I’d heard about ‘Everesting’ only a few months ago, when I’d seen friends Hazel and Anna join a group of 20 or so to ‘Everest’ Mount Donna Buang at the same time. It’s a pretty crazy idea: ride your bike up enough hills in one go to match Mount Everest’s elevation, 8,848 metres. Typically, it’s done on a single stretch of road and this might take a number of laps to get to the required 8,848m. It’s become more and more popular and now people are getting creative with their attempts. A small bunch of guys Everested on those blue Melbourne share bikes a month or so ago, while others tackle dirt roads on mountain bikes. When Anna shared an invitation to be part of an Everesting attempt to raise funds for the Nepal earthquake, I thought “why not?”
There were four of us aiming for 8848: first-timers Tracy and me, along with Hazel who’d been part of the group that Everested in February, while organiser Sarah would be competing her fourth. We’d also been joined by Nic on a recumbent bike, who was keen to reach a climbing personal best. Our Everest attempt of Bonds Road in Lower Plenty would take roughly 56 laps at 5km long. It was pretty dark we started at 6am and the air was cold and moist. I knew there’d be a long day ahead; Lead Out member Casey’s Everest of Otter Street near his Collingwood restaurant took more than 24 hours. I was nervous and wasn’t sure I could make it, so hadn’t told many people that I’d planned to give it a go. If I failed, I thought, at least no-one would know I’d tried! But some social media sleuths had figured it out and through the day, there was a constant stream of supporters that made the trip out – lots of Lead Out buddies (some making repeat visits) and some familiar faces with encouraging words and sugary treats to keep our energy up. Accomplished Everesters had warned that riding through sunset and back into darkness would be a mental battle, so I was prepared for it when it came. But the long day was getting to me and when Lead Out-ers Jen and Niki appeared about 7pm I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional at the sight of a bag of McDonalds in their hands! After 16 hours, at about 10pm, I had reached the magic number and was done!
It’s a bit of fun to add ‘Everesting’ to my list of accomplishments and I know that all the skills and fitness I’ve gained at Lead Out helped me get there. Simone from Cycling Tips joined us during the day, you can read her write-up here (cyclingtips.com.au/2015/06/the-camaraderie-of-climbing-88484-metres-together/)
From the Himalayas to the Alps – Lead Out’s Tour de France trip is in full swing. The first group were based in Belgium, where the tour started, and enjoyed warm temperatures and blue skies while being lead on some amazing rides with Lead Out coaches. The second group meet in France in the coming days and will take on the Alps for some challenging and picturesque cycling amongst the excitement of le Tour. Some lucky ducks are participating in both weeks! These boutique trips will be a lasting memory for all involved, I’m sure. I’m green with envy, but if you think you can handle it, head to Lead Out’s Facebook page to check out their photos and follow their progress.
With all this dreary Melbourne winter weather, it’s harder than ever to stay motivated and get out on the bike. But my competitive nature had me jumping out of bed to attend Lead Out’s training sessions to be eligible to win one of the Lead Out TdF jerseys. And on the weekend, it happened! I am the proud winner of week one’s green jersey. Anyone could this week’s red climber’s jersey or the final week’s yellow jersey. Who’s your pick? They have to channel the pro’s with their commitment to training and enthusiasm for the sport. Check out the contenders on the Facebook page and stay tuned for the results!
Getting out for a ride with a friend can also be a good motivator. Lead Out member Suzy and I recently signed up for a Northern Combine race in Campbellfield. It was dry when we started, but the talented photographer partner of Lead Out-er Sue snapped us soaked after an unanticipated downpour mid-race!Continue Reading