Everesting is a simple concept but a difficult challenge.

To complete a successful Everesting challenge, a rider must climb and descend the same hill multiple times until they have reached the magic 8,848 metres of vertical gain – the equivalent height to Everest.

Although Everesting may seem to be the antithesis of exploration on two wheels, during the coronavirus lockdown it has come into its own. Cyclists the world over have been prevented from travelling far and so the idea of hill reps has resonated with cyclists of all abilities.

In this episode, we examine the phenomenon with two (recently deposed) record holders and the man who can lay a claim to turning a quirky idea into a mainstream one.

After we’d recorded this episode and while preparing it for release, both the women’s and men’s records were broken by Emma Pooley and Alberto Contador. That the records rest with riders who between them have world and Olympic medals, Grand Tour titles and Classics wins to their name takes Everesting to the next level.

But at its heart Everesting is an egalitarian concept. It’s not really about the records-breaking. Anyone can have a go, even if it will mean many hours in the saddle for most riders. And (more or less) any hill will do.

In this episode of Explore, we hear from Andy Van Bergen, the man who can stake a claim to creating the Everesting challenge which has captured the imagination over the past couple of months (although he’s actually too modest to).

We hear how the idea stems from the grandson of the legendary mountaineer George Mallory, who died while climbing Everest in 1924… and we hear from a Frenchman called François Siohan who completed the first known Everesting on two wheels in 1984.

Plus Hannah Rhodes and Lachlan Morton talk about their own record-breaking rides, perhaps not realising their times would be broken quite so soon. Morton, of course, had to make two attempts in quick succession because the first did not meet Van Bergen and his Hells500 group’s exacting criteria.

Explore by The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport.

LINKS
To find out more about Everesting, the criteria and the hall of fame, go to everesting.cc. You can also read the account of François Siohan’s ‘first known’ Everesting.

OUR SPONSORS
Iwoca offers fast and flexible finance for small businesses, such as Powerbikes, whose owner Richard features in this episode. To find out more, go to iwoca.co.uk

Science In Sport have energy bars, gels and drinks to fuel your ride and recovery, whether you’re Everesting, crossing a continent or clocking up the virtual kilometres on the turbo. All listeners can get 25% off by using the discount code SISCIP25 scienceinsport.com

If you are planning a trip on your bike to a foreign country (when conditions allow) you may want to brush up on another language. Babbel is the app that helps you learn another language naturally and conversationally. If you sign up for six months with Babbel you can get six months free with the code CYCLE at Babbel.co.uk. Or go to the App store.

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