David Kleynhans recently completed his first attempt at cycling the height of Mount Everest by doing repeated circuits up and down Bainskloof Pass in the Western Cape.
Unfortunately Kleynhans did not achieve the full ascent of 8 848m to equal the elevation of the world’s highest peak, despite cycling for almost 26 hours, much of it in chilly overnight conditions.
“After arriving in Wellington with a friend we first secured my time board close to the start at the side of the road. We then proceeded up to the top of the climb, which was 12.3km of Bainskloof Pass.”
Kleynhans said he had selected a picnic spot and hiking-trail parking area as his turnaround point.
“We got my bike ready and made the final preparations. I then took an easy cycle down to the bottom to start my journey of hill repeats up the pass.
“I officially started at 12.30pm on Saturday, April 27.”
Kleynhans said he settled into a riding routine of one-hour to reach the summit and about 20 minutes to get back down.
“Throughout the afternoon the weather stayed warm with little to no wind. As the evening approached the temperature started to drop and the wind picked up. Once it became cooler I started to pull on my thermal shirts and shorts.
“With three lights on the bike, I was really lit up.”
He added that around 1am it was very cold, so he put on his jacket and tights. He continued with his hill repeats throughout the night.
“I kept forcing myself to consume my energy drinks, protein shakes and water.”
He said as the morning progressed he was greeted by other cyclists who were out for a ride and by 8am the temperature had skyrocketed again.
“At about 10am fellow cyclists from City Cycling Club arrived to give me moral support.”
Kleynhans said on nearing 26 hours on the bike he had completed 14 laps.
“After a careful discussion about the calculations and elevation gained per lap, I was led to believe I might have already ridden enough laps.
“Thus my first attempt at Everesting had come to an end. I had reached 6 453m.
“I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement.”