When I first thought about writing this blog I decided that if I was going to do it, I’d share the highs and the lows. Read on to find out how things went a little bad for me 12 months ago. Call this an anniversary post, I guess.
A touch over twelve months ago New Zealand went into full lockdown due to the pandemic which is still a major concern worldwide – the COVID-19 Coronavirus. My country had shut it’s borders and anyone who didn’t work in an essential industry were to either work from home or just not work. Thankfully I work in IT and can work remotely from home without too much difficulty.
Rewinding to a few months prior, I had gained a lot of fitness on the bike courtesy of training under a coach for Le Race – a tough race that I’d done a few times but wanted to do better in. But because the country then locked down the race was postponed.
So, by the time I was restricted by the government’s rules to exercise within a very limited radius of my home or at home, it wasn’t too long before an elevated level of cabin fever set in. And Zwift wasn’t going to cut it. But… How about doing an Everesting challenge on my street?
Everesting? You might ask what the hell that is. And fair enough! Head to https://everesting.cc/ for a definition. Otherwise, Everesting is where in one ride, you repeatedly ride a stretch of road that climbs until you gain 8,848 meters of climbing. Or specifically, the altitude of the peak of Mt Everest. Yes, yes… Everest has apparently gained a meter, but the challenge is still set to the old height.
So I decided to do an Everesting challenge on my street. Some people said I was crazy to do it. I just claimed it was the crazy situation, being bored of not getting out to do real exercise, which drove me to it. My coach has done multiple Everestings and he seemed to think me doing one wasn’t a COMPLETELY insane idea. I figured that was enough encouragement! 😉
So the most basic rules of an Everesting are that you must start from the bottom of the climb for your first climb. Each time up the climb must be complete. The climbing must be done in one ride. No sleeping, but breaks for food and clothing changes are allowed.
With all that in mind, Here are the details as to how mad the idea was:
- Length of my street: 700m – well within the radius for exercising!
- Meters climbed from bottom to top of my street: 50 to 54. The range comes from my Garmin bike computer being a little inconsistent or temperamental.
- 8848 / 50 = A LOT. I mean 176.96 to be exact. So that means I had to climb my street 177 times. Because you would want to round up. But then round it up some more. There are no gimmes, no “you got to 8846 meters, close enough, we’ll give it to you” so round it up some more. Margins of error. Make it 185.
- 185 times up and down my street. Well… Maybe the last “down” can be ignored… But let’s just make it 185 x (0.7 x 2) for the total distance ridden. The answer… Really, really, REALLY far. The longest distance I’d ever ridden. Ever. 259 kilometres!
While these details sound precise, there is an organisation supervising and certifying Everesting attempts. So I wanted this to be done right!
I did a test session on my street and I figured it would likely take me 20 hours. But that was a wild guess.
One issue I had was nutrition for the day. With the country being in lockdown, it wasn’t possible for me to go to my local bikeshop and top up on what I would normally use for bike rides and races. So I looked up online a recipe using supermarket products and made my own hydration/carbohydrate drink, made some easy to eat snacks and set things up to be easily grabbed from my gate. Batteries and spare batteries were charged. My Garmin bike computer was all configured to show me the data important for tracking the Everesting challenge, along with my CGM data. <utiple clothing options were ready. Different helmets with lights mounted were set. Systems were go.
The day I chose to attempt the Everesting looked like there might be some light rain early in the morning but otherwise would be a sunny day.
On the day I chose to do the Everesting I decided I would start at 4:30 in the morning. The idea being that I should complete the climbing in one calendar day. In my head that would feel better than it taking two days, even if it was less then 24 hours. Also it would give me two spells in the dark with time between to recharge lights.
So, as I said above, 12 months ago to this very day, with less than ideal preparation completed in less than a week (!!!), I kicked off the attempt at a little after 4:30 in the morning. I’d told friends and neighbours that I was going to do this. Not that anyone was able to come from anywhere around town to watch, but I had people keen to follow me. So I put some posts up on Facebook. I also had Siri to keep me company (not like in The Big Bang Theory. Honest!) and would be able to message friends during the ride using voice recognition. I also had some music playing quietly in one ear so that I could still hear any traffic which might be on the roads, even during a time of lockdown.
About three hours in, things were looking good, I thought I was on track. I felt like I was making good progress. My diabetes was behaving, which hinted that my improvised nutrition was working.
This post has got a little long already. I will continue this in another post!