was no evidence of use or pieces of cement.

Davenport intentionally misrepresented a couple of hours of dragging pillows around a frozen field as "Three days of Trials" and coerced his unpaid cameraman to go along with the charade.

There is no evidence, photographic or anecdotal, of Ripley training with the fully loaded cart in Denmark before leaving for Mongolia.

After the initial failure, Davenport has never explained what kind of repair or fix was done so that the cart worked without problems on his second attempt.