Around four months ago, we discovered the cycling challenge Everesting, via social media, we thought it was crazy but both of us were up for a challenge. Everesting is whereby you choose a hill and cycle up and down, to reach the vertical height of Mount Everest at a whopping 8848 metres (29,029 feet) elevation. Only around 300 people around the world have completed this challenge successfully. Around December we committed ourselves to undertake Everesting, we initially chose Ide Hill near Westerham but we chose to train on Kidds Hill in Colemans Hatch, this hill was more difficult but we were up for the challenge and eventually chose to complete Everesting on Kidds Hill otherwise known by cyclists as ‘the wall’, we would need to climb this hill 65 times.
For the next three months we trained every week on a Sunday cycling up and down Kidds Hill, in training we only ever cycled up and down the hill 23 times only a third of what was required for us to complete Everesting. We also thought of doing this challenge in aid of supporting the local community so we chose the East Grinstead foodbank that supports families and individuals have access to food at times when they need it most. Finally the day arrived, after only a few hours of sleep due to nerves, we kicked off the day at 5.45am, it was cold, we took a break at 10am at that point we had completed 18 reps of Kidds Hill. By 2pm after 8 hours of cycling, we had reached half way completing 32 reps of Kidds Hill. By 8.30pm after 14 and a half hours on the bike we only had 15 reps to go and were hoping to finish by midnight. At 9pm Przemek developed excruciating pain in his right knee due to an injury he sustained 6 months ago when hit by a car on his bike but he cycled through the pain. Just before 2am we descended Kidds Hill for the last time, the last rep was a fantastic feeling of achievement and this gave us a renewed energy to push on up Kidds Hill.
We would like to thank everyone that came out to support us, local residents, friends and family. A special Thankyou to East Grinstead foodbank who set up a stall, provided us with shelter, blankets, tea, coffee, cakes, encouragement and lots of support throughout the day and night. We would like to also thank Nick at Brand Cycles in Felbridge who set up and completed maintenance on our bikes. We would have not been able to complete this challenge without all the support we have received. After 20 hours on the bike, cycling 223km, 8848m elevation we are pleased and extremely thankful for all the donations that we have received in aid of East Grinstead foodbank, we have raised altogether around £1000 which is being matched pound for pound by Barclays Bank in East Grinstead.
Przemek Jersz & Darren Pollard