Everesting... Climb the height of Everest in one ride, on one climb.
I'd been thinking about an Everesting for a while, looking at potential climbs and working out the best time of year to attempt it. It was something that I needed to do for the mental challenge as much as the physical challenge, throughout November I had been building up endurance and raising the fitness, then bang, I bit the bullet and decided 1st December would be the day.
The only thing about the date, we are in Curfew in Cyprus, 9pm-5am, which means i would have 16hrs to get out the house, do the Everesting and be back home with it all completed. A tight schedule.
The night before the attempt we had storms and rain, and even at 5am when i left the house it was still lightening all around, i was just hoping that the forecast would hold true and they were moving away for a dry cool winters day.
As I started at 540am, straight onto the climb, and into a headwind! Not good for morale at all, I settled into a rhythm that I would be holding for the next 25mins and repeating 22 times! 200w, 36x28 and 36x25 gears of choice, first climb, 28mins, perfect, turn round and descend and repeat, 2nd climb 28mins, again perfect. This time I got a little freaked, the Garmin had only registered 200m of elevation on the 2nd climb, and then again only another 200 on the 3rd, 4th time up it went back to 400m of elevation, but in total I was now down. Its these little things that play on your mind!
A little note here about support crews, mine where fantastic, i had a car following me each time up the climb, bottles available at the top of each climb and the base station was manned, with food, ready for me when i stopped, i didn't need for anything, and couldn't have done it without them.
As the day wore on, I was going ok, feeling ok, climbs where still around then 28min mark, and i was on target for 12hrs riding, 14hrs all in... time in hand!
Then on the 11th climb, disaster really, i got out of the saddle, felt a twinge in ankle, sat back down, adjusted in the saddle and carried on.. except the power meter doesn't lie.. down by 40w. My ankle was sore, but the moving in the saddle to adjust i had obviously pulled something in my hip as well, i knew, there and then, that was it, there was no way i was going to complete... devastated. Quickly called up the car, told them it was game over and that i would stop at the base station.
As i sat down, I just felt like i had let them all down, of course i hadnt but that initial what about everyone else feeling was the hardest! The team though were great, amazing effort, take some time, see if you feel better... i knew it was over though, but i wanted to complete 11, get half way. So, i got back on, took 10mins to do the last km and completed 11 - a positive end.
So that was it, 6hrs 30 on the bike, 4547m of climbing, 11 reps. I made the Hells 500 base camp achievement, Half an Everest!
Would I have made the curfew, looks like I would have, will I do it again.. Yep, warmer day, 36x30 as the smallest gear and hopefully the same support crew so we can say, all done and completed.