This is a short film made by Rob Dawson of my Everesting 10k effort, with some background as well. Thanks for documenting this Rob!
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With my racing season in Europe cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic, I needed a new goal. So why not ‘Everesting’? It is advertised as:
“Fiendishly simple, yet brutally hard. Everesting is the most difficult climbing challenge in the world”
There are about 4,500 people who have Everested, and a much smaller number who have done the Everesting 10k (less than seven my age (60+) or older) where you continue on to do 10,000 m of climbing. The rules are simple.
- We can pick any hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeats of it in a single activity until we climb 8,848m – the equivalent height of Mt Everest.
- Has to be a single activity which means we can rest, stop for nutrition, but no sleep.
- Has to be a single climb—no loops, multiple ascents on the same mountain, etc.
- You have to record continuously on an approved device, and upload to Strava.
After 118 ups and downs of Tata Beach Hill’s 85 m climb, I managed an Everesting 10k. This is what the ride looked like:
The Kopiko Aotearoa was a new bikepacking adventure across the North Island. The route was between the eastern and westernmost points: East Cape Lighthouse and Cape Egmont Lighthouse. Riders could go in either direction, with two waves of up to 100 riders each leaving at sunrise on February 22 and 23rd. It was an ‘invitation only’ event so not widely publicised and I was able to get entries for myself and my riding buddy Rickie Cotter who I met during the 2014 Transcontinental Race from London to Istanbul and has become part of the extended ‘family’.
I was looking forward to the ride as my post-concussion syndrome had got a lot worse in 2019 so I had skipped any races. With a promise to Lis that we would take it easy, I was looking forward to the adventure. I was not to be disappointed.
The North Cape – Tarifa (NCT) race ran from the northernmost point in Europe in Norway, to the southernmost point in Spain. Spanning 13 countries, it is the longest bikepacking race one can do at 7,390 km with over 65,000 m of climbing. It took me 29:10:30 minutes for 10th place, an average of just over 250 km/day. It was an incredible adventure and I was pleased to participate in the inauguration of what deserves to become one of the top bikepacking races.
Snow graffiti on my way to the top of Pico du Veleta in Spain
Andy Buchs—who I met at last year’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia had the idea for a race from the northernmost part of Europe in Norway, to the southernmost in Spain: the North Cape-Tarifa (NCT) race. Sounded like quite the adventure so I signed up and we start the inaugural race at midnight on 20 June. I’ve just been sent the final route and it’s a bit more than I expected: 7,389 km with 85,000 metres of climbing. Ouch. I’m prepared as best as I can be all things considered, but will be interesting to see how things go!
A week tomorrow I’m starting on the 3000 km self-supported ‘Tour Aotearoa’ which goes the length of NZ from Cape Reinga to Bluff. In spite of my crazy travel schedule I’ve managed to keep to a good training program and according to Xertonline I’m right where I need to be fitness wise which is great. This is the best time—starting to taper. With a few rides this week, then driving north on Friday.
When doing long distance endurance races the one question I wonder when tired is whether or not it is worth pushing on. Some years ago in the Tour Divide I passed a group of racers who were setting up camp as the sun was setting just east of Lima Reservoir. It was a perfect evening so I decided to ride a few more hours towards the Idaho border. The next morning the weather changed and they had miserable headwinds and rain compared to my idyllic ride. This would have been avoided had ‘Epic Ride Weather’ been around at the time. I used it to plan my rests around wind when racing across Australia earlier in 2017, and will be using again in the Tour Aotearoa and the North Cape-Tarifa in 2018.
What makes it so useful? It loads your route where you are riding, you input your expected speed, and it then gives you the weather and wind forecasts over your ride. In other words, you know exactly what to expect!
Here is how it works.
It will then list the available routes. The above are the routes I have in Ride with GPS.
You indicate when you plan on starting (now in this example), and what you expect your average speed to be. It uses the average from Strada. The red slider bar allows you to shorten the route.
The app then gives you the expected temperature over your ride and the precipitation. It was very correct here—it rained after 11:00.
This is the expected wind map, showing both the intensity and direction. I can expect a 6 km/h tail wind on the way out; and up to 12 km/h on the way home.
You have to pay a modest amount for weather predictions—$8.99 for 20,000 ‘units’, but it is well worth the investment. Give it a try. Late one day in a ride you will be grateful when it tells you to keep pedalling because of what tomorrow will bring!
Time to share some reflections on the race kit that I used for the Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR) in Australia. As this was not my first race, I’ve got my gear pretty well dialled in. Here are 12 areas of success … my failures? A footnote on those as well …
My ‘A’ race for 2017 was the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR). This self-supported 5,471 km race across Australia from Freemantle to Sydney was to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the 13+ day ride by Sir Hubert Opperman. As a twist, the route would take us through Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra before finishing at the Sydney Opera House.
Unfortunately, the race was cancelled on day 13 when Mike Hall was hit and killed by a car outside of Canberra. I had done just over 3,600 km at the time so my race ended outside Apollo Bay Victoria, about 240 km west of Melbourne. It was a tragic end to a great adventure, and the loss of an incredible man and cyclist. So I write this race report with a sense of sadness and loss …
On March 18th at 06:00 I will be starting the ‘Indian Pacific Wheel Race’ (IPWR) across Australia. The 5,471 km route takes us from Freemantle in Western Australia across the desert, then down through Adelaide and Melbourne before heading up into the Snowy Mountains to Canberra and eventually finishing at the Sydney Opera House. As with all endurance races, a big chunk of time is spent planning the logistics and the equipment to take. Here’s what I’m taking.