Everesting tips and advice

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The Hitchikers guide to an Everest

If you choose to do an Everest, then prepare yourself to possibly undertake the hardest experience of your life! It’s a pretty simple concept. You go up the hill, then down the hill, up the hill, then down the hill……..

How successful you are can be determined by your preparation. You need to:

  •  Realistically work out how long you will need to complete your Everest
  •  Have more than enough food to last through the ride
  •  Put togeher a nutritional plan
  •  Have more than enough fluids to last through the ride
  •  Bring a charger to ensure that your Garmin lasts the distance
  •  Bring additional comforts to make the ride more enjoyable, i.e. change of kits, music etc.
  •  Have adequate lighting for any night stint
  •  Work out how many laps you will do in-between breaks

On the day time can really fly, particularly on your breaks. You find you don’t really rest much when you stop.  You’re constantly doing something.  Such as topping up water, eating, changing clothes, going to the toilet etc. It is important to set-up your car so that everything is nicely organised. The quicker you can get in & out of your pit stop.  The more successful your ride will be.  If everything’s cluttered, then you can also find yourself feeling cluttered.

What sort of hill should you look for?

Here are some things to look for when selecting your Everest:

  • Is there a place you can go to a Toilet? You may know a great back street climb, but it’s no good to you unless you can take a dump in someone’s front yard
  • How narrow is the road? (the closer cars need to be to pass you the more uncomfortable the day will be, and the higher the risk that one of them may hit you which will end your Everest pretty quickly)
  • Is there any wildlife that you need to keep an eye out for?
  • What is the road surface like?
  • Does your climb experience fog? You should be mindful of fog when there is no wind, and this is where it is important to know your climb in all sorts of conditions
  • What is the traffic like? If you can pick a climb with virtually no traffic, you will be doing yourself a major favour
  • Is there a good place to park your car at either end of your climb? I personally prefer to park at the top, but it’s a personal choice
  • Are there shops nearby?
  • Do you get reception for your phone?
  • How well shaded is the climb?
  • Is the wind likely to affect your climb?
  • Does your climb experience abnormal temperatures? i.e. does it get really cold overnight?

Tips for making your Everest easier:

  • Know how long your Everest will realistically take. If you’re working out your average lap time, don’t use stats of when you are climbing fresh. You really need to know what pace you will ride on exhausted legs & go from there.
  • Get a feeling for your climb. Go and do a lot of repeats before you Everest it.  I can guarantee after doing an Everest you will know every bump in the road
  • Don’t trust the weatherman! Pack extra clothing for any contingency
  • Avoid social media. It may help improve your spirits getting support from others while you are riding, but this will cost you time, and anyone could easily spend hours texting, facebooking, Instagraming, commenting on Strava etc.
  • If you have friends ride with you, don’t stop riding! When they say goodbye, you could easily spend 10 – 20 minutes reminiscing, and if you get to the stage where you’ve been on the bike for 20 hours, then every minute wasted will hurt more & more
  • Change your kit at least once during your Everest. May cost you a couple of minutes, but in the later part of your ride when you’re exhausted, the extra comfort will be worth it
  • Don’t stop riding. Sounds pretty straight forward, but later on, you will get really exhausted and may feel like taking more & more breaks. For every minute spent off the bike in the later part of your ride adds exhaustion so be smart and try & ride through it
  • Make sure you keep eating & drinking though out the day
  • Keep your car neat & tidy
  • Most important is to stay positive throughout.  You need to be as enthusiastic on lap 60 as you are on lap 6

Preparing for an Everest:

Originally I believed the best training for an Everest was to climb as many hills as I could. I was staggered to see a number of non-climbers.  Who only would climb around 2,000 vertical per week complete an Everest. In hindsight I’ve found that the endurance & pre-preparation is key to an Everest. The choice of your climb is also paramount to your success. Obviously the steeper the hill.  The shorter the distance.  Then again you need to be able to climb really steep hills easily.  Or you pick an easy climb,& then you’re looking at doing a ride of over 300 km’s, which is exhausting by itself.

