A cyclist from Denmark last weekend completed the challenge he had set himself to ride the equivalent elevation of the highest peak on each of the world’s seven continents – with the entire effort undertaken on a turbo trainer.
Michael Knudsen set out on Monday 9 January to conquer, in a virtual sense, the Seven Summits, beginning with Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, and completed the task on Sunday when he scaled Antarctica’s Vinson Massif.
He spent the week riding on a Bkool smart trainer at the premises of his wheel sponsor, FullCarbon, and to help fellow cyclists understand the scale of the endeavour, he matched each mountain to a well-known road climb.
Here’s how his week broke down.
Monday – Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa) – 3.5 times Col du Madeleine
Tuesday – Denali (ex-Mount McKinley, North America) 5.2 times Col du Tourmalet
Wednesday – Aconcagua (South America) – 4.3 times Mont Ventoux
Thursday – Mount Elbrus (Europe) – 5.2 times Col du Galibier
Friday – Mount Everest (Asia) – 8.5 times Alpe d'Huez
Saturday – Carstensz Pyramid (aka Puncak Jaya, Oceania) – 2.7 times Passo dello Stelvio
Sunday – Vinson Massif (Antarctica – 7.2 times Sa Calobra).
Michael told road.cc that he felt in good shape throughout the week – indeed, his final ‘Sa Calobra’ ascent to complete the Seven Summits was the fastest he managed that day.
In all, he spent 40 hours on the turbo, with a total elevation gain of more than 40,000 metres
“The best moment was the last 3.5km up the Alpe d'Huez on ‘Everest’ day where we threw a party,” he said. “I rode the last 3.5km all suited up.”
Unsurprisingly, after completing his challenge, he spent some time off the bike, going swimming instead to get his exercise.
Today, though, he’s back in the saddle – cycling 250 kilometres to the baptism this weekend of his three-and-a-half-month-old son.
He’s planning another exploit on his Bkool trainer next month, and we’ll have news of that soon.
His exploits are all part of his training for his big goal this year – he is riding the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme, the world’s longest bicycle race, covering 9,200km in 14 stages and taking in seven time zones and five climate zones.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.