29,029ft cycling feat puts Laurie in “Everesting Hall of Fame”
ALSTON Moor cyclist Laurie Lambeth (pictured) was on top of the world after completing an extreme cycling challenge known as “Everesting”.
Laurie, of Nenthead, got on his bike after joining a craze which has arrived in the UK having originated in Australia. Through this, riders try to cycle the height of Everest a minimum of 29,029ft in one single journey. Fewer than 100riders have completed rides worldwide and only a handful of them are from the UK.
Laurie has now added his name to this distinguished list with an extraordinary feat in Eden district. The 31-year-old cycled 15 times up and down England’s highest tarmac road, which leads to Great Dun Fell, between Penrith and Appleby, last Thursday. At the top stands a radar station which is known as the “golf ball”.
“Because it’s impossible to reach the full height of Everest without actually climbing the mountain itself, the rules state that you first pick a hill and then ride hill repeats until the sufficient ascent has been reached. Once you havecompleted the challenge you then claim that hill as your own and get added to the ‘Everesting Hall of Fame’ list,” he said.
“Everesting is a huge personalchallenge, it will push your body to its limit and is available for anyone to try. I already know of several local riders who are planning their very own Everesting attempt in the not too distant future.”
Laurie is thought to be the first Cumbrian to enter the Hall of Fame,having completed his ride in 15hr 17min. He clocked up 140 miles, 31,234ft ofelevation and burned off around 9,000 calories as he tackled a route which includes climbs with 25 per cent.gradients.
“I am chuffed, and over the moon to have done it before someone else has managed to ‘claim’ the hill,” said theprofessional stonemason. “I can honestly say it is one of the hardest things I have ever done.”
A member of the Beacon Wheelers club, Laurie had been considering an ascent of Great Dun Fell in recent weeks,particularly as his latest project for Lambeth Stonework has meant hours working at the summit of nearby Cross Fell.
“I’d been planning the attempt for a few weeks but then heard a rumour that Richmond Cycling Club riders were also planning an attempt at claiming the same hill. I took my chance and decided to go for it. The ride was incredibly tough. I started at 6-30am and completed thechallenge at 9-47pm,” he said.
There were a number of short stops in between the 15 repetitions which allowed Laurie to take on board food which included bananas and rice pudding, and receive a massage to relieve tendonitis.
He passed the magical 29,029ft-mark on an uphill section of the descent on his penultimate ride, but opted to complete a 15th ride just to make sure. “My body was tired at that point but I got halfway up the climb and decided I was going to leave every last bit of me on the hill. I had done the whole day nice and steady until that point, but the last repetition was only two minutes slower than my first,” he said.
He climbed Great Dun Fell just once in preparation for the ride, but is no stranger to extreme events, having completed the gruelling Lake District Fred Whitton Challenge for the past two years. He was 25th out of 2,000 riders in this year’s event.
Laurie added: “Numerous local riders, team-mates and friends joined me atdifferent points throughout the day to offer their support to help keep me sane throughout the ride. I would like to thank my partner Mairi Kerr, younger brother John Lambeth, Beacon Wheelersteam-mates Nigel Stephenson and Craig Nixon, and also Jamie Seaton, Phil Davies, Matthew Brown, Rob Brumfitt, Stephen Robinson, Sue Rigby and Chris Goodier.
“The day was fantastic and I wasoverwhelmed by the amount of people who came out to support me mentally it really made all the difference and made it a day to remember.”