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  1. Hi guys, tis van Wheeler again with an update. So this Sunday the attempt is happening here in Pretoria. If you are interested you can have a look here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1141472506057625/ I appreciate all the comments both positive and negative on the previous two threads. It's a good thing that we are having some discussion. Some people think I support doping. This isn't true. I simply understand that one needs to dope to cope at the top and I don't have negative judgement toward pro riders who decide to go that route so that they can succeed in their careers to provide for themselves and their families. I have compassion for them. Doping is simply an end product of a corporate system where riders are owned by companies and the competition is through the roof because of the money. The only drug I've used in the past is coffee. I was never willing to take it further than that and have changed my path to creating a brand on social media where the niche is vegan cycling. I get fulfillment in providing value and seeing people go next level in their cycling and transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. Anyway, I digress. I've completed another half Everest attempt last Sunday and it was around 12 minutes faster than the previous Sunday. The logic behind only training half Everest is to go significantly higher than full Everest pace in terms of watts per kilo. This way your body adapts to that higher pace and on the day of the full Everest one can sustain the lower pace for longer as long as you're having at least 400 calories per hour. If you want to see how last Sunday was you can have a look at the video here: As for charities I'm donating to Asher's farm animal sanctuary here in Pretoria and raising money with a proquest campaign. https://www.proquest.co.za/profiles/campaign_info/254?fbclid=IwAR11SiovL-g614ywdilLmEj2stVrGP-u-1N7NTfPLmaTVhRwB6hVVk4jbHk I hope that answers some of the questions and I look forward to reading more of the good banter on here. I'm also looking forward to Sunday's ride. Why do we ride? We ride because we find inner peace through suffering.
  2. Havent seen it mentioned here so thought I'd share it for anyone who is interested. A local rider is going to be attempting to break the everesting world record: https://www.facebook.com/events/2249159228684323/?ti=as Personally I think he's got his work cut out for him but still cool to see a local guy giving it a shot anyway.
  3. Evening all. I’m thinking of doing an everesting, and I was hoping to find out if I could convert my Supersix’s 53/39 spidering on si sl2 cranks to a 1x MTB chainring, I’m thinking 30t cannondale spidering. The reason I want to do this is because I am running campy super record and my max rear cog is 29, and this seems like a cheaper option if possible than a drivetrain upgrade. If you have any knowledge on the topic, please let me know!
  4. Hi chaps, I wanted to update you on my progress for the Everesting world record attempt. Since I'm a Youtuber and a blogger I wrote an article on the subject. I know some of you think I'm a bloody annoying vegan and that's okay, I get it a lot I would have never discovered this forum if it wasn't for my mate directing me here. I enjoy the banter and the community aspect of it all. I hope you enjoy this article but even if you don't, I'll be happy if you are triggered https://www.vanzweelism.com/index.php/2019/05/03/my-first-half-everest-of-2019/ If you're interested in when the two Everest attempts will take place you can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/vanzweelism/events/ By the way, I hardly eat vegetables as a vegan .
