There are many types of cyclists and we could name a long list of them, but on this occasion, there is a group that we would like to highlight for their desire to improve, courage, endurance and great shape. Cyclists who are not easily frightened face big challenges and they have no doubt to organize and prepare themselves to go further assuming the success or the fail to achieve it.
The Hunchback Society, a group of lovers of cycling and sport, without any doubts they are these kinds of riders that we are talking about. With a long history of adventures behind him and, after knowing their last achievement in Barcelona, we could not let pass the opportunity to talk with them to know in detail how was the Everesting that took place just a few days ago in Barcelona.
Our friend Marcel Batlle is a “Hunchback” and has offered us this interview where explains firsthand how it was his experience.
- Many of us already know the EVERESTING concept, but can you explain it with your words for our readers?
As its name suggests, it is something related to the Everest. It consists of climbing the positive gradient of the height of Everest from sea level to the Summit, a total of 8.884 meters.
Everybody and wherever can do it, either an amazing long climbing with much gradient and only having to do 3 times it or a mini climbing where you have to do it 400 times. You just have to follow some rules:
– Do it by bike not on foot
– Go up and down by the same path (no loop)
– The gradient must be done in one way (you can do a short stop, but you cannot go at home and come back the next day to complete the gradient)
– No cutoff in the GPS track.
If you do all these things and you achieve it, your challenge is valid.
If you want to know a little more and see all the Everestings already done, enter into www.everesting.cc
- An inevitable question, why?
Joan Cortés, one of the founders of Hunchback Society and authentic cycling freak went to live in Australia, where he met the founder of the Everesting movement and couldn’t stop talking about it. We thought that we were not as freaks to do so, then we started talking about it, we were postponing it due to other races, until one day we decided that we would make it the first weekend that we could. We would have done the weekend of the Tour of Flanders but we were going to race there. So without thinking about, we did the following week.
- Why did you choose the “Forat del Vent” as a place to carry out the challenge?
We had a very clear thing; it had to be in Barcelona. We studied all the climbs nearby and we were discarding roads due to traffic, too many crosses, we didn’t want a very long climb (to avoid getting cold on the descent)… So our ideal road was Forat del Vent. This is 3, 6km of climb, an average of 5% of slope without any strong ramp and quite enjoyable. Now that we have already done the ‘easy’ we are thinking in the rest of climbs which we discard. Sure that soon we will try to do it again.
- How did you prepare the challenge? Strategy, time, rhythm, etc.
Prepare, prepare… we didn’t prepare anything, in terms of physical training. It was very quick and we didn’t have time for anything
One day we rode to the Forat del Vent at different rates to deduce the times that we could do, to have a reference and be able to do a retro timing. With an estimated time of 18 hours, our idea was to start at 3:00am to finish about 9pm and make the minimum hours of darkness possible and make them at the beginning of the challenge.
Another question was the subject of the lights and battery for GPS because one of the rules is no track cutoff to make the challenge valid. Simply a good external battery will answer the question.
We left the van in a parking half way and it was our base camp where we left clothes to change us, liters and liters of water and varied food for every taste and possible whims that we could have during 20 hours of pedaling and wear.
- From your point of view, what was the best and worst of the Everesting?
The best, everything! And worst, NOTHING! The truth is that we were lucky that many people started with us during the early hours and start riding at 4 o’clock in the morning with 8 people full of energy. During the day came many people to see us and ride with us, that was very enjoyable.
The worst was from 2 to 4pm. It was very hot and we started being sleepy. Lucky that Paco (another Hunchback) came with coffee. That raised us up and gave us wings to complete 51 climbs of Forat del Vent.
- How is the feeling after accumulating a gradient of 9000m+? I understand that very tired, but I’m talking about sensations, feelings, etc.
Sincerely, the truth is that we didn’t finish very tired. We thought that it was going to be worse.
I think that we followed a stable and good rhythm. We were very methodical in terms of food and hydration and that helped us to hang on very well physically.
We have done several crazy things in recent years but this was the first time that we had to reach a minimum of gradient without being a race or nothing previously organized, so the temptation to stop at the van and go home was an option… but it hasn’t been so. Now we know that we can do these distances on our own.
- Tell us a little more about Hunchback Society…
Hunchback was created on 1 May 2009 by Joan Cortés, Carles Puig, Pau Milla and I. Fed up to be federated in clubs which we didn’t have any affinity and wearing horrible kits, we decided to create our own cycling club and thus be able to federate us and anyone who had a little bit of concern about the cycling culture and design. We started having a blog, that due to lack of time is not updated, but that once allowed us to meet people who now are part of Hunchback, as Roc Majoral, my partner of the Everesting. Currently we communicate only by Instagram (@hunchback_society). We make a new kit every year, pay attention to the kit of this year that promises not be unnoticed.