Biking the highest roads in the world: Six rides on Six continents – over 75,000 vertical feet of pain.

Continental Cycle Climb Challenge

“The most breathtaking scenery in the world and the best way to see it all. One man and his bike raising money for charidee… this is the Continental Cycle Climb Challenge.”

The idea is fairly simple:

Start with a strong sturdy bike. Add a semi-strong, sometimes-sturdy cyclist to the mix. Next, over the years, nurture a love of bike-maintenance, map-reading, scenic vistas and international travel – and then it’s time to pedal off into some of most awe-inspiring scenery and most brutal bike climbing in the world. What’s more important is the chance to raise money and do a little bit to help out a highly regarded international charity.

The aim is to cycle up six of the highest roads in the world – each mindblowing ride considered to be amongst the highest found in that particular continent.

Please have a look at The Climbs page for details of each of the mountain roads to be climbed, how high they are, which countries they’re found in and any expected problems in getting up them!

If you’re interested in how the idea came to fruition take a quick peek at the About page.

You got an altitude problem?

There aren’t any rules and regulations as such – there’s already quite enough of those to bog us down with already. The main thing to bear in mind is that these roads aren’t neccessarily the absolute highest roads in the world, but are at least by popular opinion to be considered the highest, well-respected, and well-known climbs to be found on earth!

Taking a picture next to a Tibetan yak-herders newly block-paved driveway, has less impact and relevance than taking a triumphant photo next to a ‘Highest motorable road in the world’ sign – even if it isn’t technically the case.

There are no time constraints on completing the challenge, but I expect that dwindling finances, weakening legs / lungs and paying my debt to nature will impose their own!

“Wouldn’t it be good if schools and hospitals had all the money they needed… and the army had to hold bring and buy sales, and sell raffle tickets?”

Any ardent advocates of alliteration might have hoped for this site to be called the Charity Continental Cycle Climb Challenge… but that many ‘C’s in a logo would be just plain crazy. But let’s not overlook a very important point of this exercise. Unfortunately, for now, we inhabit a world where military might is prioritised more importance to most governments than feeding and caring for their people.

Many people in the world are reliant on the goodwill of others for their health and wellbeing – there simply aren’t any other safety nets in place for them. Day in day out, hundreds of thousands of people offer their dedication, skills, energy, love and compassion to those that are sick, impoverished, war-torn and without hope.

Medecins Sans Frontieres – literally, ‘Doctors Without Borders’ is an independent humanitarian medical aid organisation. MSF is ‘committed to providing medical aid where it is most needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or gender’ and also raises awareness of the plight of the people they assist.

This challenge represents a personal ambition and goal, it’s true; but it also affords me the opportunity to support, in some small way, the efforts and dedication shown by humanitarian organsitions such as MSF.

If you feel that you would like to contribute to the efforts of MSF, please do this via my justgiving page, or you may wish to contact MSF directly. Thank you sincerely for your kindness.

Australasian leg update – 21st January 2012

Excellent news! The Australasian Leg of the Continental Cycle Climb Challenge has been successfully completed!

Phil Hambley on the summit of Mount Kosciuszko

Thank you so much to all of you who have offered sponsorship, advice, support or have shown an interest in the challenge.

The ride went smoothly, apart from some slightly unseasonal weather and the logistical challenge of getting my bike 10,000 miles to the other side of the world.

For more details, videos, photos and diary entries, please have a look a the Australasian Leg Photos page and Australasian Leg Diary pages.

It’s not too late to sponsor me for the Australasian Leg should you still wish to do so. Please click here.

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