  5. Event Date: 14th May 2016 Hi Everyone, I'm doing an Everest ride to raise funds for a friend Darryn August, who was attacked last week on the train while defending a pregnant lady. Please have a look and consider donating to the cause or even coming out to join the ride. DONATIONS: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/everest-for-august Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1726414574305366/ The cause: Some of you may have heard about the attack on Darryn August last week, in summary he was hit & stabbed multiple times and then thrown from a moving train and hit a tree. He has been hospitalised at Tygerberg hospital and has already undergone a number of operations. He was attacked because he stood up in defense of others. More info about the attack can be found here: http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/train-hero-may-never-walk-again-2017163 We want to raise funds to assist him in his recovery and to show support for his bravery. What better way than to spend 15 hours riding a bicycle up and down a mountain. All are welcome to join in for a picnic or even to do some cycling. About Everesting: Eeveresting on a bicycle is doing a single ride with a total elevation gain of 8848m. The ride should be done on a single climb and repeated until the height of Everest is reached, there is no time limit to the attempt but the everester/s should not sleep until the total elevation is reached. The fundraiser: I (Graeme Dale Kuys) will be summiting the Steenbras viewpoint climb a total of 36 times to achieve the 8848m elevation goal. We ask that you donate a sum of money for each summit that I complete. The Location: Steenbras Dam Viewpoint rd, Gordons Bay. Event base camp: https://goo.gl/maps/7yqXe8V2bBR2 Detailed information about Everesting the Steenbras climb:http://bit.ly/1TogBFV Strava route showing elevation map, distance and elevation gain:https://www.strava.com/routes/1380152
  6. You have recently teamed up with Qhubeka. What is your new role at the organisation? I joined Qhubeka part-time 3 months ago to help with Events and Ambassadors and also to contribute towards marketing. My main focus is to help ensure that the events that we host are implemented properly and to liaise with fundraisers to help them achieve their fundraising goals. I had been pestering Anthony Fitzhenry, the Founder, about working with them for a long time and so it is really great to finally be able to contribute more. Can you explain a bit about how the charity works and who benefits from it? Qhubeka provides bicycles to individuals who earn them in various ways. The individuals who receive the bicycles are from poorer communities and the bicycles allow them easier access to school, work, health care, and also become their transport around their towns for day-to-day tasks such as visiting friends or doing the shopping. The key is that the bicycles are earned through an organized programme. The recipients have shown that they truly want the bicycles. The way that people earn them varies from going to after-school programmes to growing trees to showing leadership in their work environment, so both adults and teenagers are all able to earn the bicycles in various ways. Photo credit: Donovon Thorne. You like doing extreme endurance events and activities. How have you managed to pair these activities with promoting Qhubeka’s aims? From my very first Everesting three years ago, I have always believed that if you do something that raises attention in a positive way then you should try using that to give back to a cause and, for me, Qhubeka has always been that cause. I have been lucky to do a few events now that are considered ‘not normal’ and people have been kind enough to say their 'well done' to me by donating to Qhubeka. I have seen this work in the past and will keep trying to do so in the future. The Climbing for Qhubeka campaign will run from 29 September to 1 October. Can you explain what it is and how people can get involved or contribute? Climbing for Qhubeka is heading into its 4th year now and has donated about 100 bicycles to Qhubeka thus far. It has traditionally been an Everesting ride but this year we have extended it to allow anyone anywhere to dedicate their weekend activity, whatever that might be, to Qhubeka.We encourage people to try and push their limits somewhat for this but it is not necessary, most of all we just want to give people an avenue to show their belief in Qhubeka and to express that to the world. Anyone can register for just $10 at www.climbingforqhubeka.org with 100% of proceeds going to the Charity and putting people on bicycles. Once registered a person can choose to ride, run, walk, hike or even throw a kids party, as my sister is doing – there is no need to do something crazy but we would like to encourage people to do something that they love and give back while doing so. We have even seen people selling t-shirts to raise funds, so the ways to contribute really have been varied. You recently rode the Race to the Rock: a 3000-kilometre self-supported ultra-endurance race from Albany, Western Australia to Uluru in the Northern Territory. Can you tell us a bit about the experience? What an experience, it was completely new to me and really did change my life, opening up my perception of what is possible. We started as a group of eight but were soon scattered across the route and I probably rode 2,900km of the race entirely alone without a rider in sight.It was an incredible experience to be alone in a foreign country and literally in the middle of nowhere completely by myself. The landscapes were stunning but barren and the towns were far apart, so the sensation of loneliness was very real. Initially, the loneliness was tough to deal with but eventually, you accept it and realise what a gift it is. When it is just you and your bike you really feel the land and see the beauty in it. I loved that I had the opportunity to connect