Sport Tuesday, January 10th

Put The Date In Your Diary: 'Everesting' - Climb Everest. On a bike. Just outside Hay-on-Wye?

Sport Tuesday, January 10th

Put The Date In Your Diary: 'Everesting' - Climb Everest. On a bike. Just outside Hay-on-Wye?

What: Drover Cycles Everesting Challenge

When: Saturday, June 17 - start at midday.

Where: Base Camp - Drover Cycles, Hay-on-Wye

How much: £20 entry fee, or £10 as part of a team

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Everesting (ev(e)r'est)          verb from to Everest, also Everested

1. To climb the height of Mount Everest (8, 848m) on a bike, in a single ride.

2. Physical proof that you have legs of steel, lungs like air balloons and a worrying appetite for pain. (See also: B**tard, Hard).

 

Everesting is a challenge that, in a decade, has achieved bogeyman status even among endurance athletes. The premise is simple; pick a hill, any hill, and ride up and down it without sleeping until you have climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest.

It all started when George Mallory -  the Aussie grandson of the actual mountaineer with he same name - worked out that he could come close to George Snr's efforts by dragging himself up and down his local training hill, Mount Donna Buang, eight times. That was in 1994.

The first woman to Everest took a different approach. Another Aussie, Sarah Hammond simply walked her bike down to the corner of Anderson Street in her native Melbourne, jumped on and started peddling. 328 climbs later she'd made to the summit.

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By comparison, the Gospel Pass Challenge organised by Hay's Drover Cycles will only have you grinding through the gears 19 times. But the result is the same, 8, 848m of peddling closer to God, and the coveted Hells 500 Grey Stripe for anyone who makes it solo.

To get as many people involved as possible, however, the organisers are encouraging people to split the shift with their partner, their family, their clubmates, anyone they can talk into it. maybe don't mention that it's the equivalent of doing Mont Ventoux six times.

As it says on the event's sign-up page: "Be a legend for a day. Repeat a further 18 times. Relax."

The route starts at Drover's base on the Herefordshire/Powys border and heads straight for Gospel Pass, the highest motorable road in Wales.

Drover Cycle's page - and also the Hells 500 page - details all the nitty gritty (you can take rest stops, and stop to eat - but no sleeping), it's worth checking out both before signing up.

Drover’s Anna Heywood said: "It’s a simple concept, but simple doesn’t mean easy!

"It’s as much a psychological challenge as it is a physical endeavour (ed note: riders start at midday Saturday, and are not expected to finish until midday Sunday)." 

As part of the challenge, and as a nod to its origins,  Drover Cycles are donating 10 percent of entry fees to the Himalayan Quests Foundation - who have been hugely influential in helping the region find its feet following the 2015 earthquake.

And if you want to put a few mile in your legs before taking on Everest, there are turbo training sessions (cycling indoors on static bikes) on Tuesdays at 6.30pm in the Mission hall in Hay. Call 01497 822419 to book on.

For more info, visit Drover's event page by clicking here.

 

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