Two cyclists ride Box Hill 73 times to bag an 'Everest'

Roger Barr and Ciaran O'Hara took 23 hours to complete epic challenge

by Simon_MacMichael   August 17, 2014  

Box Hill (amandabhslater via www.flickr.com)

A pair of cyclists have succeeded in an attempt to ‘Everest’ Box Hill – by riding up and down the Surrey beauty spot 73 times within 23 hours.

‘Everesting’ is a craze fuelled by the performance-tracking website, Strava, that sees riders attempt to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest’s height, 8,800 metres, within a single day.

Yesterday, we reported how Australian James Middlemiss had become the first paracyclist to join the Everesting Hall of Fame after riding up his local hill 64 times in a day to beat 44,000 other entrants to win this year’s Rapha Rising Strava Hill Climb Challenge.

Now, Roger Barr from Hampton and Ciaran O'Hara of Enfield are set to join him after starting their effort on Box Hill at 5am on Friday morning and carrying on until they had equalled an ascent of Everest, reports Get Surrey.

Mr Barr told the website his exertions had caused him "a few blisters and a bad knee," adding, "I feel really tired."

He said:  "I've done a lot of marathons and I'm as tired as after one of them.”

The pair completed their ride just before 3.30am on Saturday morning, and he said his plans for the rest of the day would revolve around "eating and eating."

He went on: "My wife wanted to go shopping but I'm just too tired.”

He also acknowledged the support he and his cycling companion had received, saying: "It was amazing how many people got behind it.

"At 11pm on Friday a lady turned up with fish and chips for my dad and pasta for us. And at midnight there were four guys cycling along with us.”

However, he added that he and his friend had endured "a few motorists yelling abuse."

Their efforts now need to be verified by Strava for their Everesting achievement to be officially acknowledged.

45 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

To right. Just go for a bloody ride. What is the point. I think that I am going to be the first man, oops person to rise over 15 cattle grids carrying 18 empty coke bottles.

posted by upinthehills [17 posts]
17th August 2014 - 21:10

27 Likes

Olympus Monsing will be the next thing then, or maybe Rheasilviaing.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
17th August 2014 - 21:16

28 Likes

upinthehills wrote:
To right. Just go for a bloody ride. What is the point. I think that I am going to be the first man, oops person to rise over 15 cattle grids carrying 18 empty coke bottles.

Good lord, cheer up. As someone has already pointed out to the last person that asked why didn't they just go out for a ride - they did. So they used a sort of artificial challenge to use as a target but, so what ? It prompted them to do something slightly mad, doing something they obviously like doing - and it's something they and some others can talk about, and maybe take pride in, for time to come.

It's also quite impressive.... what's the problem with that or with a cycling site reporting on it ?

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [542 posts]
17th August 2014 - 22:07

32 Likes

And by the way, this wasn't just for Strava-fame. Ciaran was raising cash for a hospice in Northern Ireland. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/everestingboxhill

posted by deblemund [164 posts]
17th August 2014 - 22:25

23 Likes

Did they use oxygen towards the end?

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [188 posts]
17th August 2014 - 22:27

14 Likes

.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [494 posts]
17th August 2014 - 22:37

13 Likes

What a pointless exercise. At least doing something like climbing the Three Peaks has a proper goal, but riding up and down Box Hill 73 times is mental.

If they had climbed the Alp d'Huez, then the following cols with in a day - the Croix de Fer, the Iseran, the Galiber, the Izoard, la Bonette then this would be seriously impressive and a goal worth aiming for but to cycle 73 times up Box Hill as if climbing Everest to get a Strava prize is just plain stupid. It's cheating as well as no way do you have to deal with the affects of altitude. Who ever got altitude sickness climbing Box Hill Rolling On The Floor ?

Airzound

posted by Airzound [494 posts]
17th August 2014 - 22:40

19 Likes

OldRidgeback wrote:
Olympus Monsing will be the next thing then, or maybe Rheasilviaing.

Would this be a Cyclocross challenge?

Seriously this is not a Strava challenge, click on the link. You [might] criticize it as it was dreamt up by Australians, but the challenge is no more artificial than any route you choose to pick. If you need a specific goal to achieve something epic then so be it. The same people mocking this as stupid will have been applauding the blokes who took a Boris bike up Mont Ventoux.

Airzound, please provide us with evidence of your day climbing over 8000m in the Alps or something suitably epic.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
17th August 2014 - 23:20

19 Likes

It's quite staggering to hear "What's the point?" from fellow cyclists. Those are words you expect to hear from the mouths of Jeremy Clarkson and the Daily Mail brigade about cyclists and cycling in general.
These guys have done something a bit mad and really, really hard within a set of rules outlined by the Everesting movement (it has to be one climb, repeated) - something I'll wager very few if any of you moany sods could do even if you wanted.

