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Bart Raeymaekers talks about Everesting

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Category: research Video duration: Bart Raeymaekers talks about Everesting
Bart Raeymaekers took on the task of sifting through data submitted by cyclists who have completed an Everest challenge, where they bike to a total elevation equal to that of Mount Everest. Here, he breaks down those results. Published in Scientific Reports.
The Everesting Challenge, essentially, is riding up a hill repeatedly until you achieve the elevation of Mount Everest above sea level, which is 8,848 meters. I got interested in the Everesting Challenge and I thought there might be a way to leverage existing data to try to figure out what the optimal conditions are, to pursue an Everesting Challenge and to complete it in the shortest time possible. We came across a website called where people who have participated in the Everesting Challenge can upload their Strava data, GPS data of their attempt, and it gets cataloged on that website. And so we built a database and use that database then to try to understand which parameters play an important role in successful Everesting attempts. So essentially, an Everesting attempt comes down to two things, there is the power per unit mass. What is always true is that the harder you push the pedals, the faster you go and the shorter the time will be two complete the Everesting attempt. And that turns out to be the most important parameter, which is unsurprising. The second important aspect here is that there's a balance between gradient and distance. The steeper the gradient that you select, the shorter the distance you will have to bike to get to the vertical elevation gain that you need to achieve. But also the harder it is to get up that hill because it's steeper. What was perhaps one of the surprising findings of the study was that the number of hill repeats does not seem to have an influence at all in the success of completing the Everesting challenge. So taking a long hill where there are longer intervals between recovery or you go uphill and downhill versus taking short hills where you have that higher frequency of recovery. But you also spend more time braking and turning at the top and the bottom of the hill. Those two things seem to balance each other out and so there doesn't seem to be an effect in terms of the number of hill repeats that you select or the length of the hill that you select to complete the Everesting challenge.