with the country in such a way. The self-supported aspect was a new challenge and a great learning experience for me too. There were no organized stops and we had to rely completely on ourselves to find resupply points and then carry whatever we needed to make it to the next one. When you have to rely on what is on your bike and your ability to endure for stretches of up to 400km at a time, you learn a lot about what you can do from both a mental and physical standpoint and find new limits. Managing my body, mind, and resources over that distance was a huge challenge and one that I am proud to have succeeded at. I was also lucky to meet amazingly kind people along the way. From people who would drive past, slow down and ask if I was ok to people in the towns we stopped in helping me with information on what was ahead to people sending messages from all across the world in support of us all. I met and interacted with people from so many different backgrounds during the journey and all were kind and caring, it gives you a little more faith in humanity. That was a great experience, maybe the best part. What draws you to events that push the limits like that? I just like to see if I can do them really, if I am capable, and then showing people that we are capable of anything if we put our minds to it and really want it badly enough. It is not much more than those two things. I don’t feel that I need to prove anything about myself or to myself but I do like finding new limits for myself and pushing those. I also just really really love riding my bike and seeing new places while doing that and these events generally provide a great opportunity to do that. How do you prepare for something like this? And how does the challenge compare to your normal training? I just ride lots, try not to overcomplicate it from that aspect. These events do not require you to have incredible top-end power but you have to be able to ride at 110-120 Heart Rate forever and so I ride lots at that effort level with maybe one day of going hard on some hills each week, but mostly cause I like to do that. I generally ride 80-100 hours per month which is more than enough volume, maybe too much, so I don’t adjust that much.For each event, I will do some specificity from a nutrition standpoint though, to ensure that my body is used to the conditions it will need to work under in the event. For Race to the Rock, as an example, I knew water would be scarce and so I had to teach my body to get used to 200-300ml per hour whereas I was a big drinker during rides before. That was a big adjustment. Overall though the mental preparation is the bigger aspect, as your body will do what your mind allows it to and so I spent a lot of time on that side of things using visualization mostly as I had no experience like what I would encounter to rely on for this event. How did your body respond to twelve days on the bike, with very little sleep in between? Is this something you can train for? The event took me just less than 12 days. After resting into the event it took a few days to get going, to be honest, and I really only felt good from the third day onwards but then I had a really good ride once my tour legs kicked in on day five. It is a weird sensation because I am not used to resting and so I felt sluggish for a few days in the beginning but those tour legs were really good once they came around.The lack of sleep is something different to deal with, and when the sleep monsters come at you they come hard. I don’t believe in sleep-deprivation training as I think that looking after your body and getting it into the best shape possible is important pre-event and so it is something that I get better at as I do more events like this. Early on, the minimal sleep really got me, I collapsed in a bush and only just got my Bivvy out before my eyes shut on the second night, but I learnt how to manage it as the race went on. In the end, I realised that I could stave off the sleep monsters with a quick 10-minute roadside nap if it wasn’t the right spot for a proper sleep, but the need for some sleep always existed. I got about 32 hours sleep over the ride, enough I think but in future, I would try to get it in more consistent 3 hour nightly blocks if possible, the all-night riding was rough when I did it. Give us an idea of your bike setup and the kinds of things you had to pack for the race? I rode a rigid mountain bike with drop bars and time trial clip-on bars. At the Munga last year, my hands went numb very quickly and I wanted to delay that, which I managed to do successfully by having more ways to hold the bars than I would using just MTB bars. I also had a dynamo hub on the front wheel to charge my Amped power banks with. I also used nice wide 2.3 inch tyres to try and absorb the corrugations and rough roads as much as possible.I packed quite a bit into my Burra Burra bags. I took a Bivvy and sleeping bag liner to sleep in, warm clothes and a rain jacket, spares to fix general potential bike issues and then some extra stuff such as a vandal-proof tap head to make sure I could get water from taps without issue and spare cleats, which I thankfully didn’t need. The full pack-list was about 50-60 items. So what’s next? First up is Everesting Paarl Rock this weekend and then some much needed rest and recovery for a couple of weeks. After that I am not sure, but there will be something and there are some great events in and outside of Africa that I have my eye on. I hope to be healthy enough to do The Munga again, my hands need to be ‘normal’ before I will do that though. Unfortunately, the international events are quite expensive to take part in and so I think I will need to find a sponsor before I can do another. Climbing for Qhubeka The 2017 edition of Qhubeka's ‘Climbing for Qhubeka’ campaign runs from 29 September to 1 October. For the first time, the campaign will take place globally. Registrations are now open at www.climbingforqhubeka.org.
