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Just when it seemed like Jack Thompson had tackled all of the challenging exploits possible on the bike, the Australian ultra-cyclist announced the 1,000,000: A Space Odyssey project.
In 2022 Thompson, more familiarly known as Jack UltraCyclist, will climb 1,000,000 meters of elevation (3,280,840 feet) on his bicycle. In order to achieve that goal, he’s set another goal-within-a-goal: to Everest a new climb every week for a year (that comes out to 52 Everest’s across the year – which would also set a new world record).
As of April 1, Thompson is 13 Everests deep already.
Thompson, who is based in Girona, is no stranger to massive efforts on the bike. In 2020, he set a world record for the most kilometers ridden in a week. Last year, he set out to ride the 2021 Tour de France route as fast as he could — 3,552km divided over 21 stages, chasing down the pros on his way to Paris.
Foundational to the Space Odyssey project – and all of Thompson’s projects on the bike —is a commitment to raising awareness of the importance of mental health. Along with his goal of riding 1,000,000 meters, Thompson will try to raise €1m for four mental health-related charities — Kids Help Line, Outride, Strong Minds, and Refugee Trauma Initiative – the latter aimed specifically at supporting families impacted by recent tragic events in Ukraine.
In order to become the first cyclist “in space” (1,000,000 meters is 600,000 meters more elevation than the International Space Station’s orbit), Thompson will complete 52 weekly Everests, but that will still only give him just under half his intended goal. He will supplement those 8,848m attempts with an average of 2,068m elevation gain per day. He aims to take one rest day per week.
While Thompson is accumulating his monster tally of meters, he’ll host a series of events and activations, including Everest locations, weekly training rides, Train with Jack opportunities, and speaking engagements. In an almost post COVID-19 world, the ethos of the community events will be focused on “getting involved, riding with others, and developing a community.”