The MAD4000 – ride a total of 4000 vertical metres in a single ride without repeating any climb – was first ridden 2 years ago, so a second edition has been long overdue.
So it was on a perfect Saturday (17.1.15) that 9 riders set out to conquer this challenge amongst wall to wall blue skies and temperatures ranging from 10C to 18C. The timing was partly inspired by limitless leave passes for both Ray Picard and myself, as our wives were away, leaving us frustrated and with nothing to do but all-day bike rides. It was also inspired by the continual flow of physical challenges that people seem to be giving themselves. Just the weekend before, Ray had done his “Double Island Madness” ride which was basically a Tour de Lantau (5hours) followed by a Tour de HK Island (also 5 hours). On the same day, Project852/Dragons rider Justin Baldacchino decided to ride 220 km on HK Island. And then of course looking back to 2014, there is the almighty Everesting ride completed by Rowdie and Alex.
In the context of Everesting, the MAD4000 is just a nice day out, with an expected ride time of under 9 hours, and no need for lights due to a relaxed start time of 7:00am. What makes this challenge such an interesting ride is the “without repeating any climb” rule which forces quite a bit of flat riding to get from one climb to another. I don't think it is possible to do a MAD4000 without experiencing a fanatastic tour of the best climbs that the New Territories has to offer.
Not all riders had the intention to complete the ride, and at 5:30pm, 3 of us rolled into to Hang Hau MTR station having completed 4200m ascent over 166km, taking just over 8 hours of riding. The finishers were me, Ray and Ali Watts (who was not happy at this point due to the 30% ‘bonus’ hill I had thrown into the route after we had already complete 4000m vertical). I was particularly happy to have succeeded as I only achieved 3890M in the first edition due to nutrition issues. This time I found that, a 900mg salt tablet, two packets of crisps, a bowl of noodles, a plate of spicy ‘Cheung Fan’, 2 pocaris and 3 cokes sustained me perfectly for the ride, much better than any gels or artificial rubbish.
© 2017 Roojai