So take a listen to yourselves and wind your necks in.

If you want to criticise based on repetitiveness, there's always the omnium.

posted by smernicki [30 posts]
18th August 2014 - 4:28

15 Likes

I did a version of this up Ditchling Beacon a handful of times, which isn't enough to make a dent in any records. But it was on a singlespeed, so perhaps a multiplier could be used.

posted by Sam Walker [72 posts]
18th August 2014 - 4:37

13 Likes

I have a 1 metre hill local to me, I'm going to ride over it until I've everested. It's heroic.

posted by Beaufort [184 posts]
18th August 2014 - 6:00

16 Likes

bikeboy76 wrote:
OldRidgeback wrote:
Olympus Monsing will be the next thing then, or maybe Rheasilviaing.

Would this be a Cyclocross challenge?

Seriously this is not a Strava challenge, click on the link. You [might] criticize it as it was dreamt up by Australians, but the challenge is no more artificial than any route you choose to pick. If you need a specific goal to achieve something epic then so be it. The same people mocking this as stupid will have been applauding the blokes who took a Boris bike up Mont Ventoux.

Airzound, please provide us with evidence of your day climbing over 8000m in the Alps or something suitably epic.

I'm not mocking it as being stupid. I'm just suggesting that it's in the nature of these things that once a precedent has been set, someone else will want to take things that bit further.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
18th August 2014 - 7:52

8 Likes

It's not quite the same thing is it?

I have more respect for the people who cycle John O'Groats to Land's End or round the world than with this. Sure the height is the same but let's not trivialise a mountain that requires great feats of human endurance and which has claimed many lives. Cool

stenmeister's picture

posted by stenmeister [76 posts]
18th August 2014 - 8:28

8 Likes

I am just appalled by some of the comments on there. Instead of sitting around complaining about the particular type of cycling someone else used to raise money for a hospice for dying people, why not just donate at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/everestingboxhill

posted by deblemund [164 posts]
18th August 2014 - 8:39

22 Likes

I'm sure no-one is saying that this achievement is exactly the same as climbing the real Everest. But does it really matter as long as the two guys involved enjoyed it and felt a sense of achievement from it? And if they raised some money for a good cause then that's got to be a good thing, right?

posted by steviewevie [25 posts]
18th August 2014 - 8:42

9 Likes

bikeboy76 wrote:
cut and paste loads of stuff anyone could have googled

It was a wind up, mate.

posted by Nick T [844 posts]
18th August 2014 - 9:01

11 Likes

Dave Atkinson wrote:
bikeboy76 wrote:

Can I do a Mariana Trench challenge for the most descending in a day. Where would the longest continuous negative gradient?

The road from the top of Mt. Haleakala on Maui, Hawaii, is 35 miles and a shade over 10,000 feet of descending. might be a good place to start. you'll only need to do four.

I'm off to research helicopter shuttle costs in Hawaii!

posted by jacknorell [581 posts]
18th August 2014 - 9:22

9 Likes

Airzound wrote:
What a pointless exercise. At least doing something like climbing the Three Peaks has a proper goal, but riding up and down Box Hill 73 times is mental...

Gosh, isn't it fun (and easy) to belittle the efforts of some people who actually went out and rode their bikes to complete a tough challenge? It's still 8,000m of climbing in a single ride. There's nothing 'proper' about any arbitrarily chosen route - the three peaks is just for the sake of it, as it this. I know which one I'd rather do (Three Peaks) and it makes me respect the effort here all the more.

But since it is so easy, can we assume you'll be knocking one out next weekend, just to prove it? Think Hinault and Paris-Roubaix - in order to be credible in your assertion that it's all balls, you actually do it first. I'd be more likely to take you seriously then.

posted by step-hent [704 posts]
18th August 2014 - 9:23

8 Likes

Bl**dy impressive effort.

Must have been mind-numbingly boring though!

posted by jacknorell [581 posts]
18th August 2014 - 9:25

8 Likes

Has anyone ever summited Everest and exclaimed, "woohoo, I just did the equivalent of 73 times up Box Hill!!"? Thinking

Him Up North's picture

posted by Him Up North [238 posts]
18th August 2014 - 9:55

17 Likes

Bloody hell, what a load of moaning minnies.