  7. Credit: Kevin Benkenstein. Tell us more about Climbing for Qhubeka? How did it all come about? I first heard about Everesting on Twitter two and a bit years ago. It was at a time when I was looking for a new challenge in my riding, the timing was spot on. In the year or so before I had also gotten to know more about Qhubeka and really identified with the cause but had never had a platform to help them in any way. I thought that if I was going to do a challenge like this, then I should do it for a reason and try to use the rides to make someone else’s life a little better. It was as simple as that, the very first aim was to raise money for four bikes and it has just grown from there and I hope for more in the future. Qhubeka is about getting kids on bikes. How did you get into cycling? I was watching the Tour way back when I was 15 and I thought it looked like fun. I was enthralled by Lance’s comeback and thought I should try that too. My Dad went to the LBS and bought me an old bike (with downtube shifters and all) and I started riding. It was love at first climb, I think. I can’t recall the first ride but I know that it became my life very quickly. Credit: Kevin Benkenstein. How did you choose the location for the climb in each city? I try to look for a beautiful or meaningful climb with some history or other attraction. For Cape Town, I asked my friend Raoul de Jongh for help as we were going to do it together and he chose the beauty through The Glen up to Tafelberg Road. For JHB and Durban, I looked for climbs that had meaning. Sentech Tower is a Jozi icon and Inchanga is well know by almost everyone thanks to The Comrades. I also look at riding safety and parking safety and then lastly a ‘First Ascent’ if possible – a climb that no one has done an Everest on before. How do you prepare for something like this? And how does the challenge compare to your normal training? It’s very uncomplicated… Just ride lots, and climb lots. My riding doesn’t really change too much getting ready for these challenges but I do add a few hill intervals, 'morning miles' and at least one 1 hour effort in the four weeks ahead of the rides. I ride quite a bit as it is and I love climbing in general, even though I am a big guy, so I don’t feel the need to do too much more than normal.Mental preparation is the most important, as the real challenge is to conquer your mind not the climb. I am a firm believer that anyone who rides 8-10 hours a week can complete an Everesting, they just need to be able to survive the mental test. Credit: Kevin Benkenstein. Having successfully completed the first of the three in Cape Town what was the most challenging aspect? The descents, funnily enough. We did 560 switchbacks during the ride, half being the downhill ones. The corners were really steep and required your whole body to work through them. This meant no relaxing and true recovery going downhill, so that was quite tough. You spend a lot of time on the bike in the process, how do you handle eating and drinking? I am a firm believer in eating and drinking on all rides, so I am lucky to have a stomach that is now used to that challenge. During the ride I try drink 500 ml of carb drink every hour and I eat an oat/raisin bar every hour too. If you don’t eat and drink from the beginning of a ride like this I believe that you will end up in trouble physically. Credit: Kevin Benkenstein. Tell us about how your body reacts to that much time on a bike and what your mental state was going into the final climbs? My arms and back were really tired, from the downhills, and so that was tough because it puts more pressure on your legs. I ended up riding in the drops quite a lot just to move the pressure around my muscle groups a bit. Raoul set a really good comfortable pace through the early hours though which was massively important and so we were able to hold that comfortably to the end. Our 26th ascent was actually our fastest. Physically we managed ourselves quite well I think. Mentally the challenge was just to keep the rhythm and to trust my legs to keep going, there were a few moments when I felt my power drop a bit but having so many people with us made a huge difference as I could always ride with someone and pace myself back to the lap times we were aiming for. With each event only a week apart, are you concerned about recovery for the next two attempts? I am, very. I am not good at recovery. I just want to ride my bike every day, so I am fighting myself to go easy and to take an extra day off here and there. I am trying to be responsible about my sleep, my eating and my effort on the bike. I hope that will work out. It’s definitely the hardest part of this whole event and especially the third one I suspect. Credit: Kevin Benkenstein. How can people get involved? Firstly through donations. I have a givengain.com page which is the home for donations and a very secure and trusted website.Secondly by coming to ride with me, everyone is invited whatever speed they want to ride. I just want them to get involved. For every person that does 1,600m of climbing with me R285 gets donated to Qhubeka. So anyone can Climb for Qhubeka this year and that is awesome. Thirdly by coming to watch us ride, although I am sure that is boring to do it should definitely be done. I believe in the power of high fives, bum slaps, chelsea buns, and tiny cokes, so bring those along if you do. Lastly likes, retweets, shares and so on – just spreading the word makes so much difference as you never know who might see and the more people who know about Qhubeka and their amazing work the better, even if they don’t do anything about that right now.
