Neil Shirley’s Everesting for a Cause

What’s the definition of insanity?

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Technically, everesting doesn’t fit these guidelines because you’re repeating the same hill and adding the same elevation with each climb until you hit your goal of somewhere above 29,029 feet.

But let’s not fool ourselves, anyone wanting to do this is CRAZY! If you’re going to lose your mind and sacrifice your body, it better be for a good cause.


6:34 am. The lead group making their second ascent.

Former pro and current editor of Road Bike Action Magazine, Neil Shirley, put together this event where anyone was welcome to join, no matter how much distance they were willing to put in. Furthermore, he was riding for World Bicycle Relief, a non profit dedicated to getting bikes into the hands of people who really need them.

I knew I didn’t have the time or training level to complete such an achievement, but I definitely wanted to be involved in some capacity. I also got my friend, Daniel, to come along with me to share the pain, although I had a secret motive.


True fact: Cameron was clean shaven when the ride started!

Daniel set a goal earlier in the year to climb one million feet and was well on pace to reach it until last month work and sickness took away a lot of his cycling time. Maybe a challenge like this would make him ride like a mad man for the next month a half? I spent the whole year following his effort and I don’t think I could go through this again.

We arrived about a half hour early for the ride, where it was pitch black. Since I’ve only climbed Lake Hughes Road once, I wasn’t too familiar with the area and only a couple of us waited at the bottom until we realized everyone was at the top.

On our way up, we saw a group of lighted cyclists headed down and we quickly unloaded to make the 6am start. I also realized that I left the battery to my camera at home, so apologies in advance.



We cruised down today’s “course” making it just on time to catch the starting group of roughly ten up their first ascent. It was a nice steady pace with everyone having good attitudes to start this 2.1 mile stretch gaining 758 feet of elevation. No need to blast it, as it would take 38.3 repetitions to reach everesting status.

Each lap would take roughly twenty minutes and about eighty percent of it would be spent ascending. For the first two hours, the first group pretty much stayed together and the effort was steady, but things quickly shifted.

I was feeling fine at this point, but around 8:20 the winds started kicking in, especially near the top. Climbing seemed quite a bit more difficult and the lead group began to fragment. The physical and mental test was kicking in for all.


Great support for the ride.

I’ve run an ultra marathon before and it takes a certain frame a mind to allow the punishment to grow while ignoring you still have a great distance ahead.

We had to leave at 9am, having completed nine laps and 7,018 feet of climbing(we went back down a little to go over 7k), but we could already see the toll being taken on the handful of riders hoping to complete this challenge.

The majority of riders that came out there were riding with no allusions to getting anywhere near this maddening goal. People just wanted to support this event whether it be completing one lap or ten.


Maybe the only lap Bryann did without a sweatshirt

In the end, Neil Shirley, David Silverander and Jefferey Stern, were the only three able to complete this challenge finishing well into the night. I’m guessing the Sunday was a recovery day.

To top it off, a good deal of fundraising was done and Neil is close to his goal of raising $7000. I donated and you should too as every dollar gets him closer to his goal.

Thanks again to Neil and all the supporters out there to make this ride a memorable one….one that I’m still feeling.

Neil Shirley officially Everesting.