Everesting for a Cause

FORT COLLINS, Colorado — Everesting. For the cyclists and runners who take it on (present company included) it’s the hardest ride they’ll do, until they do another one, as is the culture in this world of hurt.

My Everesting was a collection of milestones — it was my longest longest ride, it was my longest day in a chamois (pro tip: change your chamois mid-day), and of course, it was the most elevation I’ve accumulated in a single ride. Before Saturday, I believe my longest ride was about 125-miles and the most elevation I’d accrued in a single ride would have been about 12,000-ft., which would have been at the Leadville 100 MTB race. My Everesting ride topped my best mileage by about 20-miles and it more than doubled my total elevation gain.

The body does weird things after 9-hours of exercise. My legs didn’t cramp. They never even felt that bad, at least no worse than the rest of my body. But my stomach was a complete wreck for the final 5-hours, which prevented me from bringing in much in the way of fuels. That left me completely depleted in the final laps. No amount of adrenaline or happiness that I had just completed this thing could overcome my exhaustion.

All I felt at the finish was relief. To be alive and to no longer having to pedal uphill.

Beyond the peer pressure to Everest, and the fear friends would publicly re-purpose the shirts I’d sold as chain rags should I fail, I also had the thought in the back of my head that I GET TO ride my bike. One of the foundations we are raising money for is World Bicycle Relief whose work in developing parts of the world gives bicycles to medical staff who NEED their bikes to transport sick patients, deliver medicine, and even retrieve fresh water. In comparison, my pain was temporary, though as the day wore on, those thoughts got harder and harder to keep at the forefront of my brain.

Some of the stats you don’t see on Strava would be the $5,000+ I was able to raise with the help of my partners and supporters. The new record for number of times I thought, ‘this is so dumb.’ The most staggering piece of all was how the community showed its support, both in person by showing up and riding a lap (or four), refilling bottles for me so I could focus on stuffing my face during breaks, and sending messages before, during, and after the ride.

The interet is good for a few positive things during these times. One of them is for putting something out there, no matter how crazy, and all of your friends will hold you to it. Had I not done that, I don’t think I could have finished that ride.

The other is raising money to help those who need it and there’s still time to donate to the Giddy Up for Good fundraiser at www.hotroute.news/giddy-up. Additionally, Fort Collins’ Pine Print Shop is offering “Giddy Up” t-shirts where $10 of every shirt sold will be donated to the Be Good™ Foundation.  http://pineprintshop.com/cds/be-good