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Phil Gaimon is spending his Monday riding up (and down) a hill in Los Angeles some 60 times as he pursues the Everesting world record for charity.
The retired American pro, who has spent the past few years hunting Strava KOMs and documenting his efforts on his YouTube channel, is trying to top a record set by Tobias Lestrell, who completed the 8848 meters (29,029 ft) of elevation gain in a little over eight hours and 29 minutes.
“I’ve been looking at Everesting for a long time just as a climber thing, as something I should do, but also it looks horrible,” Gaimon told CyclingTips. “I know I want to go for the record because that’s the dumb shit that I do, but I don’t want to do it twice. I want to do it and never look at it again.”
Having never taken on the challenge, Gaimon is uncertain of what to expect, but based on his power numbers he is hoping to go under eight hours.
“That’s my goal. But I have no idea if that’s going to be possible and if I’ll blow up,” he said. “I’ll just sort of see with each hour and reassess.”
With an eye towards the Everesting record, Gaimon has been training heavily over the past few weeks at a rate not far off from the amount of time he spent in training during his time as a member of the pro peloton.
“I’ve just been doing crazy volume, back to 30 hour weeks, 50,000 feet of climbing every week,” Gaimon said. “Basically, it’s an eight-hour endurance ride. I’ve been focusing on steep stuff because to get the record you need that crazy amount of vert. So it’s different muscles, but pretty much it’s just getting used to being on the bike that long and putting out power and knowing how to pace myself for that effort.”
After some thought, Gaimon settled on Mountaingate Drive as the setting for his attempt. He will climb 480 feet (146.3 meters) in ascending the steep street, which lies just off of the 405 freeway, a little over 60 times.
Gaimon is taking on the challenge as part of his annual push to raise money for No Kid Hungry, and organization that works to combat hunger for children in the United States. He raised $100,000 last year, and has made that amount his goal again this year. As of early May he has already topped $60,000 in donations.
“It’s been cool this year. Last year I didn’t get to 60,000 to August,” Gaimon said. “This year, the year’s f—ed up, but people are giving more.”
We’ll keep you posted on Gaimon’s attempt. In the meantime, you can check out his donation page here.