Heritage Day SHEveresting

Sheveresting
SHEveresting has been moved forward; to Thursday, 24 September, in order to make use of a more favourable weather window. Photo by Seamus Allardice.

When faced with the task of riding up and down a hill until your elevation gained reaches the height of Mount Everest you ideally wish for good weather. In order to avoid enduring a long day on their bikes, in the rain, the SHEveresting women have brought their Everesting attempt forward. The ride will now take place on Heritage Day – Thursday, 24th of September – and followers can support their Everesting attempts on social media.

Due to the Covid-19 enforced curfew the riders will start at 4am, on Heritage Day, with the aim of finishing the 8 845-metre climb by mid-night. That provides the women with 20 hours to complete the task, a feat that organiser Tegan Phillips is confident that they will be able to achieve. “There are a few very strong riders in the group who will no-doubt finish hours before the curfew. But for most of us it will be a time-limit to keep an eye on. We’ll all have to maintain a good pace throughout the day and dig deep in the last hours, to finish in time” she reflected.

“It has been tricky, especially due to the curfew to finalise all the arrangements” SHEveresting Media Liaison Renata Bossi confessed. “Fortunately, the relaxation to Level 1 has given us two more hours and made it possible to use a public road. We’ve change venues to a hill that better suits the needs of the group, providing a longer and steadier incline to the one we had originally planned to Everest on.”

“We also had to bring the Everesting event forward, to Thursday” Phillips added. “From half-way through last week it became clear that it would be raining on Saturday. And given that the ride is going to be challenging enough we felt it was prudent to rather select a day for which strong wind and rain wasn’t predicted. SHEveresting on Heritage Day has a nice appeal to it. Hopefully it will add to the message of creating a more supportive culture around women on bikes; be they racers, riders for fitness and health benefits or women using bicycles for commuting or transporting goods. Cycling has historically been seen as a male pursuit but we hope that SHEveresting can help continue to shift those perceptions.”

“SHEveresting is at its essence a personal challenge for every woman taking part” Phillips added. “They have selected a full- or half-Everest based on their skill or fitness levels. Or to add a level of difficulty, in the case of Frankie du Toit, by opting to ride on a mountain bike. We hope that SHEveresting can help them challenge their own pre-conceived limitations and inspire the women around them to do the same, be it on or off the bike.”

“A significant part of SHEveresting is the fund-raising aspect” Bossi reiterated. “We are hoping to raise enough funds to purchase 9 bicycles to empower women in historically disadvantage areas, through Khaltsha Cycles’ Learn2Cycle campaign. If you would like to donate please visit our social media handles and click on the link in our bios, or search for SHEversting on Back a Buddy.” Follow SHEveresting on Instagram, @sheveresting, for live updates on the 24th of September and like the Facebook page, SHEveresting, for highlights of the ride. Donations to Khaltasha Cycles, and their champaign to get more women in historically disadvantaged areas on bikes, can be made here: www.backabuddy.co.za/sheveresting

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