16 Sep, 2015

Riding up Everest

Charles Zeelie, Godfrey Tiedermann and Alan Warrener check out the view from the top of Linksfield Ridge. They will be doing an Everesting attempt on this hill during October.

What has five enthusiastic cyclists, a rather nasty Johannesburg hill and a whole lot of passion to raise funds for a needy cause? It is the PinkDrive Everest Linksfield Ridge Challenge of course!

They will huff and pant up the Beryl Street, Linksfield Ridge 83 times on 2 October.

Alan Warrener, Charles Zeelie, Gareth Mackenzie, Godfrey Tiedermann and Lionel Heyl are doing this gruelling “Everest” attempt – which is the act of ascending the height of Mount Everest, 8 840 metres – to raise at least R100 000 for PinkDrive.

“We are doing this ride (a climb) in honour of every person who fought cancer and did their own ‘climb’ and to raise as much money as possible to help this awesome NGO save lives,” explained Alan.

Godfrey says that he has completed a number of sport events like Comrades, Iron Man, World Games and ultra-distance Audaxes, but the Everest attempt is perhaps the most serious.

“Cycling through the night and into the next day, taking on the climb of more than 80 repeats, which is over 200 kilometres,” commented Godfrey, “but I decided to take on this challenge as it will be for a great cause!”

For Charles, it is a challenge where your mental side gets tested to the extreme.

“Over the past few weeks I have had a few friends who said that either they or family members have been diagnosed with cancer. In a way, it’s a light that a few crazy guys are prepared to take on a challenge for a cause that will help others get scanned and detect cancer early on,” he commented.

But the Linksfield Ridge route will not be a push-over, and the five riders will have to demonstrate pretty good bike handling skills to achieve their goal.

Alan explained: “Known as ‘The Switchbacks’, this is a notorious climb in our area and it looks to be one of the hardest Everesting routes yet attempted. There are four sharp corners on a minus nine degree descent, so we will work on the way up and on the way down.”

And all five riders have trained for it by doing repeats on the very hill where the attempt will take place but they all believe that it isn’t only the legs that need the training, but also the mind. However, they will no doubt get strength and motivation from their cause.

“PinkDrive is an NGO which has, as its mission, the prevention of breast and testicular cancer. It does this by educating people in all walks of life and running mobile mammography units,” explained Alan further, “this education and screening program saves lives! I especially admire the ‘More Balls Than Most’ initiative which teaches us boys to look after our nuts, know the danger signs and not be scared to get life-saving treatment,” Alan explained.

Alan, Charles, Gareth, Godfrey and Lionel appeal to residents on their route to be actively involved in their attempt by wrapping their tree trunks and gateposts in pink, lighting pink candles during the evening of the attempt and dressing in pink.

If you want to help them reach their targeted amount, you can pay donations directly into the following account:
Name: It’s Climbing
Bank: Nedbank
Branch: Nicolway
Branch code: 152208
Account number: 1107872235
Use your name or company name as payment reference

Raymond Travers

Raymond Travers

Modern Cyclist Editor |