I arrive at David Hill Road shortly before 6:00pm, and Stryders there waiting for me. The weathers great, and I’m feeling good. I anticipated a bit of peak hour traffic, but this didn’t seem to happen. My first lap I was absolutely cruising. This was gold! We had a slight tail wind which was a bit chilly, but was pushing us in the right direction.
David Hill Road runs off Monbulk, and the section of the climb that we chose is 1.5km’s @ 5%. It’s off the main road Emerald-Monbulk Road. But as we were about to discover the next day, is used quite frequently as a short cut. Stryder & I just chatted our way through the night, and with a number of riders riding with us between 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm.
We had fun as the road lit up.
It was getting cold but both of us are used to ride in harsh conditions. I did find it hard to get the right balance of clothing. As a result didn’t feel warm enough on the descents, but didn’t want to bring extra clothes and sweat on the climbs. I just had to suck it up.
After about 2,000 vertical my bike started to play up on me.
was struggling to change it from the small to big chian ring. This lasted half a dozen laps before it crapped itself completely and almost snapped off. If I tried to change from the big to the small chain ring the chain would completely jump off. Without tools my only option was to keep it in the small chain ring. I use the big chain ring most of the time, and really don’t use the small chain ring often. I found it difficult at the top part of the climb to pedal as I had to use a very high cadence which wasted energy.
On top of that I was not able to pedal downhill which really sucked. I had no control and if a car came up behind me which happened a lot over the day I was powerless to speed up. Geez I felt uncomfortable holding up traffic. I averaged over 41 km/h on most descents, so it didn’t slow us down a great deal. But it sure made me feel useless at times. To have this happen so early into an Everest was devastating. At the end of the day it was a joint Everest and my day just had a spanner thrown into it.
I couldn’t screw up Stryder’s chi so sucked it up and kept my troubles to myself for the most part.
It’s always a concern how you’ll find the descent on the overnight section, but we loved it. Most of it was pitch black, but most of the corners you can take at full speed except for one tight technical corner. Which thankfully was flood lit. The only night life we saw was one little frog the size of a 20 cent piece.
We were quite efficient with our laps overnight, yet on lap 27 I bonked. It was around 2:00 am and it felt like my body wanted to go to sleep. Things started to become a bit of a blur. I rode through it, and it lasted about 4 laps until we took a break and I took some No Doz, & food. This seemed to help to wake me up. I didn’t feel great after that, and was concerned with the 3:00 am – 5:00 am section. This gave me a lot of grief on Colby Drive. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad but it was certainly a challenge. I hate the night section of an Everest, but for a long distance Everest I much prefer to start the day before and finish in the daylight. It’s hell after such a long ride to have to ride late into the night.
And hell to stay awake a whole night but it’s always a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.
Of all my Everests I’ve never had any luck on the overnight section. 4 of them had sub 6 degree temperatures, and the other rained 5 straight hours. This was the best of a bad bunch. The wind had a real bite to it, and I had to use a lot of energy to stay warm, and it was a challenge. Our first guest Clint rocked up at 5:30 am and the party started. We had guys rock up on & off throughout the day. With familiar faces as well as a couple of guys that we had never met before. Geert who’s been along to 5 of my Everest attempts took Annual Leave for the day and rolled a mammoth 150 km’s with us & 3,523 vertical.
At 5:45 am the cars started to show-up, and there were quite a few tradies in their Utes hammering down David Hill Road.
The road is quite narrow and there was a lot more traffic than I anticipated. We thought it would be heavy from 8:00 am, but after 7:00 am we’d see dozens of cars each lap as well as buses & trucks. It wasn’t comfortable but we ploughed on. We copped a couple of early morning showers which lasted about 40 minutes. The rain didn’t bother us, but the roads became slick and we had huge concerns that someone would come off on the technical corner. We had to go really slow which slowed down more cars.
Nathan Pasco leading out the Stryder & one very tired rider
The k’s were racing along, and we were looking really good. We had a festive mood around us, and were on track for success. I don’t know when things went pear shape for me. I started to develop pressure sores as the day wore on. Both wrists hurt, and I had to try & ride without my hands on the bars whenever I could to alleviate the pressure. More concerning was saddle soreness which I never get. It got very uncomfortable, and eventually to the point when I had trouble sitting. 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 ticked over and we had it in the bag.
At about 7,200 vertical I bonked really badly. I’m a professional bonker. I do it so well that I can tell what the cause was and work my way through it. This was one of the rare cases where I couldn’t recover. One lap of bonking passed and I was still delirious, 2 then I started to worry. 3 and I knew I was screwed. I scraped my way to the break and threw a heap of food and drink into me which would normally fix the problem but it didn’t.
There was too much pain from the pressure sores.
I grabbed a second pair of gloves to help protect my wrists that were starting to swell up, but forgot to put on a second pair of shorts for the other pressure sore. We pushed on and I was gone. My legs could keep turning, but I was just screwed. I couldn’t work it out on the day, but as I had to change my pedal technique to adapt to just using the small chain ring. I changed my seating position slightly which over the course of the day started to cause my saddle soreness. Because I couldn’t pedal downhill I lost some control. Possibly overcompensated by gripping the bars more than usual which caused the pressure sores in my wrists. On top of that it was cold throughout the ride and my body probably used up a lot of energy to stay warm.
Stryder was killing it, and had 10,000 in his sights. I was desperate just to get over the line. With 5 laps to go I was spent and could barely move. I had to pull something special out, and psyched myself up to throw it all on the line. I went into TT mode and smashed myself. The legs felt great and I could push at a decent tempo and pushed the pace up a bit. I was possessed, and this lasted about 2 laps until I burnt myself out. The light that shines twice as bright shines half as long. I had done it though. I was able to crawl to the end, and played Tribute by Tenacious D on our victory lap.
I’ve never had an easy Everest, and all have had their own challenges.
Perrins I started it exhausted and carried a niggly knee injury. Colby I got sick on the morning of the Everest, and spent a fair bit of the ride fighting off a cold. Olivebank I got rained on & off for 8 hours. To have a mechanical like I did so early on really early did screw me up big time. But it was also testament to my strength that I was able to continue on and finish. I went into the ride wanting 10,000 vertical and failed this. Instead came out thankful just to get to the 8,848 metres.
After we finished Stryder was on fire and went on to smash out the 10,000 vertical and his 5th Everest. I’ve been there for 4 of them, I can attest that he doesn’t choose easy ones. This is our second together, and I was over the moon to have been able to do another with him. He’s had to carry me on both which I’ve been eternally grateful for.
Today didn’t quite go to plan, but when that happens, it always motivates me to do better the next time……
To be continued……
Here is a Link to Stryder’s ride. He carried me yet again to another Everest and deserves a tonne of Kudos:
Here’s a link to my Strava Activity: