The Esuubi Team Blog

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By: Richard

02/06/2016: Everest Conquered!

After a mammoth near 23 hours worth of cycling on Monday (and the early hours of Tuesday morning!) Richard and Andy became only the 1096th and 1097...

By: Richard

11/05/2016: Everest for Esuubi

Richard has been an Esuubi supporter for a number of years. On May 30th he and Andy Williams will be attempting something quite crazy - ascending t...

By: Janet

25/04/2016: My heart still feels like it is in Uganda

We have been back in the UK just three days now and in some ways my heart still feels like it is in Uganda.  Looking at all the various pictur...

By: Peter Y

15/04/2016: Ending our time in Mityana

This is our last Ekiwumulo day so not a great deal to report. On our way there some small bundles of clothes that would have been taken to a villag...

By: Doris

12/04/2016: Returning after eight years

I was very excited, if a bit fearful, when I heard that Esuubi were arranging another trip to Ekiwumulo. I applied and was accepted as a member of ...

By: Josie

11/04/2016: A day of "rest"

Hello from Mityana Uganda. What are my thoughts about the first week of our trip as this is the 2nd visit to Esuubi and then about today. ...

By: Ursula

09/04/2016: Saturday "day" fever

Saturdays are special at Ekiwumulo. No school for the children, so only the “residents” are about. We get to spend a lot of time with a...

By: Jayne

08/04/2016: Back to work

After being rained off yesterday we were excited to get back to work again today. We have lots to do and are determined to get the jobs done before...

Post 1 to 8 of 79

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Posted By: Richard

Everest for Esuubi

Richard has been an Esuubi supporter for a number of years. On May 30th he and Andy Williams will be attempting something quite crazy - ascending the height of Everest on their bikes in just a day. As he prepares for the feat Richard has been kind enough to provide us with a few thoughts on how he's feeling and how the training's going.

If you want to support Andy and Richard in this ride, you can donate at esuubi.org.uk/everest4esuubi

Everest. 29,029 feet. It seems so obvious now to setup a challenge of riding your bike up and down the same hill until you’ve reached 29,029ft of climbing. That’s exactly what Hells500 did a few years ago and Everesting was born. Since then, something like just 500 people have achieved it and I believe less than 100 in the UK.

I have done one "silly bike thing" before, that of riding John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE) as a non-stop team relay. As you can imagine it was both a brilliant and awful experience (and a wonderful one on reflection) and so when we heard about it, the idea of Everesting struck a chord with myself and Andy Williams, a fellow non-stop JOGLE’r.

So, we picked a date and a hill. Once you Everest a hill, it belongs to you. And so I have this theory that the hill should mean something to you. I grew up on a hill in Eastbourne, my mum still lives there and that was reason enough! It’s half a mile of very quiet residential road, not too steep (average 4.8% for you cycling nerds) and in easy reach of the support crew but most importantly it also provided the chance to ride for Esuubi which was the icing on the cake. I did a test ride last summer of 17 reps which was actually nowhere near as boring as I expected, although I did learn that once I thought about stopping my legs did not want to play anymore. It was taking an average of 3:20 per ascent at 200w (more stuff for the cycling nerds!) with 1:15 descent, which makes a simple of 5 minutes per rep or 12 reps per hour.

It seemed many months away when we put it in the calendar and here we are with three weeks to go. Training is going ok - it’s always so hard to tell! I had some good rides on my summer bike recently (which has a power meter) so I can properly track my fitness and it tells me that I am +30 watts over a local 11 minute climb. For those non cyclists, that means I'm generating 15% more power than I did last summer, and power (as opposed to speed which can easily impacted by even minor changes in weather, equipment etc.) is the only reliable way to track fitness on the bike. It also means I am effectively half a Bradley Wiggins... I'll take that!

The power readings are very heartening but I must keep up the evening turbo rides along with riding to work every day I can. I'm lighter than I was for JOGLE at just under 70kg and will keep tracking it each week as it will be critical for so much climbing. I am learning that I am certainly slower in the freezing cold we've had over the winter (and recently) than a 8 degree day – hopefully the end of May will be kind to us. A headwind all day would be very depressing but hopefully it is a tail / cross wind off the sea. I am 10% ahead on cumulative hours than I was for JOGLE which is also good to know (thanks Veloviewer for the incredibly useful stats you provide!). Andy is recovered from his minor crash (top tip: don’t chase downhills KOMs on 40mph wind!) and is also increasing his speed during his commutes to and from work. Neither of us have done more than a two hour ride since last August and there are no long rides planned so we'll be applying Sudacrem every break!

We’ve had a minor faff in the build-up – I calculated 168 reps via Strava from my test ride but the GPS reading didn’t look right and so Veloviewer kindly(!) corrected for us, which added another 32 reps to make it around 200 (Oh dear!) Our outline plan sees us starting at 05:00 and finishing at 21:30, riding for two hours and then stopping for 5 minutes to restock bottles and food but we know from JOGLE that plans rarely survive contact once you start riding. We plan to stop every 2 hours for food / drink restock and eat ~20g of carbs every 3 reps, or 15 minutes. I had my wobbles on JOGLE when I didn’t eat enough - I distinctly remember screaming at the wind during one leg and being thoroughly upset with life, which was entirely fixed with some warm food and a little nap!

It's very cliché to say something like "whatever we do, it is nothing compared to what the children are going through" but I will certainly be thinking of them when the going gets tough. Please do come down to Eastbourne and cheer us on if you can - there will be lots of events throughout the day at number 81. See you there!

If you want to support Andy and Richard in this ride, you can find out more about the events that will be happening throughout the day and / or donate at esuubi.org.uk/everest4esuubi.

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