With most cycling events being cancelled due to the pandemic, cyclists and runners have come up with an interesting concept – Everesting.
Everesting is an activity where one repeatedly rides a bicycle (or runs) up and down a hill till the total distance covered is equivalent to the height of Mt Everest (8848 mts).
Recently, cyclist Gokul Krishna of Hyderabad rode 434 kilometres (translating to 10,124 metres in terms of height) and became the first Indian to cross the 10,000-metre mark. His partner Chitti Babu completed 9,000 metres. The duo took an impressive 27 hrs and 33min for their respective record-breaking feats – from 3 PM on October 2 to 6:30 PM on October 3.
“After a recce of several hills, we finally decided to ride the BNR Hills at Raidurgam in Hyderabad,” explains Gokul.
Everesting is a test of will, courage and discipline, he said, adding that the gratification of accomplishing the feat is indescribable.
“Being a fitness enthusiast and cyclist, I have been preparing for the ride since August. I practised riding on my trainer (a stand on which the cycle can be fixed) for around four hours a day on an average, apart from riding up and down a hill once a week,” shared the 42-year-old. Revealing the reason for choosing October 2 as D-Day, he said, “One of my friends had mentioned that I should ride in the night to avoid the heat. I checked the moon calendar and found that October 2 early morning was a full moon. It sounded like a good omen as the date was perfect, being a Friday, a public holiday, and a full moon day.”
Talking about the many challenges they faced, Gokul said, “It was certainly hot, so we were drained and suffered from fatigue.” He explained that he did a bit of stretching and massaging during the breaks and that he ate something every four hours. “I had roti and rice, apart from electrolytes and energy drinks to stay hydrated. Everesting is a big mental and physical challenge but we have realised that with proper planning and training anything can be achieved,” he stressed.
Chitti Babu, who participated in the ride without much practice, shared that it was his self-belief that saw him through. “I had the confidence that I could complete the ride; so I instantly joined Gokul when I heard the idea,” he said, adding that the best aspect of the ride was that they set their own pace.
“We started the ride together, but we soon realised that we were upsetting each other’s rhythm by trying to cycle in tandem. So we decided to ride at our own pace. There were a few supporters who rode alongside to encourage us in the pursuit of our goal,” explained the 35-year-old.
Chitti Babu, a senior cycle technician, says the feat made him believe that nothing is impossible. “All you need is self -confidence,” he asserted, adding that the achievement has encouraged him to aim for higher honours in cycling.