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Biker Sets Record For 'Everesting' Challenge


So what do you do when you're a professional cyclist and COVID-19 has put the racing season on hold? Well, you could just sit around, or you could, say, bike the equivalent height of Mount Everest. That is what Lachlan Morton did.

LACHLAN MORTON: Anyone can go and do it. You need a hill that's really steep and straight.

GREENE: Morton has just set a world record for Everesting (ph). This is when you bike up a hill over and over again until you have climbed, yes, as high as Mount Everest.

MORTON: So you just go up and down until you've climbed 8,850 vertical meters.


That is just a tad over 29,000 feet, if you were counting. Two weeks ago, Morton pedaled his bike up and down a steep stretch of road near his home in Colorado.

MORTON: I used a hill in Rist Canyon, near Fort Collins. The section I was riding was about a mile, and it had 200 meters of elevation.

MARTIN: He went up and down the hill 42 times. It took him a little over 7 1/2 hours.

GREENE: And when he was done, Morton thought he had just set a world record. But...

MORTON: Three or four days later, I got an email from one of the organizers.

GREENE: Yeah, it turns out the folks who certify biking records said there'd been this little math error.

MORTON: We thought 42 laps would be enough, but in fact, it was short.

GREENE: Fifteen hundred feet short, to be precise.

MARTIN: Next came a string of words we cannot say on the radio, followed by this thought from Morton's wife.

MORTON: Imagine how cool it'll be if you do it twice (laughter). I was like, you know what? I'll go with that attitude.

MARTIN: (Laughter) So on Saturday, Morton hit the road again. This time he was supposed to do 47 laps.

GREENE: And he actually did 48 laps, just to be safe, and he broke the world record by more than 10 minutes.

MORTON: I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around.

GREENE: And Morton says he feels no need to attempt a third try - that is, at least for now. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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