A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Everesting (My brother is a BEAST!)


My little brother Tyler is a beast. Not only physically, but mentally too. In his life, he has completed two marathons, two half Ironmans, a 245 mile bike ride, and most recently, he did EVERESTING!!!!!


The epic event happened on Saturday. While he did have lots of company on the mountain, he was mostly by himself. I did an interview with him so I could learn more about what Everesting is and what his experience was like. Throughout, I have posted some pictures with captions.

I am so proud of my brother. Sometimes I think of him when I am doing a particularly hard run or race, because I know he has endured way more than whatever I am experiencing at the time!



What is Everesting?

Everesting is a grass roots challenge where a cyclist attempts to ride the same hill or mountain over and over in a single ride until they reach a total of at least 29,028 feet elevation gain (The elevation above sea level of Mount Everest). There are no official events or races and time is not a factor. It is a personal challenge on the day of your choosing. As far as I know, the idea started to spread in Australia in 2014, Europe in 2015, and the US in 2016.

Some of the most basic rules are:

  • The elevation must be gained in a single ride… NO SLEEPING.
  • The rider chooses any hill or mountain (distance and grade are a personal choice).
  • The hill may not kinetic gain on the descent (no “free elevation gain” while coasting)
  • Proper GPS recording data to back up your ride (positional data, speed, heart rate, cadence etc).

Why did you decide to Everest and what made you choose Berry Mountain?

After learning about the challenge and reading people’s personal experiences I immediately knew it was something I could do. Even though it is supposed to be one of the hardest single day endurance cycling events, the rules play right into my strengths. (Endurance over speed, mental fortitude, nutrition.)

Picking Berry Mountain was key. The pavement is smooth with no bumps or pot holes and the road is surprisingly well maintained (not much debris). The road is mostly straight and the average gradient is 8%. I knew an 8% gradient was maintainable and that I had the proper gearing. There is little traffic on the road and being in my home town near support sealed the deal.



What time did you start and what time did you finish?

I started at 3:15 AM and finished at 9:28 PM with 2 hours and 3 minutes of stoppage time.


What kind of food did you eat during your ride?

I ate six eggs, four pieces of toast, and four cups of coffee immediately when I woke up. On the mountain I drank two gallons of Gatorade and a half-gallon of water.  I ate two pop tarts, a few handfuls of pretzels, two bags of air head bites, six nutri-grain bars, one banana, four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, two slices of pizza, a chocolate chip cookie, a few handfuls of veggie sticks, and three whoopee pies.



How many times did you ride up the mountain?

92

How many miles is the ascent?

.76 miles

What is the elevation of one ascent?

320 feet


What did you do so you wouldn't get bored?

It is incredibly easy to get bored swimming. It is pretty easy to get bored running without listening to audio. It is hard to get bored cycling even doing 92 reps. My mind focuses on listening to my bike to make sure there is no mechanical issue forming, listening to the woods to make sure I hear animals before I see them, focusing on the road 100% for leaves, sticks, stones etc. 


My mind is also constantly thinking of what my needs are and forcing myself to plan when to drink and eat even if I am not hungry or thirsty. Also, planning logistically so I can fulfill multiple needs all in one quick stop (example: grab food, change out a bottle, pee, plug GPS into a charger, add a layer of clothing). 


It took me about 7 hours before I put an earbud in one ear and started a podcast.  I listened to about an hour and a half of podcasts.  Around the 15 hour mark, I went to two earbuds and my emergency pump me up playlist. As the rep count got higher, the volume got louder. 

On open roads I do not use audio. I was earbud-free on the 245 miler. It is too dangerous. (Edit: Tyler did a 245 mile ride a couple months ago.)

On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard would you rate this physically?

For me, a flat marathon is still harder than 200 moderately flat miles on the bike. They start to become comparable at around 245 miles. If I put a flat marathon and 245 bike at a 7 of 10 then I would say this Everesting was a 9 out of 10.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard would you rate this mentally?


Hours 1 through 12: 2
Hours 12-16: 5
Hours 16-18: 8


Was there any point you think you would have to stop?

Never

How did you feel immediately after? The next morning?

After finishing I felt extremely cold. I had never felt so cold than I did in the last hour. No amount of layers warmed me up. The next morning I had a sore throat, my glutes hurt, and as expected, my knees still hurt.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Not many people know this but even though Everest is 29,028 feet of elevation, the base of the mountain already starts at roughly 17,000 feet. Mountaineers essentially are climbing the difference (12,000 feet). In the Everesting cycling challenge, you start at sea level. You must gain 29,028 feet. It is a little demoralizing to be riding for 9 hours and not even “reach” the base of the mountain yet.


Have you ever heard of Everesting?
Do you have any other questions for Tyler? I will get the juicy details!

15 comments:

  1. Holy cow! The athleticism in your family is impressive.

    The majority of the time was Tyler riding with his butt off the seat like in the one photo, or does he sit most of the time? I ask because my butt gets sore after like 1 minute of biking. Maybe it's one of those things you build up a tolerance to?

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    1. The vast majority is sitting given the relatively small grade. Two sections hit 12% and then I stand for a short amount of time. I use oil, cream and a good pair of bike shorts. Descents are usually always standing in the sense that your butt is an inch above the seat and then grip the sides with your thighs for stability. -Tyler

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  2. Wow, I had never heard of this. I feel like I need to send Tyler a medal as that is super impressive stuff right there!
    I don't think I could do anything for that amount of time. 3am to 9pm, just wow!

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    1. I don't think I could do anything for that long either. It is beyond words.

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  3. Wow that's awesome! Congrats to your brother!

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  4. Congratulations Tyler!! such an amazing accomplishment! Were there many cars through the day?

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    1. It was the first day of archery season so about a dozen pickup trucks between 5am and 8am. Then again in the afternoon as they left the mountain. About a dozen more cars from locals who live on the mountain. I think there are about 15 houses. -Tyler

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  5. Wow--what a bad ass. Your family just amazes me. Way to go, Tyler!

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  6. Congrats to Tyler!! One of the pictures had a mailbox--Did anyone ever ask you what you were doing? I am super impressed.
    If you did it again, what would you do differently?
    I like the shirt!!

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    1. I did put a letter in mailboxes to notify the 15 houses of what I was doing but I didn't get around to doing it until the day before. One lady pulled out of her driveway around 4am and said "you are up early!". One thing I would have done differently was not do it on the day of my daughter's birthday party, but everyone's schedules made it so Saturday made the most sense. -Tyler

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  7. Megan asked me to answer some questions above. Thanks for the congrats everyone! This is definitely a once and done endeavor. -Tyler

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  8. Tyler you are so bad ass!! That is quite an accomplishment, I can't even wrap my mind around that many trips up the mountain.
    Your physical capabilities are pretty damn impressive.

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  9. Wow, that is really impressive Tyler! I have never heard of this kind of challenge - it's really unique, and a huge accomplishment. Congrats!

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  10. Even though it's something I would never do, I get so inspired watching others push their boundaries and try these epic things

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  11. I don't have any questions & I've never heard of this. I'm kind of shocked that he doesn't often get bored while biking!

    Eating all the food sounds appealing though -- of course I know that that isn't actually as easy as it sounds.

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