With cycling events on hold, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, cyclists have turned to Everesting as a form of competition, an opportunity to support charities as well as a great way to provide exposure for their sponsors. With more cyclists taking on the Everesting Challenge, the Everesting record has changed hands again with Lachlan Morton (EF Pro Cycling) taking the men’s lead.
Initially, Lachlan Morton thought he’d have a go at the Everesting record Monday, June 15.
But last Friday night at a BBQ, he and his dad, David, got to talking. His dad had to work Monday, so why not give it a try the following morning? Nothing like a last-minute Everesting attempt.
Lachlan was feeling rested enough from breaking the record for the fastest known time on the Kokopelli Trail a few weeks prior, and had recovered from a bout of food poisoning that foiled his initial attempt last week. And once he got to the climb and started rolling… he didn’t stop until he was the new record holder. All told, he climbed 29,029 feet in 7 hours, 32 minutes, and 54 seconds over 42 laps up the backside of Rist Canyon.
Lachlan chats about his Everesting experience below:
What is Everesting, for people who don’t know?
Climbing the height of Mt. Everest on one hill by bike. It’s a tough day out.
How does one prepare for something like that?
I prepared by riding my mountain bike up high in the Rockies, having fun and spending a lot of hours out. Finding a climb that’s steep and straight is also important. I wanted something local, so having a look around was a big part of preparing. I didn’t do any specific training for it. I’d ridden five and six hours the days before, then made a split-second decision to do it over a Friday BBQ with dad.
Tell us a bit about your setup for this. Anything special?
Just my Cannondale SuperSix EVO training bike with a set of tubeless wheels I borrowed from JV. I had ‘cross wheels in it for a big gravel loop the day before. Love that thing.
How’d you come to pick the climb you did?
I remembered it from when I was young. I actually won my first pro 1/2 race there. It’s steep and straight. The altitude makes it hard but I’m trying to stay close to home. There was an option to make it a bit shorter and steeper that was probably more economical, but the turnaround was blind and I needed to sight cars myself, so I opted for the longer one when we got there.
So you were initially thinking about doing it earlier this week, then got a stomach bug.
Then Saturday, you were just going to scout it, but you ended up giving it a full go?
Yeah, I had food poisoning but bounced back and had a few big days on the bike and felt ok. I was thinking Monday, but dad was working so we decided on Friday night that we’d go have a look the next morning. I like things low key so just having dad there with some bottles felt right, so I just kept going.
What were you thinking about as it was going on? And on.
That’s the biggest challenge actually. It’s pretty monotonous. You also know each lap is going to get harder. The last half I really thought about how difficult the world is right now for some people and how lucky I am that three hours of riding uphill is my biggest worry. It’s so insignificant in the scheme of things.
Some rides feel longer than they are, I think. How long did this one feel?
The first three hours went really quick. The middle two felt about normal. The last two and a half really dragged.
Will you do it again if someone breaks it?
I think there’s some other things I’d like to do first. It’s fun, I know someone will go faster, that’s the point. Put a mark out there, have someone think… “Yeah maybe I can do that.” It’s a progression; anyone can have a crack at it.
Kokopelli, now this. This is like the season of Lachlan Morton. What’s next?
Going to ride Rollins pass with my dad in the morning. One day at a time at the moment. I’m really hoping to be back racing with the whole team soon, though.