In a new video on the Global Cycling Network channel, professional cyclist Max Stedman documents his attempt at Everesting; a simple but brutal riding challenge, which involves cycling the equivalent uphill height of Mount Everest (8,848 meters). The current world record, which Stedman is hoping to beat, is 7 hours 4 minutes, set by Ronan McLaughlin in July 2020.
Stedman selects a stretch of hill which ranges from 17 percent to 26 percent incline; he will have to ride this 60 times in order to make the equivalent distance. He marks out his braking point at the lower and upper end of the hill, maximizing the efficiency with which he can make his turns—accuracy is key here, as he reaches speeds of over 100 km per hour in the descent.
Once every lap, Stedman takes a swig of water or energy drink, and he takes an energy bar every three laps. By the time he reaches the halfway point, he is 15 minutes ahead of McLaughlin’s time.
“This is a really tough challenge,” says the GCN commentator. “It really starts to bite, especially when you get into the back end of it.” He adds that core and back strength play a bigger role when riding against such a steep gradient.
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Stedman finishes the challenge in 7 hours 32 minutes. That’s 28 minutes shy of McLaughlin’s world record, but he does qualify for a new British record, and his time will go down as the fourth-fastest Everesting ever.
“That is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “To be honest, I almost definitely got off.” He credits “stubbornness” with keeping him on the bike, even at the hardest point in the ride. “Maybe next year we’ll give the world record another crack… Ronan McLaughlin didn’t get the world record the first time.”
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