Event date: Dec. 30, 2022
I’m going to be completing a ‘Virtual Everesting’ on Friday 30th December!
What is an ‘Everesting?’
“Everesting, named after the highest mountain on Earth, is a gruelling challenge for cyclists. Find a climb and keep riding your bike up and down until you’ve climbed the height of Mount Everest. Do this in Zwift and it’s called virtual Everesting, or “vEveresting.””
I’m going to be doing this using a Smart Trainer and Zwift. (Zwift is an online training platform for cycling - using a bike mounted on a smart trainer, your pedalling drives your avatar around a virtual course). The smart trainer closely replicates the resistance and feeling of climbing a hill up to gradients of 25%. In this case, I’ll be climbing a mountain called ‘Alpe du Zwift’ , which is a virtual replica of Alpe d’Huez - a mountain famous in cycling.
Official rules of an Everesting attempt (https://everesting.cc/):
* Elevation gain must total at least 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) – the height of Mt. Everest.
* The ride must be made up of hill repeats of a single climb.
* There is no time limit, and you can take breaks – but don’t go to sleep. The ride must be finished in one activity. Breaks count toward your total time, so manage them carefully.
* A controllable smart trainer with the gradient difficulty set to 100% (maximum) is required. You’ll have to feel that hill!
* Your Zwift profile weight must be accurate as of the day of your vEveresting.
I will be climbing ‘Alpe Du Zwift’ 8.5 times to reach 8,848 metres of elevation and expect to complete this challenge in around 15-20 hours!
I am choosing to raise money for 2 causes. Mind & The Trussell Trust
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem and campaign to improve services.
2 days after this challenge attempt will mark 10 years since my close friend, Colin, took his own life on New Years Day 2013. Back then, a lot of us had no idea about mental health, the statistics of young male suicides, or how to look after ourselves and each other. That changed very quickly for our group of friends, but it’s also amazing to see how much mental health is spoken about now in society and the mainstream since then which is very positive.
That being said, the message for people struggling to reach out and talk is only effective when there is someone to talk to.
- Mental health services across the country receive an estimated 8.25% less funding than in 2010 despite a rise in demand of 20%
- NHS mental health beds have reduced by 25% since 2010
- Those living with severe mental illness including bipolar, eating disorders and PTSD are waiting up to 2 years for treatment.
I'm also choosing to raise money for The Trussell Trust. They support a nationwide network of food banks and provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign to end the need for food banks in the UK.
Everyone has felt the effect of the cost of living crisis. For many people, this year really will be a choice between heating or eating, before even considering celebrating Christmas in any way.
Plus, the 2 charities really go hand-in-hand.
Children from the poorest 20% of households are 4x as likely to have serious mental health difficulties by the age of 11 as those from the wealthiest 20%. Suicide rates are 2-3x higher in the most deprived neighbourhoods compared to the most affluent.
- In 2010, 60,000 food bank packages were handed out in Britain. In 2021, it was 2.5 million.
- 1.5 million additional people in the UK will be pushed into relative poverty this winter
Any size donation is greatly appreciated, however if you can’t afford to donate, which is completely understandable, doing one of the following things instead is appreciated just as much:
1. Reaching out and being kind to someone who may be lonely or struggling this Christmas
2. Leaving some food at a collection point at your local supermarket/foodbank (you don’t have to buy anything, you can take something you already have in your cupboard)
3. Look at the statistics for both mental health services and food poverty above and consider whether it should be like that in this country. We all have a voice & vote to change it!
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Any tips for getting through it are very welcome, plus some recommendations for things to watch on TV during the challenge!