Everesting Daniel Solander Drive

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I’ve never experienced a good overnight stint. They’ve always been cold, wet or windy & all have been in poorly lit areas. We certainly had some luck as overnight was perfect weather. There was no wind, & it was warm enough just to ride in shorts & t-shirt. The climb itself was well lit, and there was an amazing view of the brightly lit streets below.

I am not used to being awake after 11 pm & I usually struggle to stay awake. I made sure I had a coffee before I started and had several NoDoz throughout the night.  Which helped to keep me awake. We set a brisk pace and were smashing out the laps.  As the morning went on Stryder mentioned that he had a a sore neck but was still setting a good tempo. The night section was monotonous, and I always see it as one of the hardest parts of an Everest.

When we took our second break at 2,200 vertical we had been doing incredible time. Stryder mentioned that the glands in his neck were a little sore. He got off the bike and we could tell something was wrong. Stryder was holding his neck and looked in shock, and said that he was in major pain and had to pull the pin.

He then copped a massive migraine and almost blacked out on us.

Stryder battled Bronchitos to get in shape for this ride.  Doing everything he could to get in shape to be able to do this. His health is more important than a bike ride & it was sad to see him go.  But it was a testimony to how much of a bad ass he is giving a ride like this a go, not being 100%.

We continued on & around 5:00 am the first of the riders showed up for the morning.  From here we were never alone. I was finding the laps easy.  My legs were feeling quite light and I felt this was going to be one of those special days. By then next lap I was flying, but was feeling a bit unsettled in the stomach. The downside to this Everest was the lack of toilets and had to hold off going for a couple of hours.  When I finally had a chance to drive 1 km down to the Endeavour Hills Shopping centre I lost my guts. I felt a heap better and was able to get some more food in my system. What I didn’t know was that this was going to be some of the last food I was to eat for the remainder of the ride.

We were flying towards the half way point, and the first 10 laps I was flying, then riding, then grinding.

The day was heating up and I was pouring with sweat.

Eagerly awaiting the next rest stop and got there and collapsed.  More & more riders showed up.  This was the biggest crew I’ve ever seen show up to an Everest (except the Mount Donna Buang which was more of an event). The day was warming up & it was nice to get to the 5,000 mark. My legs were still feeling good, I ate an apple but from here I practically stopped eating. My stomach couldn’t stomach anything. I could drink and kept the fluids up.  But found that I was slowly draining and had to push to get up the steep gradients of Daniel Solander Drive.

The afternoon became quite entertaining as more and more Hells 500 crew showed up. Between the two of us.  We had quite a few friends come along and it was great to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones.  Everests are great in that sense.  Its an easy ride for those that come along.  Its more of a social ride than serious training.  One of our guests brought along Magnums.   I’m glad I had one as it was the only thing I ate from here on. The laps flowed in, and I knew it was in the bag. On my last Everest I bonked really badly at 8,000 vertical.

I was apprehensive about this happening again and was trying to ride smart to avoid this happening again.

Everyone seemed to be having fun and this really made me feel good. I was still coherent and talked throughout the ride, but know I was probably out of it. With three laps to go I pulled up for a rest and started dry reaching. I had nothing in my stomach and went across the road to try & compose myself. I was wrecked & desperately needed a rest.  An Everest wasn’t about being soft & just got back out on the bike. Earlier on I had high hopes of doing 10,000 but now I was completely wrecked.

Most people are too kind to tell you that you look like s#@t

The only sleep I managed yesterday was two broken 20 minute cat naps in my car and I had been awake for 36 hours at that stage.

I had barely eaten anything over the last six hours and guess my body was telling me something. I could finish the ride.  This was probably going to be my last Everest and I was majorly happy that I could do it. Shane still had 5 laps to go & I really wanted to get out on the bike, but as soon as I stopped I was done.

Today I woke up & wished so much that I had found the energy to roll the last lap with Shane, but am at least thankful that I was there to see this amazing feat that he did.

Here are are Shane’s thoughts:

I was thinking for awhile that I wasn’t going to do it. 1,500 metres into the climb I thought I was in a bit of trouble. I moved on & we plucked away at it and then 2,000 became 3,000. It was pretty amazing to do. I’ve been gearing for this for a year now. When the opportunity knocked I had to take it. I had to do it”.


“V” for Victory

I am now on 7 Everests.  Only four other riders in the world have achieved this.  What is it about an Everest that has driven me so much?

I like the fact that you can get so close to the end and still fail.  There is no certainty that you will succeed, and because you can fail you succeed.

I like how its as much a mental struggle as it is a physical one.

Today wasn’t all about the Everest.  It was about introducing this crazy sport to Shane and working with him to help each other get over the line.

Today was about introducing a whole bunch of riders to a whole new area.  To a place that I call home.

Today I had fun

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