Cy­cle chal­lenge proves most Ever­est­ing

Nelson Mail - - FRONT PAGE - SA­MAN­THA GEE

An epic part­ner­ship

4000 fig­ures for ex­hi­bi­tion Martin Ni­chols first heard about an ex­treme cy­cling chal­lenge a year ago and thought it was ‘‘ridicu­lous’’.

But now the Nel­son cy­clist has knocked it off – Ever­est­ing, that is.

Ever­est­ing is an ex­treme test of an am­a­teur cy­clist’s en­durance by climb­ing a des­ig­nated hill or moun­tain and as­cend­ing the equiv­a­lent height of Mt Ever­est, 8848 me­tres, within 24 hours and with­out sleep.

‘‘I thought never in a mil­lion years,’’ said Ni­chols.

‘‘But it gnawed away at me and I had to put it to bed one way or an­other.’’

When plan­ning be­gan for his daugh­ters So­phie, 10, and Lily, 8 to go with their Atawhai Girl Guides and Brown­ies group to the Guide Jam­boree in Christchurch next year he saw it as an op­por­tu­nity to com­bine the chal­lenge with fundrais­ing for the trip.

He said the Jam­boree would be a rich ex­pe­ri­ence for the girls, who would make new friends and a chance for Lily, who has Down syn­drome, to par­tic­i­pate with her peers.

Ni­chols, who de­scribes him­self as more of a week­end war­rior than a com­peti­tor, cal­cu­lated that he needed to do 130 as­cents of Bayview Road to reach the same el­e­va­tion as Mt Ever­est. Each as­cent was be­tween 68 to 69 me­tres. He added on a few ex­tra as­cents just to be sure.

‘‘You get to de­scend Ever­est too, that’s the fun bit.’’

He chose Bayview Rd be­cause the cul-de-sac was close to home, had low traf­fic flow, smooth seal, cor­ners that weren’t too sharp for as­cents and a toi­let near the top.

Ni­chols got on his bike at 5pm on Thurs­day, cy­cling through the night to fin­ish within 24 hours on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

‘‘It is best to do the sec­ond half of the chal­lenge in day­light when the body is fa­tigued.’’

Strat­egy is a big part of it, with

Comes to Abel Tas­man

Photo: ALDEN WIL­LIAMS/FAIR­FAX NZ

Martin Ni­chols is on top of the world af­ter com­plet­ing an Ever­est­ing cy­cle chal­lenge – climb­ing the equiv­a­lent altitude of Mt Ever­est in more than 130 as­cents of Nel­son’s Bayview Rd.

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