That's a crapload of ascending and a hell of a long ride. I got bored after three loops of Mott Street/Lippitts Hill a while back. Big Grin

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [958 posts]
18th August 2014 - 10:50

12 Likes

There is a rise of about 3 metres from my house to the village pub, so 'Everesting' the pub would require 2934 visits. I reckon I've just about made it over the past 20 years - Cheers !!

posted by lycra vs lager [20 posts]
18th August 2014 - 15:22

5 Likes

That's nothing, I'm going to complete the 30 mile cocaine assisted cross country hop. Just as silly.

posted by Dropped [40 posts]
18th August 2014 - 18:10

2 Likes

''There is a rise of about 3 metres from my house to the village pub, so 'Everesting' the pub would require 2934 visits. I reckon I've just about made it over the past 20 years - Cheers !!''

you've definitely earned a pint on visit 2,395 then I'd say Smile

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [173 posts]
18th August 2014 - 18:22

3 Likes

the reason Sherpa Tenzing looks so nervous in that photo with the union flag on everest in 1953 is because Hilary's having a proper go at him from behind the camera for forgetting to pack the garmin and buggering their chances of a rapha badge

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [173 posts]
18th August 2014 - 18:31

5 Likes

I think it's crazy but rather I.pressive too. Makes me want to have a go and see if I could a dually do it.

Some of us cannot afford the time or expense to go to the alpse or wherever, so something difficult and close to home is a great idea.

I hope the raised a good sum for the good cause too.

Hats off to them Applause

Endorphines going up and adrenaline going down, who needs drugs?

posted by banzicyclist2 [264 posts]
18th August 2014 - 19:29

7 Likes

step-hent wrote:
Airzound wrote:
What a pointless exercise. At least doing something like climbing the Three Peaks has a proper goal, but riding up and down Box Hill 73 times is mental...

Gosh, isn't it fun (and easy) to belittle the efforts of some people who actually went out and rode their bikes to complete a tough challenge? It's still 8,000m of climbing in a single ride. There's nothing 'proper' about any arbitrarily chosen route - the three peaks is just for the sake of it, as it this. I know which one I'd rather do (Three Peaks) and it makes me respect the effort here all the more.

But since it is so easy, can we assume you'll be knocking one out next weekend, just to prove it? Think Hinault and Paris-Roubaix - in order to be credible in your assertion that it's all balls, you actually do it first. I'd be more likely to take you seriously then.

I have no desire to do anything as pointless whether for charity or otherwise. The Three Peaks challenge is not repetitive and pointless unlike climbing Box Hill 73 times ………………………....

Airzound

posted by Airzound [494 posts]
19th August 2014 - 1:49

3 Likes

Airzound wrote:
I have no desire to do anything as pointless whether for charity or otherwise. The Three Peaks challenge is not repetitive and pointless unlike climbing Box Hill 73 times ………………………....

If the point was to make money for charity, then it wasn't pointless was it ? The total elevation was a target, Box Hill is a well known climb that's had a lot of media exposure in the last few years and it's presumably not an onerous distance away for the riders.

Of course there are far more attractive challenges - in terms of the surroundings and their execution - and there's less perceived kudos than doing a much smaller number of higher peaks but doing that sort of repeat has it's own, added issues i'd imagine. The main one being boredom you'd have thought, which hardly makes it easier, and summiting a vast Alpine peak for the third time would no doubt inspire you more and have a vastly better view - neither intrinsically have much 'point'.

What I hadn't expected was the wave of negative commentary on here and some folk seem to be taking this Everesting thing waaay more seriously than it's intended to be, it's just a fun way to achieve a target. No-one is comparing the people who do it with the mountaineers tried, and some died, climbing that peak nor demanding they get the same recognition. It's an iconic image to use to give a bit extra impetus - maybe for folk just trying to get some more miles in or, as in this case, use it to do some good.

As for this particular event, instead of more posts whinging on about how it's "not as good as my favourite challenge", why don't the potential authors use that energy to do what someone suggested earlier - go and donate *.

..or perhaps I just need to lower my expectations.

* Ah, but of course that would contradict their view of it all.

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [542 posts]
19th August 2014 - 8:02

4 Likes

Thanks for all the comments, both the positive and the negative.

I am glad of the negative as it has allowed people to come out and 'defend' what we did and why we did it which has made it clearer to me how substantial this achievement was.

It was a tough day but it was also a fun day. We had great support, I got to sit down all day and also eat more or less whatever I wanted to keep the fire burning.

The reps also became strangely addictive as other people can testify as once they joined us they didn't want to leave. It always turned into one more rep once they got to the top.

I will no doubt be doing one of these again however I will go solo in a test to see how far I can push myself. Progression will only come from pushing myself and finding my limits and thats exactly what I intend to do.

On a final note, donations would be greatly appreciated for a small charity that has looked after countless members of my family and close friends.

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/everestingboxhill

Thank You

posted by ciaranohara [1 posts]
19th August 2014 - 11:19

3 Likes

What if you Everested a Car Park? I am thinking the classic Fiat factory in Italy. Plenty of climbing in that. Challenging ramps all the way.

I bet that would put the wind up the haters. Climb on.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
21st August 2014 - 0:13

0 Likes