5th July 2017
Kye Mitchell, who many of our North Devon customers will know as the happy-go-lucky chatterbox from our Barnstaple & Bike It stores, has recently taken on the ultra-endurance challenge of 'Everesting' a local climb into Bratton Fleming, in an attempt to raise £3000 for 'Mind'; a mental health charity, and for 'Wheels For Life'; a non-profit charity that provides bicycles for people in need in the developing world.
Covering 220 miles, Kye ascended 'Loxhore X to Bratton Fleming (Top)' - as entitled on Strava - a total of 36 times, climbing a total of 30,633ft in approxmately 19 hours.
‘Everesting’ is an extreme endurance challenge that sees riders attempt to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest’s height: 8848 metres, within a single day. Kye, of Bratton Fleming, was motivated to attempt this epic ride following the death of a friend from mental illness in December last year.
“After losing someone like that, I was shocked to read the statistics and find that so many men of my age suffer from mental health issues. I often think of him as I cycle around the beautiful countryside of North Devon and Exmoor, and it was on one of these rides that I decided I wanted to do something to raise awareness of mental health issues and I decided to try and cycle the height of Everest in 24 hours.”
“I have been riding bikes my whole life, and have always believed that a bike can change someone's life, so for a long time I have wanted to support Wheels For Life, this seemed like a good time to do it.”
After a week of feeling under the weather, there was uncertainty as to Kye's attempt going ahead, but ever the optimist, Kye started his attempt at Loxhore Cross at 03:00 on Sunday 2nd July. He continued to cycle up and down the hill throughout the day, stopping just twice for fresh clothes and to take on more food. He was supported throughout the day by family, friends and local cyclists who joined him in climbing the hill. Paul Chappell, also of Barnstaple has been Kye’s training partner throughout the winter, and despite initial reservations decided that he would try and complete a half Everest, spending most of the day on the hill and completing 18 repetitions of the 3 mile climb.
“I just want to thank every single person who supported me on the hill on Sunday. There was so much positivity which kept me going. It was amazing; there was so much support from so many different people. I can’t mention everyone, so many different people locally and around the world got behind me for this challenge and I can’t thank everyone enough for everything they did, it was a really humbling experience.”
Kye finished his ride at 00:45 on Monday morning, accompanied by two of his colleagues from the Bike Shed for the final ascent. He clocked up over 19 hours of pedalling, covered 220 miles and achieved a total elevation gain of 9337 metres, smashing the Everest zenith. Throughout the day all of the ‘Sherpas’ who accompanied Kye on his ascents totted up their combined efforts on a chalk board at the top of the hill. Between them, they also managed to ascend the hill an additional 79 times – a total of 19513 metres!
Kye has submitted his effort to be verified by www.everesting.cc and is waiting for his achievement to be officially acknowledged, and his name to be added to the Hall of Fame. He is putting his extreme cycling efforts on hold for the time being, taking time to recover and preparing to become a dad for the first time in September.
“My wife has lots of jobs that she’d like me to do around the house and it’s the least I can do after all the preparation and training she has supported me with… but I would like to try an Iron Man challenge soon!”
Kye’s Just Giving Page is set up for donations until 16th July at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kyeseverestchallenge - please give generously!