A MALVERN man took on a gruelling cycling challenge, attempting to climb the height of Mount Everest.

Ed Thomas, 56, who works for Waitrose in Malvern, is a keen cyclist who has taken on challenges around the world including cycling solo coast-to-coast across America, travelling 6,241 miles in four and a half months, a group ride from St Petersburg to Moscow and riding solo from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

In June he took on the Everesting Challenge, which sees cyclists ride a combined distance of 8,848 metres, the height of Everest.

Mr Thomas said: “I chose the A449 up to British Camp from the Ledbury end on which to make my attempt.

“The only downside is that it’s a main road, however, on Sundays there is very little commercial traffic, no rush hour traffic, and by and large it is pretty quiet during the afternoon.

“I’m a fit chap in general from my cycling and the demands of my job.

“Delivering heavy crates of shopping all day long tends to give you a pretty good workout.

“I decided to attempt an Everesting for the personal challenge. I knew it was arguably going to be the toughest thing I’d done on a bike, and I wanted to see what I was capable of mentally as well as physically.

“There’s a saying amongst the Everesting community: Your legs will see you through the first 6,000 metres of climbing and your head will see you through the rest.”

The hill, from Mr Thomas’ starting point just below the Wellington Inn at Massington to the café at the British Camp car park, has an elevation gain of 407ft. This meant he had to ride the hill 72 times to successfully complete the challenge.

Mr Thomas had been training on the hill since November last year and duringhis training rides he established what he thought would be a sustainable pace, and worked out a schedule for the ride.

He broke the ride down into laps and stages: each stage comprised six laps, and each lap consisted of one ascent and one descent – 12 stages and 72 laps.

After each six-lap stage, he would take a 10-minute break to take on more food and drink.

After completing the challenge, it transpired that Mr Thomas had done more than was required.

Rather than 29,029ft of climbing 8,848m, he had done 9,348m.

It had taken 24 hours and 6 minutes including stops with an actual riding time of 19 hours and 14 minutes.

During the process he rode 224 miles and burned 8,354 calories.