  8. For three consecutive weekends this month, Kevin Benkenstein will be Everesting (climbing 8,848 metres) in three different cities to raise money for Qhubeka. This is a haul of over 26,500 metres of ascent. Kevin completed his first challenge in Cape Town over the weekend with Johannesburg and Durban to come. We asked Kevin a few questions about his Climbing for Qhubeka challenge. Click here to view the article
  9. So I'm considering an Everesting attempt and I would really appreciate the input of Grey Stripe holders or anyone else who has also considered the crazyness. Firstly, I have chosen a hill because it is reasonably long (4km), it has decent elevation gain (315m), the road is pretty quiet (max 10 cars per hour) and it has some nice tree cover (maybe 40%). The hill has an average grade of 8% with several sections of maybe 20% on the corners. Although the road is tarred I don't own a road bike, so will be doing it on my 13kg MTB. Any training advice would also be appreciated. One concern is that I have chosen a hill too steep and I'll blow? Another concern is that although I'm quite fit for anything up to 60km, I have never done anything more than 130km, and am wandering if the 220km is doable?
  10. Hi looking for a good place to go Everesting in Stellenbosch, Somerset West , Betty's bay. I'm looking for a steep hill/gradient in these areas , was thinking of Hans se Kop. Looking for road or mtb routes .Any suggestions would be appreciated thanks
  11. Martin Dreyer, a seven times Dusi Canoe Marathon winner and former G4 Challenge champion, and his equally athletic wife Jeannie will team up with good friend and fellow mountain biking enthusiast Kevin Benkenstein to ‘Everest’ the renowned pass until they have climbed the height of the world’s highest peak. “’Everesting’ is a global concept where you do hill repeats on a chosen hill until you have climbed the equivalent height of Mount Everest - 8848 vertical meters,” explains the ‘Dusi Duke Martin Dreyer’. RMB Change a Life MTB Academy' founder and renowned adventurer Martin Dreyer (back) and his wife Jeannie Dreyer (foreground) will team up with their MTB friend Kevin Benkenstein (not pictured) to attempt to 'Everest' Sani Pass in KZN's Southern Drakensberg by summiting the renowned pass no fewer than ten times consecutively. “You choose a charity to raise funds for through this challenge however, globally, anyone ‘Everesting’ in June will raise funds to shelter the victims of the Nepal disaster. “19 000 people were injured and nearly 9 000 people have lost their lives in this tragedy and so Hells 500 have set the massive goal of raising one million US dollars in June to help alleviate the pain and suffering caused by the terrible earthquake. “When Kevin (Benkenstein) approached Jeannie (Dreyer) and I to get involved, we jumped at it both because it’s such a great initiative and because we are passionate about extreme endurance events such as this,” he adds. The enormous volume of vertical meters that lie ahead of the trio is daunting enough however they will also have the demands of the treacherous switch back descents to deal with as well. Add to that the possibility of snow falling in the region on Saturday as well as the chance of having to spend the night on Sani Pass, the challenge seems mind-blowing for most. “We’ll be starting at sunrise on Saturday when the SA border post opens at 6am, riding all day and into the night – where temperatures will drop well below zero.” “The border post gates shut again at 6pm though and so with us expecting to only finish around 2am, we will then have to sleep on the mountain for a few hours before we can go have a hot shower. How exciting is that!” Says a smiling Dreyer. “That angle just adds to our adventure!” Despite the size of the task, the trio is looking forward to the challenge and hope their efforts will resonate with many others. “We know it will be tough but we’re ready to give it our best shot!” confirms the founder of the RMB Change a Life MTB Academy. “ It is likely to be a 20 hour long sufferfest of epic happiness!” “The dirt road of Sani Pass is a pretty gnarly mountain however we feel it’s pretty apt for the challenge of raising awareness for the Nepal earth quake victims, thousands of whom having a more daunting challenge ahead”. “Hopefully others will