Regular contributor and follower of Carbon Addiction, Dennis, from Brisbane has brought to our attention surely one of the most remarkable Aussie cycling performances of 2014, completed recently in the Rapha Rising Three Ranges Challenge, on Strava.
The challenge, which many of you folks were no doubt part of, was to climb 8,800m in just nine days. A tough assignment for most amateur riders with jobs to hold down, but not ridiculously so if you have the time given it’s less than 1,000m a day.
Whereas many of these types of challenges are won by obscurely-named riders in far away lands, this one was won by a chap who we don’t know personally (but would sure love to meet) called James who hails from a small town near Lismore in northern NSW and has spent the last week and half of his life riding up and down a place called Koonorigan Hill, not too far from where he lives.
What makes James’s efforts truly extraordinary isn’t so much that he won the challenge, but how he did it.
James recorded 11 rides to in the 9-day challenge window and in that time scaled a mind-bending 67,332 metres. In other words he completed the required challenge more than seven times over.
Even better, despite the fact James was already safely ensconced in the global top two, he completed the entire challenge once again in a single ride on the final day for good measure last Sunday. Forget Everesting (8,848m) – in a shade over 13 hours on the bike James rode 227km and climbed a staggering 12,254 metres. That’s right, in a single ride. Oh, and did I mention the day before that he also rode 159km and climbed 8,266m? And two days before that he rode 169km with another 8,611m of climbing?
Now we’re assuming here that James is a pretty determined kind of guy who wasn’t going to let anyone – including second place getter, Hayto b, from the Nagano Prefecture in Japan – beat him in this challenge. And to his considerable credit, the Japanese rider didn’t get within 3,000m of the Aussie in the end.
What did James receive for his incredible efforts? As far as we can tell he unlocked the ability to purchase a limited edition Rapha Rising T-shirt.
But before we end – and here’s the best bit of all – there’s something else you need to know about James. He’s a Category C5 paracyclist.
Chapeau to you James. You’re an absolute bloody legend and an inspiration to us all. You must be sore.