Members of the Medway Velo spent a combined total of 66 hours in the saddle on Sunday, 3 May in order to raise nearly £1,000 for the Kent Air Ambulance.
Using the online platform Zwift the riders connected up their smart turbos and power meters to virtually experience mountainous terrain. As the mountain climbs, resistance is applied to the bike to give the same feel as if the riders were going up a real hill.
The plan was to complete the ascent of 8,848m which is equivalent to Mount Everest as a group however the team obliterated the target and between them climbed a total of 42,183 meters –just under five times up Mount Everest.
Most distance was covered by Rob Kennison who rode 248kms taking in no less than 10,001 meters of climbing taking him a total time of 13hrs 18mins 25secs.
Next big effort was from Steve Smith, who only got back into cycling when lockdown was called. He climbed the 8900m in 15hrs 28mins covering 216km.
Tom Knight only decided to have a bash at the mountain on Sunday morning, 12hrs 28mins later he had ridden 210km and climbed 8900 meters.
Steve Melia-Chamberlain who came up with the Everest plan made it past virtual base camp riding for 8hrs 51mins climbing 5,219 meters and covering 130km until a painful knee forced him to retire.
It was good to see velo riders popping up throughout the day to support the riders including Phil Terrett who completed his stint from his home in Spain making it a real coming together of friends without them actually having to physically meet!
Also supporting the endurance squad were:
Matt Nunn who rode for 3hrs 40mins, 2,246m and 60km
Jon Graciano clocking up 3hrs 37mins, 2,030m and 50km
Andy Smith covered 45km in 3hrs 20mins and climbed 2,281m.
Andy Hawes completed 3hrs 15mins, 1,469m and 70kms
Sally Smith who rode for 2hrs 2mins, 1,137m and 38kms
Steve Melia-Chamberlain, who coordinated the effort said: ‘We wanted to do something epic whilst we are all locked away and raise funds for a cause that as a club we have historically supported. As we may not have the opportunity to do this outside this year, we felt this was an ideal solution.’
At present the money raised for the charity stands at £995 and the team would be delighted to top £1000. If anyone would like to support the effort visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/medwayvelo