How does one celebrate his or her 33rd birthday?
By Everesting, of course.
Macky Franklin, a professional mountain biker and Youtuber, attempted on Monday (Aug. 3) to ride on a mountain bike the length of Mount Everest in a day's time - 8,848 meters - and on Frazer Mountain in the Taos Ski Valley.
It took Franklin nearly 18 hours - 17 hours, 56 minutes to be exact - to complete his challenge, which he completed by riding on a Niner RKT mountain bike.
That meant that Franklin, in total, went up and down Frazer Mountain 11 times, he said. And it was exhausting.
"I ended up doing 11 laps and probably around lap 7 or 8 it started feeling very daunting," Franklin said. "I had been out for like 10 hours or something at that point and knew I had quite a bit of time left. And I was exhausted and having a hard time getting enough calories in to sort of keep my energy up. Those were some of the darkest moments."
Completing this challenge was something Franklin took notice of in late June, as many mountain bikers in the community started to take on the Everesting challenge. Franklin said Hells 500 - a self-described bunch of hill riders - are the original creators of the Everesting challenge, which amounts to riding the length of Mount Everest, but on a different mountain, and in a day's time without any sleep.
So he and his wife, Syd Schulz, took to their social media channels - YouTube, Instagram and Strava, an app that tracks exercise to share with other - to explain Franklin's wanting to complete the Everesting challenge. And he said the response from people was overall encouraging.
Prior to competing the challenge, Franklin estimated that this challenge would burn about 11,000 calories in total. So between laps he'd alternate between liquid calories and, well, food. He said in total he consumed about 3-4,000 calories, but that it wasn't nearly as much as he'd burn throughout the day.
"I alternated basically liquid calories - so like a sports drink that has a lot of calories in it," Franklin said. "And then the other laps I had breakfast burritos, or just different sports energy bars. Just trying to keep calories going in as much as I could."
Franklin had a support cast in the parking lot, which was one of the markers that helped him distinguish when a lap was completed, and when there was a start of a new one.
There supporting Franklin was his wife and her parents; Franklin and Shulz's mountain bike coach, Mike Durner; and Franklin's brother and parents.
In fact, Franklin's father - who is 75 - completed the Everesting challenge on an electric bike in a month's time, as well as one of his brothers. Franklin's mom completed a half-Everest by walking the trail in a month's time.
Franklin and Schulz also challenged those from some of their social media pages - including their YouTube channel, which has over 55,000 followers - to complete an Everesting challenge of their own in a month's time. Around 600 people signed up, Franklin said, and now he and his wife are going to go through final submissions to see who, in fact, completed it.
Franklin also mentioned to Susie Fiore and Sean Cassily, who run Field Institute of Taos, about the challenge he and his wife laid out for their subscribers. That led Fiore and Cassily to issue a challenge to youth mountain bike riders in FITaos, who had all of July to complete the Everesting challenge.
"It's been really neat," Franklin said. "People have been super supportive. I wasn't reading messages because I was riding all day, but Syd said was telling me afterward that I got hundreds of messages of people sending positive vibes and good lucks. … It was really a neat feeling."
Franklin and Schulz also recently created a board game, Send It! which was a huge hit and raised over $40,000 in less than a month earlier this year. The physical copy will be sent out during the holiday season of this year, Franklin said.
For now, Franklin said he plans on getting some rest but that another challenge isn't out of the realm of possibility.
"I am definitely going to take a break because I'm exhausted," Franklin said. "We definitely want to do more challenges in the future, but we just haven't decided what exactly those will be yet."