Mount Everest is 29,000ft high. As the world’s highest point, it is the ultimate achievement to scale it and reach the summit.
On 26th June 2016, I led a team of strictly amateur cyclists to scale all 29,000ft, nearly four times. On road bikes. In Macclesfield.
We spent 10 hours repeatedly cycling up the infamous Cat’n’Fiddle climb. Each climb/loop was over 1,500ft each and a distance of 7 miles.
Over the 10 hours we cycled a distance and height that would rival any stage in this years Tour De France.
We did this for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, as part of the Many Hands campaign; another small way of repaying the gratitude to the nurses that saved my 5 day old daughter’s life.
RMCH is the largest children’s hospital in the UK and one I am proud to be a Charity Ambassador for. In the past I have cycled from London to Manchester, taken part in White Collar Boxing (and won!) and driven to the South of France dressed as a priest in a £500 banger.
This year we took it up another notch.
The event was raising money for a Heli-Pad at the Hospital. Barely believable, but the UK’s largest Children’s Hospital doesn’t have a Heli-Pad. Air Ambulances carrying critically injured children are forced to land up to 9 miles away in Barton, they face a 20-30min road journey to the hospital.
This amazing array of leading businesses gave funds and prizes to our cause. Ryman, Haika, The Fragrance Shop,
Team Sky, Arighi Bianchi, Jet2.com,
The Savoy London, MyProtein, Oliver Sweeney,
John Abbott Flooring, Recruit VRX, Daffy’s Gin,
Hunters Gin, Hotel Gotham and Piccolino Alderley Edge.
Prizes included Two Free Flights, a Chris Froome signed jersey, a weekend away at the amazing Savoy, plus a host of others.
Prize Draw can be viewed here: PRIZE DRAW LIVE
Sponsorship is still open here: sponsor.RMCHeverest.com
Equal thanks to our Riders. We had 11 riders start the day, some doing just one run, others 3 or 4, some staying just about all day. With a further 5 riders arriving later to replace some of those departing, the hill was never lonely.
All riders received a charity cycle jersey and other kit from both Team Sky and MyProtein, plus coaching/power session from an EIS/British Cycling coach, various elements of training, nutrition and general advice and input plus nutritional products & advice for the ride and more importantly, the weeks leading up to it.
The ride was tough. 1500ft is a lot, once. By the third run it really hurt. By the time we passed 10,000ft Anaerobic tanks were well drained and Aerobic tanks were heavily depleted. As for legs, even the downhill bits hurt.
The weather, initially wet, soon dried up and our downward descent got faster and faster at the same time our climbs got slower. Climbs gradually dropped from 32 minutes to near 50 minutes, but descents dipped under 14 minutes with top speeds over 40 mph.
Spirits picked up even more as the day went on and more and more supporters came to see us. Families, friends and then between 2 and 4pm, we set up a ‘Base Camp’ party with Chocolate-Making thanks to Oli the Choc, Face-Painting, Balloon making, refreshments, muffins from Cafe Bar Arighi, Everest Challenge cupcakes thanks to Cakes by Keri and of course a Gin Bar hosted by the amazing Bernie and thanks to Daffy’s Gin, Hunters Gin and Forest Gin, as well as Fever-Tree for providing the Tonic.
Few things pick spirits up better, and flush energy back into your legs than
Gin, the sight of you wife and daughter coming running up to you as you arrive back at Arighi Bianchi’s Base Camp. With over 100 people there at one point, the atmosphere at the bottom of the climb was fantastic, and humbling see so many people turn up to support us. And drink Gin!
Eventually rain got the better of us and heavy rain soaked the run making brakes ineffective and low cloud making visibility dangerous (see earlier 40 mph comment…!). With me left as the sole rider, our course director and voice of safety (my dad), deemed it too dangerous whilst on my 8th run. We’d topped the day at 72 runs.
We’d climbed Everest 3.8 times…
…But there’s more
I’ll confess to being a little disappointed at the end of the main day. I had another couple of runs in my legs, and my heart. Rain had stopped the fun (and bruised the ego). I had a desire to climb Everest myself….So I went back the following day and did 5 more runs, this time in sunshine.
Those five runs, added to the training runs I completed in the 7 days prior to the event, meant I personally climbed my own Everest.
Fundraising has always been at the core of this ride, and I’m immensely grateful to everyone who donated. Our fundraising for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital currently stands at nearly £9,000….and still climbing.
Huge thanks to everyone who took part, supported, sponsored and just gave words of encouragement.
The prize draw will be done after Sunday 10th July….last few days to get your name in the hat to win amazing prizes…. sponsor.RMCHeverest.com
Training begins here. 5am start on the turbo:
Two months to go. Training run up the Alderley Edge Wizard, 7 times:
Bank Holiday hill climbing. 38 miles, 3000ft climbs. Thats a fifth of the minimum I’ll do on the day:
Back on the Turbo for an evening session:
6th Corporate Sponsor on board, fundraising now close to £4,000 even before individual sponsorship starts
One last turbo session before resting to prepare for Three Peak Challenge:
First day back on the bike after the Three Peak Challenge, 60,000 steps, 45km and 3,000m of climbs on foot took it’s toll on legs and knees, but recovered now. Pleasant surprise to see 20w improvement in power on first 45mins turbo session.
This week has seen an average of an hour per day on the bike, and now with a family holiday, a bike comes with us…
Bike arrived safe (thanks to TeamSky sticker trick from the Bike Shop…). Time to find some Greek Hills to practice on.
Increased training had marked impact on stats. An extra Kilogram down and body fat further reduced….. Added incentive for riders? Come and ride with us; Kick start your summer fitness campaign? Rider details HERE
PowerTest and coaching from Mehdi Kordi of EIS/British Cycling with Phil Jones of Brother
Incredible support from MyProtein, TeamSky, FeverTree and Duerrs HiPro
Collecting support kit from TeamSky….
….and bumped in to Bradley Wiggins 0n track
Last training ride…final weigh in
Banners and signs all ready….thanks Steve at MailBoxes Etc
One day to go….route signed, safety first…
Thank you Arighi Bianchi!
Photos From The Summit: