We all have crazy idea’s now and then, we all think of carrying out a ride that would make us climb the same height of Everest on a single climb…….. wait what! Well that’s exactly what Alex Ball, a local cyclist, decided to do as part of a go fund me for charity and to help further his own professional dreams. I was lucky to be asked if I could come along and document this.
It’s called “Everesting”, climbing 8848 metres on a single ride on the same hill, and this hill is infamous in our local area its called Kingscavil. I personally avoid this climb, you approach it from a descent but its like having 2 flat tyres immediately as it starts the climb, pitching up towards 19% gradients with 2 false plateaus… frankly it a horror of a climb. I couldn’t imaging doing this climb more than once let alone the 134 times Alex set out to achieve.
I had went along the week before to see where I could do some shots and to try out some video on the new camera, so I took some B roll video so that I would have more time the following week. I needn’t have bothered. I took my B roll video in glorious sunshine, but on the day the weather took a turn for the worse with fog and rain the order of the day.
Alex’s plan was simple, ride as easy as he could early conserving energy and power taking a drink at the bottom when needed, he would have a few people some along and ride with him for a period of time to receive the boredom and keep his spirits high and he aimed to finish within 10 hours. If he managed it, he would have the Scottish Everesting record and very sore legs.
A few of us commented as he started out that he was so calm, so relaxed externally it almost seemed like he wasn’t breathing as he climbed up the steep gradients. It impressed us all, it was a sight to behold and after 1000 metres climbed Alex was in great spirits letting us all know he had passed through that number.
All day up and down the climb he went, on every descent his dad Matt encouraged him to take it easy on the way down fearing for his sons safety, for all that it may have been slow on the way up the steep descent meant you could easily have hit 50-60mph on the way down. I say slow but Alex barely deviated from 4 min 30 sec for his ascent and descent on this climb.
We all left apart from the die hards and officials to let Alex get on with his task, returning later to see how he was doing. My heart rate was increasing when I got nearby….. how was he doing, was he still going, could he actually do this? I felt anxious for him, I cannot imagine everything that went through his and his families minds throughout this challenge.
I got back and Alex was still a machine, still climbing with consummate ease and making every pedal stroke look easy. His friend commenting that he was having to climb at around 6w/KG to keep up with Alex….. that’s damned impressive at any time never mind after 9 hours in the saddle.
Alex finally completed the ride in 9 hours 35 mins, a new Scottish record, with a small group there to witness and cheer him on. Alex looked calm and stoic throughout, his dad looked more like the person who had went through the attempt more. I would like to thank Alex and Matt for letting a few of us be there to witness and document this remarkable feat, it has opened my eyes to what we are capable of with the correct attitude and correct ability.
I’m still trying to see if I can put together a small video about this so watch this space.
All I ask is donate to Alex Ball here he definitely deserves it
Thanks for reading, and thanks again Alex. Speak soon S