« All Events Climb to the Clouds May 17 Free State 6-Hour & Mason Dixon 3-Hour » REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Set your target. Conquer your own mountain. The idea behind this endurance challenge couldn’t be much simpler: execute hill repeats until you’ve tallied the targeted elevation gain – Japan’s Mt. Fuji, Alaska’s Denali, or the ultimate, Mt. Everest. Designed to push a community of like-minded cyclists as they explore their physical and mental limits, Climb to the Clouds is the ultimate in endurance challenges. Register Here. Scheduled for Sunday, May 17th, the 1.7 mile climb, featuring a gain of 171 feet/mile, will ascend Catoctin Mountain through beautiful Gambrill State Park, topping out at 1,600 feet above sea level. Riders will descend on the same route you climbed. The route itself can be found on Strava and on RideWithGPS . Your goal? Ride the elevation gain equivalent to one of three options: Mt. Everest – 29,029 ft. This is an endurance challenge inspired by the creators of Everesting, and backed by the Hells500 crew. All finishers that meet the Everesting Ride Rules requirements are eligible to be included in the Everesting Hall of Fame. Verified Everesting automatically qualifies a rider for the coveted Hells 500 grey stripe. Once earned, a grey stripe is for life. Denali (known also at Mt. McKinley) – 20,308 ft. All finishers that meet the Maryland Endurance Challenge ride rules and elevation requirements will earn a “Climb to the Clouds – Denali” Roundel. Mt. Fuji – 12,388 ft. All finishers that meet the Maryland Endurance Challenge ride rules and elevation requirements will earn a “Climb to the Clouds – Mt Fuji” Roundel. + Google Calendar+ iCal Export Free State 6-Hour & Mason Dixon 3-Hour » Open all | Close all Things To Know 1. Your Fitness Level Everesting – it’s a very big, very hard bike ride and a defining test of anyone’s physical and mental endurance. Athletes who consider Everesting or any of the other two ride options should be in very good condition. Your pre-ride preparation will include nutrition, the condition of your bike, rest and sleep, support, pacing – everything will matter as you start your effort, and persevere throughout the ascent. 2. Course Open/Close The course opens at 12 Midnight on Sunday May 17th, and closes at 11:59pm that same day. This means event support, including ‘Basecamp’ and road marshals will be fully operational and active during these times. The road surface was newly paved in the Spring of 2018 and turn-around-points are marked and located at low-traffic points. If riders choose to ride the course outside of designated course open/close times, they do so at their own risk. Because all rides must be publicly verifiable via Strava to count towards a Maryland Endurance Challenge ‘Climb to the Clouds’ Everesting, Denali, or Mt Fuji achievement they must also conclude by Sunday May 17 at 11:59pm ET 3. Everesting Ride Rules The course is open to traffic at all times. Please ride on the side of the road. Maryland law requires a three foot clearance for automobiles as they pass cyclists. Riders must wear their assigned bib number. Each bike must have front and back blinking lights, and should operate both lights throughout their entire ride. Course marshalls will be checking. Be sure to bring backup batteries just in case. Riders must follow all traffic rules, and ride single file. No sleep is allowed during the event. You must complete the challenge in a single stint. Breaks (eating, drinking, recharging) are included in your time. You must reach the summit of the climb on every time ascent. You must descend safely. Be attentive to cross traffic at Shookstown Road (course marshalls will be in place, and easily identified). For rider and volunteer safety, event management maintains the right to “temporarily suspend” the event should inclement weather conditions require. No section of the ride can be walked. This is a cycling challenge. Once your elevation objective is complete, the current lap can be abandoned or completed at the rider’s discretion. The ride must be more than the elevation objective on Strava, so use a little bit of common sense and log some extra vertical feet just to be safe. 4. Everesting Ride Calculator Time Needed to Everest Based Upon Different Miles/Hour Average As a reference, below is a table of the times from September 2018 needed to achieve the Everest height on a similar section of Gambrill Park Road. 5. Method of Recording Each repeat must be ridden up and down. Your ride should be recorded with a dedicated GPS device that has an altimeter or barometer (i.e. not a Garmin Forerunner). In the event of failure of one of these devices you can use a phone or non-barometric device. You will need to verify the height gained by the number of repeats of the segment climbed. You also need to keep your device recording the whole time. We recommend that you take photos of your stats throughout the ride. History has shown that data can fail, either on the bike or in the upload. So long as you can sufficiently prove the ride we’ll accept it. We’ll decide on a case-by-case basis. Batteries have a tendency to die after around 15 hours of recording. Come to the event prepared with portable battery charging abilities. A portable battery pack is a cheap solution for charging on the go. Please note that units such as the Garmin Edge 500 will reset if plugged in mid-ride. This will result in loss of data. Strava All rides must be publicly verifiable via Strava (i.e do not set to private). 