Congratulations Paul Talbot for bagging Snake Pass, 27x up the 1100ft ascent and he even managed a
Hill Climb event with 2013 national champ Tejvan Pettinger during the challenge.
By Paul Talbot,
I rediscovered the joy and pain of cycling only five years ago and ever since I’ve been looking for new ways to suffer. I’ve managed to escape from Stravaworld but not before accruing an indefensible number of KOMs that I’ve now left for my younger, skinnier and harder fellow masochists to conquer. I’ve ridden many of the UK’s toughest sportives and survived to tell the tale, so what’s next? I’ve done Mount Teide and the cobbled climbs of de Ronde van Vlaanderen, so… the Alpes, the Pyrenees… the Himalayas?!
Everesting the Snake Pass seemed an inspired idea at the time – our club was hosting the J9/5 Open CTT hill climb in 2 weeks time and I’d been given the dubious privilege of being first rider off, so why not just carry on?
Fast-forward 2 weeks and it’s 6.30am on an overcast Sunday morning. My long-suffering wife (and
Our plan was to pause after the 5th rep so I could do our club’s official hill climb and then we’d carry on. The first 5 reps felt like they were for free but after pushing the peddles for the first time on the 6th rep (16.41 minute ascent at 11mph), I started to feel the chain. It didn’t help we were passed by riders going full gas, every minute for the next 2 hours but we still managed to maintain steady 22 minute ascents at 8mph. Tejvan Pettinger – the reigning National Hill Climb Champion - won our event in a time of 11.51 minutes, just outside his own course record and then joined us for one more ascent – a big boost for morale and a great motivator! Unfortunately, by this time Ben was starting to suffer and was continually getting dropped despite a following wind and our best efforts to keep him within the group. By the 15th rep and over 16,000ft of climbing, it was clear he wasn’t going to make it so he decided to slow down and get to ‘base-camp’.
It was now a solo attempt. Anne posted my progress on Facebook, the donations flooded in and
Top tips on Everesting from a non-expert;
1 It’ll probably take you longer than you think - I can do the ‘Fred Whitton Challenge’ in under 7 hours (108 miles and 10,750ft at 16.1mph) http://www.strava.com/activities/5396923 and I finished the ‘Coast to Coast in a Day’ in under 9 hours (150miles and 11,600ft at 17.4mph) http://www.strava.com/activities/12188486 I naively thought I could Everest in under 14 hours but it actually took me over 16 hours because of a slightly slower than anticipated pace and longer stops than envisaged.
2 Start at a slow comfortable speed then ease off a bit – try to keep a constant pace and don’t pause for too long before or ride any differently on the last few ascents to avoid cramping. I managed to maintain 22 minute ascents (8mph) for the whole attempt apart from the 6th (11mph) and last that took over 40 minutes.
3 Do not underestimate the value of support from club mates, family and friends – I couldn’t have done it without them!
4 … and don’t forget to take the next day off work, I did!
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