Everesting

So its come to this…

After months of talking about it I am going to start officially planning an Everest attempt.  Im even nervous writing this post because it means I’m committing to this insanity – This page will be forever archived on the web – There will be no putting this toothpaste back into the tube…

Before progressing much further its key to have my families support – gleaned via a brief conversation and follow up text.

 

 

 

 

 

In short at Everest it is the insane concept of picking one hill and doing repeats until you build up a total climb of 8848 metres – the height of Mount Everest.

Check out the website for more info here. Oh and you need to complete this challenge within 24hrs.

Let me just put this in perspective – to do this on:

Suikerbossie (the Argus climb) you will have to do it 71 times.

Boxhill (UK) 61 times

The Alpe D’Huez – 9 times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any way you slice it that is alot of climbing. I have chosen this hill – it is a hill that overlooks the Presidents house in downtown Seoul.Here are its vital statistics:

 

 

 

 

That translates to 14 hours on the bike – The elevation graph reminds me of a bed of nails – no doubt what my saddle will start to feel like in the coming months!

I will be doing this in aid of a yet to be named charity and hope to secure company sponsorship in aid of this attempt – I will continue to write updates about this mad attempt in the coming months. Watch this space and wish me goodluck!!!

Masters Cycle Tour Korea Race 1 – Gangjin

Back home in Cape Town – the concept of having to drive more than 1 hour to get to a race offended me. If was as if I had an imaginary boundary further than which no one day event was good enough… Oh how I was spoilt. Once move to Korea later and I’m driving 6 hours – literally across the entire country – for a 78 km road race. If I only knew then what I know now.

“3 loops of 26km, including one longer climb not too long after the start. The climb is not too steep, but is long enough to make the peloton break up early in the race. Decent roads and no real tricky sections to worry about.”

This is how previous riders described the route – after the required strava stalking of previous strong riders I realised that I would have to put out ~400w up the climb to stay with these skinny homesick angel climbers. Thank fully as it turned out “only 350w” was required – and it turns out I am a better descender so I am proud to say that I was able to stay with the lead group for most of the race! 🙂

I really enjoyed the pace – averaging above 42km/h on the flats and ~ 2- 25 km/h up the hills. I realise that my indoor training has been a tremendous help but I need longer rides – as i flagged in the last 8 kms of the race – conceding 2 minutes to the lead pack and dropping down, down

down

down

To 78th place.

I will lick my wounds and come back fighting next month.

PR rides with some TDF lads…

So it turns out that randomly sticking your head into cycling shops has its advantages.

Earlier this week I headed into Watts cycling store while on my mission for the perfect garmin mount for my setup (trying to mount a 510, varia light and virb on the handlebars) I got talking to one of the guys there. Turns out he’s the winner of Koreas own tour, the tour de korea – and he’d heard about me! 🙂 

So one failed garmin mission later and I’ve been invited to a PR ride with the Velitas brothers of ettix quick step and BMC fame. They are here to promote their new brand of cycling clothing – maybe I’ll post a review of that later…

Isadore website

Unfortunately it was wings Thursday at our pub and I’d committed to the Downhill lads so all dressed up in my spandex I met them for wings – thankfully I wasn’t the worst dressed. Jammer arrived in a chicken suit.

After dodging fines and spicy wings that I knew would bite me on the climbs I dropped a ninja bomb and headed across to the store. 

We assembled at the named time a few days later in the store – all shaved legs and korean nerves – and me. A hairy mountain biker looking ever so slightly out of place – a sheep in wolves clothing.

Roll on to Q&A which as usual here involved a Korean translator. To those of you who haven’t experienced a live interview with a translator – it’s like watching a film where the audio is about 1 minute behind the visual. Laughs are delayed and there is the obligatory listening even though you have no idea what is being said.. So my 2 favorite questions were:

“have you ever peed while riding?” 
All the time! there’s a technique to doing in on the saddle.” (I pity the mechanic who has to service that bike)

And “Does cycling hurt?”

Yes?” Said like a question.

After a suitable pause we rolled out. I’ve ridden this route countless times but I’ve never done it as a group. 30 or so riders meant that by staying at the front and with 2 riders on my left I felt as safe as houses on the road – and that’s a first.

The first hill is a gentle 6-8 minute climb up to namsan tower. The brothers managed to keep up with me. At the top we were down to 20 riders or so and it was time for more photos…

(Martin left and Peter right)

We re grouped and the albeit smaller group rolled on down the hill.

I was lucky enough to get some good time with both riders and learnt the following:

  • Pro riders are skinnier than they look on tv (to confirm the camera adds 10 pounds.)
  • They climb like monsters and make it look effortless. I’ll try post a video of me chasing BMC brother up a little kicker of a hill – suffice to say he wasn’t even trying.
  • They just look better on the bike.
  • Roubaix is a horrible horrible race that no smart rider ever enters willingly
  • Both brothers have ridden for a SA team and have ridden more of my home country than I have…

I’ll post pictures as they come in but big shout out to Daniel and Watts cycling for the invite and looking forward to trying the isadore gear and watching out for Martin and Peter in the peleton. 

Hopefully I’ll win the TDF tickets at next weeks letape korea fondo so I can see them at next years ride!