A chance meeting between Lilyroo Fund founder Pete Lockyer and St Kilda Cycling Club’s (SKCC) Social Director Reese Masita a month ago has led to Brendan Edwards and Robin Weber ‘Everesting’ for Lilyroo tomorrow, 28th March. On the eve of their Everesting Challenge we sat down with Reese (RM), Brendan (BE), Robin (RW) and Lilyroo Rider Hugh Peck (HP) for a cup of coffee and a chat.
First of all, thank you so much guys for all you are doing for the Lilyroo Fund and Lilyroo Ride. We really appreciate the funds and awareness you are all raising.
It’s our pleasure.
So first of all, what is ‘Everesting’?
BE: Put simply, pick a climb, ride up and down it until you have climbed 8,848 vertical metres – the height of Mount Everest.
Wow, incredible. Is this a new concept?
RM: Everesting started right here in Melbourne and is a phenomenon that has rippled through the cycling community and gone international. It is shrouded in secrecy as the Everesters guard their chosen mounds, then set out to test the limits of their endurance in order to be the FIRST to Everest a particular climb… and if successful, take their place in the Hells 500 hall of fame. Even parts of physical fitness, mental strength and bloody minded determination are required to complete this feat, which involves repetitions of the chosen mountain, hill or elevation to notch a minimum ascent of 8,848 vertical metres, all in one continuous cycling effort.
Reese, for the benefit of our readers why did you choose to Everest for Lilyroo.
RM: Well, it all started when Hugh and I were talking after the SKCC Koota Cycling Club Velo Vendredi [The special monthly ride where SKCC invite a local cycling club to join them – Ed]. Hugh told me about the Lilyroo Ride, and the story behind the Lilyroo Fund. Having been through a similar experience to you and Kristie I was astounded by the desire of all your riders and volunteers to help the Royal Womens Hospital NISC unit.
I wanted to help, but unfortunately it was too late for me join the Lilyroo Ride. However, I knew that Brendan and Robin were keen to do another Everest Challenge, so I thought why not use the opportunity and raise funds and awareness for the Lilyroo Ride particularly within the cycling community.
Fantastic, thank you Reese. SKCC has such a huge following within Melbourne and across Australia, so we appreciate all you are doing to raise awareness.
The cause is one that is very dear to my heart for those of you who know me well.
Brendan and Robin, I understand this isn’t your first Everest challenge?
RW: This will be my third Everest. I love the challenge and I’m really looking forward to helping raise money for the Lilyroo Fund, which is such an incredible and worthwhile cause.
BE: This is going to be my sixth Everest. On my first Everest attempt, at the start of 2014, I actually failed and had to pull the plug at 7,400 metres [To put that into context Mt Kilimanjaro is 5,895m hight – Ed]. I wanted to make amends so I returned a week later and succeeded.
Both Hugh and I know the appeal of riding in the hills having been on several training camps to the Victorian Alps. For the benefit of those who don’t know you, please can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
BE: I rediscovered cycling after rupturing my Achilles tendon back in 2009. One of my co-workers suggested that I enter into the 50km Around the Bay in a Day. I wasn’t sure if I could go the distance, so I pulled my old Mountain Bike out of the shed & rode 2km’s around the block and came home completely out of breath, and totally exhausted. I was hooked!
RW: I’m a former competitive swimmer who was introduced to cycling as a means of getting to and from training. I soon developed a passion for riding and started exploring the suburbs of Sydney on the weekends. About 10yrs ago, after finding myself getting very unfit and having way too many extra kilos, I jumped back on an old mountain bike with the goal of riding the 80km Sydney to Gong Charity ride. Just before the event, I decided to buy a road bike, finished the event on it and fell completely in love with the sport. I soon started racing both road and mountain bikes. I’ve competed in numerous 4hr, 7hr and 24hr mountain bike races, criteriums and road races, cycled 500km along the Birdsville track surrounded by desert and traveled around Australia to ride in various events.
I’ve always loved hills and only discovered how big they can truly get when my cousin invited me to Bright to ride the Victorian alps a few years ago. I absolutely loved it and developed an even deeper love of climbing. I’ll be travelling down from Sydney to complete the challenge.
So when and where will you be Everesting?
RW: We will be climbing Little Joe in Warburton for the Lilyroo cause. We will start riding at about 4am and will need to perform 160 repetitions of a 1.5km stretch at 7% gradient for a total of 240kms. We anticipate finishing 18 hours later at approximately 10pm.
BE: We’ll have plenty of support from friends and fellow cyclists who will either be riding with us or providing support. Support is absolutely imperative for a challenge like this both from a safety point of view, and for our own personal mental battles we’ll face, especially as we begin to get more tired.
Hugh and Reese will you be Everesting too?
HP: With the Lilyroo Ride just one week after the Everest challenge, I won’t be climbing the full thing. I’ll ride with and support Brendan and Robin for a few hours. Maybe I can climb the equivalent of Mount Kosciuszko whilst I’m there! I reached my fundraising target early so I’ve been to keen to get involved in another fundraiser – it’s been great to help Robin, Brendan and Reese set up this event.
RM: On Saturday, I’ll be out supporting and cheering the guys on. As you can see from the sling, I took a bit of a tumble on my bike and unfortunately broke my collarbone again. I need surgery but have delayed it so I can support Brendan and Robin.
Thank you guys for your time today, and thank you so much for all you have done in the last month leading up to your Everest challenge. We wish you all the best of luck, and cannot thank you enough for your fundraising efforts and awareness you have generated within the cycling community for the Lilyroo Ride, Fund and the Royal Women’s Hospital.
You can support Brendan and Robin’s fundraising here:
Or come out and support them on the day – contact Reese via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information