A big day on the bike for Kumukahi

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After 217km and nearly 20 hours of hard climbing, this is what it was all about (Photo: R24)
After 217km and nearly 20 hours of hard climbing, this is what it was all about (Photo: R24)
  • Despite a Covid setback, the Kumukahi Everesting attempt was a success
  • Could you ride 217km in your living room or garage? While climbing 8848m on a bike?
  • Thuto Skweyiya and Ria Mathopa did just that 

Everesting is never easy, but it helps have a goal that transcends its pure cycling achievement.

Three local riders - Thuto Skweyiya, Ria Mathopa, and Tsheli Lujabe - wanted to do something worthy for women’s month and decided to attempt an indoor Everesting challenge on women's day. 

Riding a Zwift route that would gain them the 8848m of total climbing also meant nearly a full day on the indoor trainer.

Although riding on a trainer has the advantage of keeping any prevailing wind at bay, it doesn’t make the taxing aspect of riding that much vertical climbing any easier.

There is no easy way of riding from sea level to the top of Table Mountain eight times in a row, but that is what these riders did.

Thuto Skweyiya did her Everesting women's ride in the garage (Photo: R24)

Riding through the third wave

Unfortunately, Tsheli Lujabe tested for Covid the weekend before this women’s day attempt. She will complete her Everesting attempt once in late September or early October. 

One of the most challenging issues of a virtual Everesting ride is the monotony of being indoors.

Impressive and immersive as Zwift is, it can’t replicate the freedom and inspiration of riding and suffering outside on a real riding route – feeling that sense of conquering momentum.

indoor riding
Ria Mathopa had some live support during her near 20-hour ride (Photo: R24)

All those base miles for summer - and the some

Thuto Skweyiya and Ria Mathopa made good on their Zwift Everesting commitments in 16- and 20-hours despite the challenges. A huge day on the indoor bike, totalling 217km, but a worthy one.

The riders might have been slower with each successive climb up the Alpe de Zwift virtual route, but there was support from riders who joined for portions of the ride.

Raising money for the Bethany Home for abused women and children was the goal and the Everesting ladies managed support of more than R50 000.

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