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You can hike, climb, and crawl your way up its jagged edge, but biking Mt. Everest has never been an option. A new bicycling trend called #everesting attempts to make this an achievable reality--at least virtually.
Governed by Hells 500, grandly self-described as “Keepers of the cloud, makers of the Everesting,” the sport involves recreating the 29,029 foot climb (and subsequent descent) of Everest itself--minus the possibilities of deathly avalanches, freezing temps, and days-long exposure to an ever-decreasing oxygen supply--from the convenience of your own locale. In fact, virtual versions of Everesting know as vEveresting remove participants from the elements further still, allowing riders to complete the grueling ascent on a stationary bike.
Just because the mountain won’t be keeping you in check doesn’t mean an Everester will be left to their own devices. Hells 500 lays down the law when it comes to the rules. Those who wish to keep their Everesting indoors must download software called Zwift that turns your own masochistic yearnings into its very own avatar. And--to really make sure you’re not cheating yourself--they recommend heart rate, cadence, and power meter sensors to be used to verify that your effort matches that of a traditional Everest climb sans wheels. So download, plug in, and set your gradients to 100 percent. This is going to be a long ride.
Note: Cyclists operating within both the real and virtual world are getting behind Climb for Nepal, a fundraiser running through June 30 to help victims of the recent Nepalese earthquake. More details here.