Steve's Everest Cycling Challenge
by William Townsend on May 14, 2019
Active Root Ambassador Steve explains the logistics that go into attempting a cycling Everest Challenge.
In a little over 2 weeks I'll be taking on an Everesting attempt on the Horseshoe pass in Llangollen Wales.
This will be my first attempt and to say I'm nervous would be a massive understatement.
My training going into this has been similar to that of my usual TT stuff as essentially an Everesting is a series of 20-30 minutes efforts. Then a rest interval of around 5 minutes as you fly down the 2.5 mile decent before going again for potentially 16-24+ hours!
The logistics of such an attempt can be as simple or complex as you like.
The rules are basic. Climb the height of Everest. One climb. No time limit. No sleep.
For me the attempt is all about raising awareness and funds for Ciara, a 9 year old girl battling a condition called Rett Syndrome. On the day I'll be riding with Ian Harcourt and we'll be supported in the attempt by other riders and crew from Team Ciara a small cycling club with the combined focus of getting a cure that's almost in touching distance. As we are being well supported, we have the luxury of having a base at the top with bottles, food spares and additional clothing. This helps make the combined weight of bike and rider as light as possible which is crucial when you consider you're hauling that weight repeatedly up a climb in excess of 30 times.
The next thing to consider is the route. The start and end point must be the same for the entire attempt. It’s a tricky thing to get right as you want the distance as short possible but with enough elevation to ensure you're not sat on your bike for 2 days.
Food and hydration is key in a successful Everesting attempt as I could burn in excess of 9000 calories! So the plan is to consume lots of easy to digest foods. I need those carbs to keep the legs turning.
I only discovered Active Root recently but I'm so glad I have. I’ve always struggling with my gut on long endurances rides so always opting for water. The balance of salt and carbs should help power me through, that’s for sure!
Another thing I've worked on is my mental approach to climbing. I've really tried to enjoy hill repeats in training and have focused on having a positive mental attitude to maximise the chances of completing the challenge.
Finally, the last thing to decide on was when to attempt the event. We initially chose March but quickly decided May would be a better option with the longer days and better chance of favourable weather. On the morning of the 25th, we'll be aiming to start before sunrise so around 4am which will hopefully reduce the amount of hours spent in darkness. It would be great to get the challenge boxed off before its completely dark in the evening. Fingers crossed!