In the recent past, a new kind of challenge has crept onto the bucket lists of hard-core cyclists who love pushing their own limits: Everesting.
The term coined by Andy van Bergen describes climbing one single hill of choice as many times until the elevation gain of the height of Mt Everest – 8848m – is achieved. The number of repeats range greatly. Alpe d’Huez would have to be climbed almost eight times, a small neighborhood climb of 40m vertical gain would require 221 repeats. There is a lot of strategy involved what climb to choose. But there is only one rule: It has to be continuous riding so no sleep between.
When I heard about Everesting the first time last year, I was intrigued. I love challenges that pushes me to my physical and mental limits.
But then I realized what that meant. Doing something repeatedly. Seeing the same corner, the same tree, the same crack over.
I am not good in that. I don’t do crits for exactly that reason.
So Everesting was off the table. Off the bucket list. Nada. Done. Won’t do it.
But it was tough to ignore it. The idea kept tickling me, cyclists from everywhere were doing it. It popped up on Strava, on Facebook, friends were talking about it, friends were doing it and randomly you come across a strange arrangement of furniture and food at the start of a climb in the middle of the night. Ah, yes, someone was in the process of Everesting.
Besides being surrounded by the omen of action, there was something else about this mystical circle of Everesting that made it increasingly appealing.
There is not a lot of talk about it. There is no pressure of doing it. No boasting. Just action.
I kind of like that!
But Monika, this is still not for you! The repeats don’t become fewer because of that!
Well, but then two weeks ago I was pushed over the edge to the side of serious Everest commitment business.
For two reasons.
The first reason is the main reason I ride my bike: the community. I will join seven guys who know how to have fun on the bike. A few of the many, many laps ahead will be absorbed by laughter, awe, tears and silence. More about this crew will be shared soon with some sweet film shoot material!
But another reason made me decide to do an Everest:
This is not about me.
This is not about a personal accomplishment.
It is bigger than that. It is to raise funds for Movember – a foundation for men’s health issues. Now, all of a sudden, the 120 something laps seem a minor obstacle compared to what bigger problems are out there in the world.
18th of November is the showdown.
A month to go. A month to get ready for the most elevation gain I will ever have ridden in one single ride.
Stay tuned for the next posts about the Everest challenge including introducing the crew, my preparation, training rides and anything else what I am not aware of yet!
Our route: Melbourne – 1 in 20 – Warburton – Reefton Spur – Eildon-Warburton Rd – Jamieson – Mt Buller
* On the way down from Mt Terrible a lyrebird ran actually in between my wheels. That was luck to both me and the bird that we actually got out of it ok.
Two months ago I signed up for one of the harder races in Switzerland: the Alpenbrevet, a 276km race with over 7000m of elevation. However, with a new job I have less time for riding and only two months ago I hopped on my bike maybe once a week.
There is no shortage of tough rides in the Alps, especially considering the endless possibilities of climbing up passes without a lot of flats between them. This ride was a preparation for the highly respected Alpenbrevet race. I was pretty exhausted after this ride of 147km and 4,300m elevation. The Alpenbrevet with an additional 130km and 2,700m elevation gain will ask for a new level of toughness in two weeks.
|On the way down from Grimsel with the view towards Furka Pass|
But before testing my climbing legs, the non-stop 1000km Tortour around Switzerland will challenge the endurance of my team and I. With a highly organized five person support crew, a camper, a follow vehicle and a loooooot of food, we are ready for the challenge starting this Friday EARLY morning. We hope to cross the finish line 39 hours later, Saturday evening!
You can follow us via live tracker. Link will follow.
Oh, this race will be so epic!