be able to relate to the size of the challenge we have set ourselves and be inspired to donate $20, $50 or whatever amount they can to our cause and help us reach our goal of contributing $5000 to the Nepal victims! “Deciding beforehand that giving up is not an option, does simplify things! However the more people donate, the more we are obligated to finish and so we really hope others support our efforts!” he adds. For Jeannie – a renowned competitor herself and KwaZulu-Natal’s leading female MTB marathoner – the task’s importance goes beyond the obvious. “I’m so excited to be adding a little love to the lives of others by riding my bike this weekend!” she says. “Our pain is our choice and it will be short-lived! “Please throw in your bundle of love too and help to provide a roof for the Nepalese earthquake victim,” urged the USN/Hi-Tec rider. The Dreyers finished third in the mixed team category of the recent BSi Steel dusi2c stage race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban and Martin believes riding together there and in the countless other MTB challenges together, stands them in good stead ahead of this weekend’s assignment. “We just absolutely love being out on our bikes together and this past weekend’s dusi2c was another great opportunity for us to have done just that,” says Martin. “Jeannie and I get along fantastically and know each other inside out which I’m sure will be hugely important again this weekend! “This is unchartered territory for both of us, which makes the challenge even more challenging but we all just cannot wait to give it a go! Kevin is the most pedigreed biker of us and is super relaxed. I think the three of us will add value in different ways, definitely creating a synergy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.” Those who relate to the hardship of the trio’s challenge of "Everesting" Sani Pass and, through which, engage with supporting the Nepal earthquake victims, can do so by making a pledge at https://www.morethansport.org/team/hells-500/everesting-sani-pass while more information on ‘Everesting’ and Hells 500 can be found at www.everesting.cc and www.hells500.com respectively.
  12. Extreme adventurers Martin Dreyer and his wife Jeannie are about to start one of their most daunting challenges yet as they join a worldwide effort to raise funds for the victims of the earthquakes in Nepal in April by mountain biking up and down Sani Pass in KwaZulu-Natal’s Southern Drakensberg ten times this weekend. Click here to view the article
  13. Hi guys, I am looking to borrow a bb30 MTB crank with a 24-28 ish blade on it. Looking to put it on a venge. Need an ultra low granny gear for a climbing marathon. Will offer money or beer as payment. Just need it for about 16 hours on one Saturday. If you have one lying around that you not using please let me know. Shot
  14. Definition: An Everest attempt is doing repeats of a hill or mountain equal to the height of Mt. Everest in a single ride. A friend and I are going to do an everest attempt on the Steenbras viewpoint climb on Sunday 15th Feb. Anybody who is interested is welcome to join. Even if its just for a few reps, any company would be welcome. Start Time: 5:00 Place: https://goo.gl/maps/iKMIB The rules: http://www.everesting.cc/the-rules/ General summary: Total elevation required 8848m Must be 1 long ride. Not a loop, reps of the same hill only. Each rep must be complete not part reps but the last 1 can be cut short when elevation is reached. Can be a group ride. Stats for Steenbras Dam climb: https://www.strava.com/segments/8907236 Single rep elevation: 256m Single rep distance: 3.4km Average gradient: 7% Number of reps required: 35 Distance covered up hill: 119km Total distance covered: 238km ETA based on 24mins per rep, 14hours ex feed stops. (20mins up at 10km/h avg, 3:45 mins down at 52km/h avg). After doing a 4 rep test last night it looks like we can hold an average up time of 18m30s (11km/h) for quite a while but who knows what we will feel like after 6 hours in the saddle. Disclaimer: 1. The climb is on an open public road. Anyone riding there does so at their own risk. 2. We cannot offer food and water support to any other riders, We will have a support vehicle that can be used to store stuff though.
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