Canadian Cyclist


August 13/20 11:05 am - Victoria Cyclists Surpass Everesting for MS Goal

Posted by Editoress on 08/13/20

Two Pacific Cycling Centre athletes who Everested for MS have surpassed their fundraising goal thanks to the generosity of family and friends. Alex Amiri and Caleb Bender rode the elevation equivalent of Mt Everest - 8,858 metres - on August 1st at Goldstream Heights, south of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.

Their initial team goal was $2,000. "We then upped the goal to $4,000 - $2,000 each - and we are happy to say we have passed this and we are at $4,150," said Amiri.



Photo by Jay Wallace.

They trained for two weeks before their attempt, doing 10-12 efforts once a week. On the day they faced many challenges, including strong winds and a 31 degree heat. Amiri said the first five hours were comfortable until the wind picked up. "As the fifth hour carried on the wind started, first it was a cross-headwind, then by the sixth hour it was a headwind, and it only got worse. While the pace wavered it became more and more difficult."



Photo by Jay Wallace.


But as he was ahead of schedule he was able to rebuild his pace and the last hour he was "doing okay mentally." He said: "The legs hit a point where I couldn't go much slower, but I couldn't go any harder either. But you start to think about everyone who supported you along the way, and each person you think of makes you feel a little bit stronger. This is what really drove the final hour home for me." He finished in 8 hours and 40 minutes.

Bender knew the climb would be a challenge: "The repetitive nature of the effort really did take its toll," he said. "The support on the day was incredible, with friends and fellow cyclists joining us for the climb and cheering from the roadside. The cheers and the faces were amazing, and at times were the only thing to keep me sane (sort of) through every rep."

Both Amiri and Bender have been personally affected by MS. Amiri's mom has had the disease for over 20 years, and Bender, who has ridden for MS Bike before, had a family member diagnosed 10 years ago.

"The experience was incredible, and largely made possible thanks to the help of Pacific Cycling Centre and the support from the entire cycling community. Without this support the funds raised and the ride itself wouldn't be possible, so I want to thank everyone who made the day great and our fundraising a huge success. This experience sure won't be one that I will soon forget," said Bender.

To read about their respective rides:

Caleb's Ride
Alex's Ride


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