8,848 meters of climbing, in one day, on perhaps the slowest bikes in Australia.
Strava athletes around the world have been showing their support for victims of the Nepalese earthquake by joining the Climb for Nepal Challenge and raising funds through MORE Than Sport. To complete the Challenge, athletes must climb the height of Mount Everest in the month of June. With less than a week to go, more than $64,000 has been raised.
Everesting in a single day is a feat few dare to take on, but we’ve been hearing incredible stories of athletes doing just that. Here’s one that required exceptional mental and physical strength – and a special sense of humor.
Jason English and Dave Edwards decided to take on the challenge and attempt to Everest on RACV Melbourne Bike Share Bikes. These are the 18kg, cruiser-style bikes you see people with en route to work in many major cities around the world. Jason – the current 24-hour enduro mountain bike world champion – and Dave Edwards showed incredible fortitude and Everested an 18m vertical hill next to the iconic MCG in Melbourne. Hear about their impressive efforts over 492 laps and 25 hours of riding.
Jason English: strava.com/activities/321605431
I have done two Everesting efforts in the past and I hadn’t really considered going for a third. However, the concept of riding an 18kg bike (feels like 180kg) on an almost flat segment of road in the middle of Melbourne sounded just like the kind of insanely stupid challenge I was after.
I couldn’t believe the support of this event by the locals.
Coffees seemed to keep flowing and the mates we met during the first night were great. It seemed like everyone that came out to visit us either dropped off a box of doughnuts or brought a load of cake. The local restaurant owner even brought over buns and rolls.
The last few hours really dragged on. At 6pm I recall estimating we will be finished by 10pm. At 7pm I estimated 11pm, but the required laps weren’t completed until just after 1am. This was by far the hardest event I have completed, I’m now considering Brisbane CBD on their bikes for my next Everest.
Dave Edwards: strava.com/activities/320998173
The Climb for Nepal was a challenge that stood out from all others. It was going to be incredibly tough, a bit stupid, a big party, and something that I could do to help people that needed it most. I work in travel and had friends leave the mountain not 2 days before the quakes, so the thought of helping was a really strong point. Plus it was a challenge that couldn’t be prepared for — no working out what hill was best, what gearing was best, no specific training. Just go to where you were told, stand up and be counted, and that is very, very appealing to my mindset. We rode, we rode, and we rode.
18m vertical gain each lap and about 900m horizontally covered, 492 laps…
The best thing about this whole ride was the support. People showed up and rode with us for hours into the darkness. Explain that. They didn’t know us, but at 1am they were happily riding alongside. How does that work? People rule. Hells 500 people rule. Everesting rules. That was the part of the whole thing that was so staggering. People who lived on the street asked what was happening, and when they found out, would bring treats and offer us to use their toilets when needed. Bus drivers got on the radio, and let each other know what was happening so that they could look out for us when turning onto the street.
To every single person that turned up, I want to express the thanks that I have for how you helped us. You rode with us, cheered for us, asked cars to move so that they weren’t on the peak of the one corner we had to make, brought LOTS of donuts, tasty burgers, more tasty burgers, pizza shapes, sticky date pudding, NoDoz, coke, more donuts, a few more donuts, thanks for the donuts, hash browns, PAELLA, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee and still more coffee. I easily consumed in excess of 30 serves of caffeine.
The rear brake died with around 100 laps to go, so front brake only (which was pretty dodgy to start with). I strained a nerve in my left forearm, so couldn’t really hold on with my left hand anymore. The 4 speed bumps on the descent hurt A LOT. I was no longer pulling a sweet jump off of the last speed bump on the way down. It was enough just to still be rubber side down.
Jason and I were both on grunting terms. He rode his bit, I rode my bit. We didn’t have the capacity to talk or try to ride with each other. I kept having someone check me every time I stopped and ask me questions. I couldn’t answer any of them and I couldn’t stand up, I could only whisper my laps remaining count to my beautiful wife who was still standing on the road side as I went past. I was pathetic…
I uploaded my ride to Strava and sent it off to Andy van Bergen. He had it up on the hall of fame before I went to sleep. Top bloke Andy and great idea to raise money for the people of Nepal after the tragic events in April. If you are still reading, please go to the fundraising page and donate. Anything will help, and I certainly did the work!
Jason and Dave accomplished an extraordinary feat. No doubt, they couldn’t have done it without the help of those in their community. Be sure to send kudos their way. We don’t expect everyone to go out and replicate their efforts but you can join the Climb for Nepal Challenge and contribute to the cause. If you are interested in additional ways to help those devastated by the Nepal Earthquake check out MORE Than Sport.