Everesting Daniel Solander Drive preview

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“If you are going through hell, keep going.”

–         Winston Churchill

The question has been asked by a number of people. Why when every Everest I’ve done has hurt me so much.  Whether it was due to freezing cold weather, heavy winds, rain, illness, injury, mechanical issues, fatigue.

Why would I want to put myself through that once again?

With a baby on the way less than a month away I can’t travel far from home.  A thought was borne that if I was only a few km away from home.  It wouldn’t matter how long I was out for and could hypothetically just go up & down the same hill a lot of times.

I had a winter from hell.  10 weeks of sickness and then I strained my Achilles which kept me off the bike much of July & the start of August. From the start of my rehab I gave away all hopes of doing major epic rides.  I only had 2 & a half months left & I spent a considerable period of time on rehab.  I’ve enjoyed one of my best recoveries.  Knocking  out two 250 km rides & one 300 km ride.  Somehow I got myself in shape to do an Everest.  What better way to finish off but with my 7th & possibly final Everest.

The Cast

Shane Harold has committed to attempting his first Everest. The climb was a fair bit steeper than he had originally planned.  But thankfully went down & rolled a few laps and joined the party.

Shane Harold

Stryder I’ve logged over 35,000 vertical metres on Everests with.  We’ve Everested Colby Drive & David Hill Road together.  And sherpered for each other a number of times. This may be my last and I’m grateful that Stryder wouldn’t let a small thing like Bronchitos hold him back from coming down.  He had this in his system for well over two weeks.  There were doubts that he would be 100% for a ride like this.  He’s like me.  He really thrives on the ability to pull something special out & committed at the last minute.

The Climb

Daniel Solander Drive in Endeavour Hills ticks the box for an Everest in many ways. It has a car lane as well as a bike lane.  You are completely separated from the drivers.  The descent is fast and furious & you can hit speeds of 60 km/h without accelerating.  The climb is quite steep peaking at 12%.  This was resurfaced recently and is a beautiful surface to climb and has a fairly consistent gradient.  It is quite a good climb for the average gradient.

The negatives are there are the toilets are 1.5 km away.  There’s no shade & there’s traffic furniture right at the base of the climb & is technical to negotiate.

The Plan

I would finish work at lunch time on Friday.  Go & pick up my bike from the shop & try and get a few hours sleep.  Then meet up with the boys at midnight on Danny Boy……..

 

“If one should ask me what “use” there was in climbing, or attempting to climb the world’s highest peak, I would be compelled to answer “none.” There is no scientific end to be served; simply the gratification of the impulse of achievement, the indomitable desire to see what lies beyond the heart of man.”
George Mallory Climbing Everest: The Complete Writings of George Mallory

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