I was reading earlier this year a great article in the ‘Standard Times’ Midlands VTTA magazine about a chap Ian Partridge who did the ‘Everesting’ challenge on a hill in Cypress and it got my attention.
A quick search on the internet I found Hells 500 a group from Australia who started it all off. “Hells 500 was built on finding something difficult, and making it harder. It’s about tenacity, and pushing yourself beyond what you thought was possible. That’s what this crew is all about. It’s not about shortcuts, it’s about death by 1,000 cuts. Trainer difficulty needs to be at 100%, direct drive only for the steep hills on Zwift,
If in doubt, don’t look to someone else who you think got off easier – think what you can do to make your own harder.”
That was it I was hooked!
I just now needed to plan my own attempt. Due to the short days and cold weather in the UK it was going to be done indoors on Zwift. I figured if I started with 2 ascents and built up to 4 over an 8 week period my legs (tendons and ligaments) would be ready. I soon discovered on Alpe de Zwift riding a 36/30 gear the knees were getting recked, so I moved to the Epic KOM where the gradients were more forgiving. My first Base camp ride to 4,424m took me 7hrs 46mins on the Epic KOM which meant I was possibly looking at a total ride time of around 17hrs😮 So I decided to buy a 34 inner ring and 34 cassette which was the easiest configuration my bike would allow for. The following weekend on the Alpe I reached Base camp in 6hrs 8mins which was more like it and the legs were fine using the 34/34 gearing. Game on !
As a coach I know food and hydration is key for such long endurance events and with the experience of racing 12hr Time Trial and supporting my riders in such events I was confident about the volume and frequency of food and liquids needed.
What I had not planned for however was sub zero temperatures. My Everesting attempt will be done in my garden shed and with temperatures dropping to -6 Celsius this week keeping warm is the biggest issue. But as a friend said to me this week “your Everesting, it’s meant to be cold” and I guess he has a point.
So this Saturday 17th December I will wander out into the dark to my garden shed to start my Everesting attempt around 5:30am. If everything goes to plan I hope to reach the summit at 8,848m around 18:30 possibly a little later and be back in the warm house.
So, if you’re Zwifting next Saturday why not join me on the Alpe, but remember to set difficulty at 100% to get the full experience😉 . I’ll be riding it 8.8 times so you are bound to see me at some point.
UPDATE 17th Dec – Despite all the best planning I was taken ill 3 days before the ride and am still struggling with a stomach bug, feeling rubbish today physically but am certain my fitness is good following the 7 weeks preparation and as soon as I have had 2 or 3 day feeling ok and back on the bike I can reschedule.