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Local to ride Everest Challenge on a singlespeed

September 23, 2011

It’s not as if anyone in his or her right mind would want to make the Everest Challenge any tougher than it already is.

Yet nobody has ever accused Alan Jacoby, of Mammoth, as being in his right mind.

“Goal setting and achievement is like a drug,” said Jacoby, a volunteer at Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra and an entrant in this weekend’s Everest Challenge.

Jacoby, however, said he is going to attempt the ride on a singlespeed mountain bike.

“Helping others erase barriers only makes you want to go out and test your own limits,” he said.

Yeah but …

The Everest Challenge bills itself as “the undisputed, hardest two-day USA Cycling Race & Ride.”
Cyclists (climbers, obviously) gather outside of Bishop on Saturday morning and over the next two days climb a total of 29,065 feet — the height of Mt. Everest.

The course is 208 miles long.

“Nobody has ever completed this race on a mountain bike, much less a singlespeed,” Jacoby said. “The race director confirmed this with me.

Good thing Jacoby is a seasoned mountain biker.

“I’m a Mammoth local who races mountain bikes in endurance events year round,” he said. “I did the High Sierra Fall Century Ride two weeks ago on my singlespeed, and the Everest Challenge has been in my bucket list to conquer for a while now.”

But a singlespeed at the Challenge seems to be a little over the top, so to speak.

Not so at all, said Jacoby.

Reading what he had to say about it in an email recently, Jacoby defended himself well against lunacy.

“Why a mountain bike? It’s what I ride. I’m comfy on fat tires. And not comfy in mandex.

“I have mad respect for roadies, in the same way Nascar racers respect Formula One, and I do train on a road bike, but it’s just not my personal preference.

“Why a singlespeed? Derailleurs suck — they are noisy and take too much maintenance. Singlespeeds are simple and clean — no shifting. No drivetrain. Choose a gear, and live with it. It’s kind of Zen, I guess.”

Jacoby said he is well aware that will be plenty of stares, if not outright derision.

“The race director of the EC said to me, ’Real road racers don’t even acknowledge singlespeeds,’” Jacoby said.

“I’m hoping to change that this weekend.”

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