Climbing the height of Mount Everest in a single day on a bike requires a different type of training regime. Rolling around the back roads of Tipperary and Waterford, looking in over ditches isn’t ideal. However today, as I focused upon my Everest training programme I found myself looking into rather than over ditches.
The day began by meeting the lads from Carrick on the back road to Clonmel. We headed off into the wind out towards Clogheen. The roads were covered in mud and water. The spray from the wheels covered each of us in a mucky tar that made us look as if we had been to Roubaix and back.
We covered 90k in 3 hours, and as we passed through Clonmel on the return journey I swung a right and headed for my chosen destination for ‘Everesting’ Tickincor, which you can read more about here in The Climb.
First time up with a good 3 hours in the legs was fine, but when I turned and dropped back down to face it for a second time I felt the pain that I was looking for. I’m going to have to get used to it when facing 14 – 16 hours of climbing.
Second time up as my legs and lungs began to scream I managed to find a novel way to distract myself. I began observing the rubbish in the ditch. At a slow rate of forward progress I managed to get a good overview of the eating, drinking and socialising habits of those who travel up Tickincor under cover of darkness. This is what I learned ;
- Lucozade in bottles is the drink of choice as far as the first entrance into the wood.
- Coke in cans then takes over. So much so that I began to wonder if a homeless New Yorker with a shopping trolly saw it would they consider it striking gold. (they collect cans and get 5 cents per can for recycling them)
- Further up diet coke bottles take over before red bull and disposable coffee bring you to the summit.
- Lyons’ is the most popular chipper in Clonmel, followed by McDonalds and the odd customer of Miss Ellies. Supermacs customers must not visit Tickincor.
- Benson and hedges is the most popular cigarette followed by Marlboro lights and surprisingly Pall Mall.
- Letters from France are discarded without a signature other than DNA.
- Flat screen tv’s are all that is wanted and old tube tv’s cannot even be sold on Done Deal by the looks of the ditch.
- Nissan cars seem to loose their hubcaps on Tickincor more than any other.
- Lotto scratch cards do not seem to produce a winner in at least 14 cases of those who visit Tickincor.
- Jaffa cakes are the most popular type of biscuit.
- At least 7 people who drink bottled water are not environmentally friendly.
- Nappies when discarded and torn open have crystals that fill up and look like broken glass.
On the way back down I learned something totally different ;
- Disc brakes are incredible when descending in the wet.
That really does deserve a little heading of it’s own. Into a headwind on wet roads I descended Powers the Pot and managed to find myself in the joint number 3 spot out of 1066 on Strava without really pushing too hard. I know, everyone always says that, but the time was made up on the blind drop off left hander and at the T junction at the end where I could leave it really late to brake.
On the flat the disc brakes aren’t all that noticeable but descending they are another level completely. The bike itself, a Giant Defy Advanced SL 1 is really hitting the spot too. There will be a full review to follow but for now I must admit that I am almost as impressed with the entire bike as I am with the Disc brakes.
The plan is to take on the Everesting Challenge in late May and I am hoping to raise a few bob for a local charity too so watch this space.