The hardest part of an Everest is by getting your head around doing repeats. I came up with a training ride which I swear by. If you have to do say 60 repeats of a 6km hill it would be impossible to train for that specifically. Instead I would recommend to pick a short back street climb, around 300 – 500 metres of equal.  Preferably a little steeper gradient & then go & knock out over 60 repeats of that short hill. The benefit of this will be to get your head around doing 60 repeats.  This will also give you an idea of how much vertical you can push yourself to do before needing a break.  As a bonus it will give you an idea of what sorts of foods your body will crave when knocking out repeats.

At the end of the day it’s only a ride

If you commit to doing an Everesting, it will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done.  There is no such thing as an easy Everest. There are dangers involved which could prevent you from finishing.  You need to be aware that your safety is worth more than finishing an Everest.  You should never be scared to pull the pin. It’s much better to fail at 8,000vm, than to go through to the end & screw up your knee.  Then not being able to ride for the following 6 months. Not everyone will be able to complete an Everest.  For those that do you will be seen as completely badass! Make sure you plan well, train appropriately & make the most of your Everest.

Everesting 101

The Drive home

Most riders end up driving themselves to and from their elected Everest.  No one can really foresee how they will feel after torturing themselves for 8,848 meters.  Please be mindful of fatigue on the way home.  If you’re too tired to drive, then pull over and have a power nap.  Please try to get home safely!

Everesting

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2 thoughts on “Everesting tips and advice

    Dave Parsons said:
    February 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I would add that have a think about how you will get home after. You will be more tired than ever before, and my drive home which was only about 50 minutes was horrendous, keeping my eyes open got harder and harder.

    Also it will take you longer than you think. I hoped to do mine in 16-20 hours but it was 27. That’s a long time to be thinking how slow you’re going, to be readjusting your expectations, and that makes it harder.

    If you have spare shoes take them. It rained about 5 hours in to mine for a couple of hours. Feet got wet and cold and although I had several changes of clothing including socks, no spare shoes, so my feet stayed wet and cold. Temperature went down to 6 degrees at night too, adding to the misery.

      Brendan Edwards responded:
      February 5, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      Hi Dave,

      Had a similar situation to yours. One of my Everests the weather forecast was a chance of light scattered showers. It rained on my close to 8 straight hours. Went through all of my kits, and the only thing that got me through were the Sherpas who kept me going. This piece took me months to put together, and given how many horrible things riders have gone through. Striking animals, thick fog, cold, etc. I tried to keep it as generic as possible, rather than put in contingencies for every possible situation.

      I put in this paragraph to cover estimating the time your Everest would take. I have Sherpered on three separate Everests where the riders underestimated their Everests between 5 -10 hours, and ignored advice on the day and one of them had to be carried home. Another couldn’t use his knee for six months. Happy for suggestions on updating this, but my experience is that people hear what they want to hear. And hard to get them to understand the enormity of what an Everest takes unless they go and do it.

      •Know how long your Everest will realistically take. If you’re working out your average lap time, don’t use stats of when you are climbing fresh. You really need to know what pace you will ride on exhausted legs & go from there. I would also advise to set-up a climbing & descending segment to work out how much one full lap takes, but it is better if you are able to set-up a longer segment, such as a 5 x segment, 10 x segment etc. Once you’ve set those up, will give you a realistic idea of how long you will need to complete your Everest.

      As to your point about driving home afterwards. I considered putting this in. One of my Everests was a 90 minute drive from home, and had a horrible experience and drove home after midnight & fell asleep behind the wheel. I was in the left lane and all of a sudden I was on the right hand lane heading straight for the medium strip. It was a scary experience and pulled over for a 10 minute catnap. I omitted it, for two reasons. 1. I didn’t want to scare riders off and 2. It falls under the umbrella of common sense that you should ensure a safe drive home afterwards.

      You’re right that its an important safety concern & will play with it during the week when I get the chance. This site is a hobby for me, and hope to help people find the best places to ride and see it as a public site and always happy for input, and always willing to make changes. And happy for suggestions.

      Thanks

      Brendan

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