6. Support Base camp for all riders will be at the top of the course (High Knob section) inside of Gambrill State Park. Load-in instructions will be provided in advance of event date to all registered athletes. Mechanical support will be at the top of the ascent in the High Knob area. There will be ample amount of water, sports drinks, sports drinks, gels, energy bars, bananas, pickle juice, and dried fruit provided to registered athletes. We expect athletes to go through many calories over the course of the day, and event management ensures that riders will be well provided for. Many athletes will bring their own supplemental food and beverage. Volunteers will be on-hand at check in to help place those items in to an easy-to-access location within the High Knob area at the top of the climb. 7. Safety Day and night riding adds to your risk of injury, so think about your lights, safety gear, and emergency contacts. You’ll be riding at your absolute limit and struggling with a crushing lack of sleep. Batteries of these devices tend to die after around 15 hours of recording. A portable battery pack is a cheap solution for charging on the fly. Commuting lights just won’t cut it… it will be dark out there, and you’ll need something more powerful. To save on battery life use a commuting light for the climb and the powerful light for the descent! Make sure you bring along fully charged light, spare batteries or portable battery pack. Night riding adds to the risk, so think about your lights, safety gear, emergency contacts and phone reception. 8. Bike Set-up A 28, 30, or even 32 tooth rear cassette can be an absolute godsend later in the climb! A cassette can be an excellent investment; don’t be afraid to get a lower-spaced cassette. Bike service and maintenance – check brakes, gearing and investigate any annoying creaks. 9. Rest/Recovery As fatigue sets in, riders are encouraged to have personal support on-site to assist in making independent judgements on fatigue levels. Note that riders are not allowed to sleep during the event. 10. Accepted Bikes Acceptable bikes: Road, MTB, CX, Track, BMX, ElliptiGO. Not acceptable: Electric, Recumbent and Tandem (Exception exist for special circumstances) 11. Cycling Kit Prepare for all weather and conditions. Weather in May in Mid-Maryland is a transitional time of year, and the weather could be cool, dry, and overcast, or warm and humid. It’s better to have options dependent upon the conditions on the day rather than wishing you had packed a rain jacket. Make sure you choose a pair of riding shorts you will be comfortable spending many hours in. Better yet, bring a couple of pairs. There are facilities in the High Knob area on the course where you can change if necessary. A new kit change will be really appreciated and give you a new lease for life. Chamois cream is highly recommended for long rides acting as a lubricant and having antibacterial properties, chamois cream will minimize friction and keep saddle sores at bay. You will be grateful for this after a few hours in the saddle! 12. Mental Preparation As written by the good folks at Everesting.cc – Don’t underestimate the challenge, it will push you to your physical and mental boundaries, prepare well physically and mentally. Due to the length of time you are likely to be out on the bike, you will inevitably encounter exhaustion. It is possible to plan for and minimize this. What to expect: The infamous Everesting ‘death zone’ (above 23,000 feet) brings on exhaustion, lack of sleep, and concerns over descending in the dark By the time the following evening hits and normal bedtime comes around hopefully you will have the finish line within sights spurring you on despite looming fatigue. The earlier you can start the Everesting, the less likely you will still be out on the bike when nighttime fatigue hits. If you can start your Everesting ascent at Midnight, you first night stint will hopefully see you through to morning without experiencing too much tiredness and fatigue. When the sun comes up, naturally your body clock will kick in and fatigue should not be an issue. It is critical to minimize breaks throughout the day as this time accumulates, adding hours of pushing on through darkness and fatigue at the other end. There is going to be a lot of support out there on the climb – volunteers, support personnel, course marshalls, friends, fellow cyclists, family members.. You will find yourself needing encouragement at times, and then later the exact same thing will drive you insane. Know in advance that no one is there to intentionally irritate you. They need to be tough enough to pull you out of the pain cave if need be. You don’t want to be talking when fatigued, you will need all available energy to ride and focus in the dark. You’re going to get pretty weird after 12 hours of riding, embrace it.