If you live within a 50km radius of Sydney or Melbourne you’ll know exactly what a sharebike is. You’ll probably recognise them scattered around the streets, next to iconic landmarks, or maybe even peculiarly balanced 10 feet up unsuspecting eucalyptus trees. Bet you haven’t seen anything of the sort heading up towards the summit of Mount Kosciuszko though, but that’s exactly what James and friends did on the City2Summit for charity recently.
On the 7th of April 2018, 3 commandeering, pioneering, incompetent and stupid cyclists ventured out on a 24 hour mission. Armed with 6 Mobikes, 5 support members and 1 camera operator, the team planned to leave Clovelly at 00:00 with the ambition of driving the 459km down to Jindabyne, (in the thick of Kosciuszko National Park) cycling the 100km route to the summit of Mount Kosciusko, riding back down, then jumping back in the vehicles and driving back to Sydney within the 24 hour time frame. The whole idea was excessive, and whole-heartedly aggressive, but it was all in the name of a fantastic cause.
We were raising money to help find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease — a progressive disease with most cases proving fatal. The charity we’re supporting is the Australia Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (AMDF) who do a fantastic job at supporting sufferers and families that are affected by this tragic disease.
You can still support the cause, click here!
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Pre-event training totalled one 80km training ride through the Royal National Park, with the ride giving us just shy of 1/3rd of the event day elevation we would need to cover. In addition we had numerous 4.00am starts, riding around Centennial Park. Making friends and providing humour to the many triathlon groups using the park, we joined in with a few hill sprints (not too hilly, as it was 4.00am…) The young, spritely and naive City2Summit team felt as prepared as one would expect for such a ridiculous undertaking.
Starting on time for a bunch of millennials (i.e. 15 minutes late) we said goodbye to the sound of the rolling waves in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and began the 6 hour journey down to the Snowy Mountains. All was going to plan when, just south of Canberra, nature decided to send a few of its finest obstacles our way in the shape and patriotically large form of two kangaroos.
One found a warm spot lodged between the Ford Transit’s grill and radiator, while the other took a nasty glancing knock from the Transit, leaving the poor animal battered and bruised. He certainly had the last laugh though, redeeming himself by taking half of the van’s headlights with him. Almost a game changer, if we had any sense.
Plodding on, we arrived in Jindabyne at 5.30am. Just enough time to get the bikes out, inspect for damage, realise there was nothing we could do about the damage, and have some breakfast.
Setting off at 7.00am, it’s safe to say that after 4 pit stops and the 3.5 hours that it took us to grind out the initial 20km, we were all subconsciously wondering who came up with this utterly stupid idea and how on earth were we going to make it all the way up to the summit with the cartilage in our knees still remotely attached to our bones.
When I realised that the culprit for the idea was actually me, and that I still had a packet of Co-codomol in my pocket from the previous weekend’s fast way out of a hangover, we had no option but to continue.
With donations flooding in, and nothing but loyal support from the support crew (after they ditched us to find a breakfast spot) we made it to the summit of Mount Kosciusko after a total of 7.5 hours of blood, sweat and 3 lousy gears.
Unfortunately, due to National Park rulings, we were not allowed to ride the final 2km up to the summit. This ended up providing a fantastic moment to celebrate our huge achievement, with the riders, support team and fantastic cameraman Mark reaching the top together.
Unfortunately for the riders however, this was only halfway.
After consuming an inadvisable amount of the novice endurance athlete’s staple — tuna pasta bake — we embarked back down to Jindabyne across the undulating plateau from the summit. We enjoyed the 20km home stretch of no pedalling, wind-in-your-hair cycling, through the sunset hours and golden light, in a beautiful and renowned landscape.
It was a very proud moment when all 3 riders blew their dynamo lights by reaching the monumental, Tour de France-esque, top trip speed of 59.6 km/h and making light work of our average trip speed of 12.9 km/h. We pulled into the 100km point, and finish line, 12.5 hours after heading out.
Alas, the work was not done yet. After a sniff of Kosciuszko’s finest pale ale, and a facefull of Grainwaves (always the athletes choice), we bundled back into our sorry-looking Transit van to race back to Sydney within the allotted time frame.
With emotions drained and minds tiring, we made several necessary stops at everyone’s favourite and filthy, fast food stop in order to replenish calories and keep ourselves wide-eyed. Safe to say it worked, with the whole team returning to Sydney within the allocated 24 hour time target.
Celebrations came in the form of a high five and a hug, whilst we put the pale ales on pause until the morning came around and opted to rest up after a monumental 24 hour effort from everyone involved.
The Bike Stats
Elevation Gain — 2060m
Average Speed — 12.9 km/h
Max Speed — 59.6 km/h
Total Time — 12:29:46
Moving Time — 11:36:20
A massive thank you to everyone that donated to the City2Summit effort. It was a fantastic experience to organise the event and raise so much money for such a worthy cause.
The Camera Work
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If you, like James and his friends lack a few brains cells, but more than make up for it with sense of adventure, feel free to get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonkers Adventurers Everywhere