Everesting Flagstaff (Do Epic Sh*t). Revised images.

7 09 2015

There was a problem with the images the first time.  This is a repost of the blog with revised images. Thanks for reading!

This post was going to be about Leadville and the Breck Epic, but that will have to wait.  Drew just pulled off a far more nauseatingly epic feat.  His story below:

“Everesting Flagstaff”

There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.”
Richard Nelson “ The Island Within” 1991

Toni met Drew at the Flag summit for dinner. Still looking fresh!

“Everesting” on a bike is not actually climbing Mt. Everest – that would actually be hard. It is an arbitrary and perversely attractive event dreamed up by a group in Australia to climb 8,848 meters (29,029 feet), the height of Mt Everest. The rules say you have to ride the same single climb over & over with no loops (oh and no walking allowed).

First of all, I am not a climber. I am more of a Rouleur – an all rounder. I can climb well enough to get up hills but would have to give up beer & loose 10 pounds to climb any better. That is not going to happen. Climbing 30,000 feet in a single ride is a big epic adventure for me. A pure climber could make short work of this adventure.

Dan Busse, a fellow Alchemista, actually started all this nonsense for me by suggesting the “Flagstaff 100”. His plan was 100 miles of climbing up Flagstaff. Flagstaff is almost exactly 5 miles from Chataqua to the Super-Flagstaff summit. That would take 20 laps & 40,000 feet of elevation gain to complete. That adventure is still completely open for any takers. I ran across the Everesting concept (http://www.everesting.cc) and decided to pare back my attempt to a mere 29,029 feet of climbing. After some night shift brainstorming with the Hooge-master we decided on the classic Flagstaff summit route. I go uphill the best at a moderate grade – 6% to 9%. The Super Flagstaff route kicks up to 16% and I felt I could not maintain that for the required 15 laps.

Sonya Looney, you complete me.

Sonya Looney, you complete me.

Sonya Looney design socks – “Do Epic Shit”

Flagstaff is the route ridden as the finish climb of the 2012 Colorado Pro Challenge. The leaderboard for times up this route are full of current & former pro tour riders – Joe Dombrowski, Peter Stetina, Taylor Phinney, Kiel Reijan … The KOM is held by Levi Leipheimer (perhaps a bit enhanced) @ 13:15 from Gregory Canyon to the top of Summit road.

I initially underestimated how difficult this would be. Three weeks ago I made an attempt on this course thinking I would knock it of in 12-14 hours. After 9 hours I was only half way & was 100% cooked. I stopped after 100 miles planning on re-tooling for a more reasonable attempt.

I started this ride at 4pm Friday afternoon and rode very easy or the first few laps. I had parked my car at the top & was easily able to refuel every couple laps. Lights on @ 7:30 for my favorite riding. Night riding on Flagstaff is fun. There are very few cars & there is always a great view of the Boulder lights below. My main worry is critters – primarily deer jumping out but bears & lions do hang out there and the bears would like to break into my car for bit of my food. However, I did not get to see any bear or lions and the deer behaved themselves. I hit my usual 3 AM lull with very heavy legs & really slow laps times. I took a brief break & picked up the pace after the rest. At sunrise the usualSaturday Flagstaff riding crowd showed up. I was getting trounced by hundreds of riders, grand-moms on townie bikes, dads towing Burlies … My goal was a finish – not speed & I rode really, really slow – over & over.

27 laps up & down Flagstaff should get me over 29,029 feet of climbing. I decided to add a safety lap in case there were any errors in my calculations. I did not want to start over again. After 28 laps I had easily reached 30,000 feet of climbing but found myself at 196 miles. I certainly did not want to go all the way back down again so I rode 3 laps on the summit road to pick up 4 miles & complete a double century as well as meet the Busse criteria for the “Flagstaff 100”.


1k extra. Just cus.

Epically tired now. That was the hardest ride I have every done. Everesting is out there for everyone. You can pick any climb & launch your own project. I’m happy to discuss logistic & will join you for a lap or two but not the whole thing again. A “dirty Everest” would up the adventure level. Maybe Chapman on a mountain bike. Start planning.

Drew Geer

Check out the suffer score!

Check out the suffer score!

footnote: Drew suggested I do this ride on a singlespeed, since it has never been done.   Um.  No.



One response

9 09 2015
Sonya Looney

Damn, you are BADASS! Now that is epic 🙂 So glad you like the socks! 🙂 We are testing out a new version- I’ll post a picture at Interbike. Keep charging!

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