Vancouver cyclist takes pandemic riding to extremes with North Shore climbing challenge
Tyrone Siglos to ride up and down Seymour, Grouse and Cypress mountains in a 50-hour 'triple Everest' attempt
UPDATE: Tyrone Siglos said he completed his triple Everest of Seymour, Grouse and Cypress mountains on Monday, June 21, 2021 at 6:52 p.m. "It was so awesome to hear that I inspired people to do their own rides, to push themselves to do things that they didn't think was possible," he said. "I'm very grateful for all of the support and encouragement from the city and although I rode lots of laps by myself, I was never riding alone."
When you ask Tyrone Siglos why he would want to spend two nights and two days riding up and down the North Shore mountains his answer is simple.
"Because I can," he said with a laugh. "Well, hopefully I can."
The personal challenge he has set for himself this weekend is an extreme version of rides many cyclists have undertaken in the past 15 months when races and other events were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Siglos is attempting a triple Everest, which means riding up and down each mountain in succession until he amasses the same elevation as Mount Everest multiplied by three. It's a gain of nearly 27,000 metres.
"I want to kind of see how far I can push myself," said the 32-year-old. "I probably ride more than I'd say 99 per cent of people in Vancouver and we have some insanely strong riders who do rides that are epic like this all the time."
Siglos isn't doing the ride to raise money for any cause, but as a crowning personal achievement which started when he found that riding his bicycle made him happier.
Siglos struggled with depression, but noticed when he started riding his bicycle to work, he felt better. After being laid off from a job in the warehouse sector last spring, he decided to take a job delivering food on his bike with Uber Eats.
"I haven't felt this good ever, just mentally, so that's a big part of it," he said. "I love ... exploring the city, the freedom that it allows me."
Siglos now typically rides around 150 kilometres a day for his job. Last summer he learned about a popular goal for cyclists, which is riding up and down Seymour Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain in a single ride — the triple crown.
Riders who do the triple crown have also taken on more lofty goals such as doing an Everest. The undertaking has its own quasi-governing body online, which sets out rules for how to achieve 8,848 vertical metres in climbing and register the accomplishment with Everesting.cc.
Last September Siglos accomplished an 'Everesting' on Grouse Mountain in 14. 5 hours. He says there haven't been any Triple Everestings done in Canada or by a Canadian. Only 21 triple Everestings have been done worldwide and only 2 in North America.
Local riders like Jarrad Connelly, who is a marathon mountain bike racer and coach, says taking on an Everest began as a pursuit for amateur riders, but now also has a following from professionals looking to fill a void in competitions created by the pandemic.
"I've seen a lot of people get very depressed because they don't have that motivation to go and ride their bike," said Connelly. "So having a challenge like this, it really changes how you can have an outlook on life."
Siglos, who does not do races and does not have a coach, began his laps up and down Seymour Mountain Friday night and plans to finish amassing the first 8,848 vertical metres by around 11 a.m. Saturday.
After that, he will ride over to Grouse Mountain, take a power nap, and then spend Saturday riding from Cleveland Dam to the Grouse Mountain Parking lot in loops.
He figures he will complete the climbing there by 3 a.m. Sunday when he will head to Cypress and hope to complete the elevation gain required to complete the ride by 11 p.m. Sunday night.
4 hours of sleep
To qualify the challenge with the Everesting.cc website Siglos must complete the challenge in under 72 hours and sleep no more than four hours.
He says marathon days delivering for Uber Eats, some spanning 19 hours, have given him the fitness and stamina to go the distance.
Brodie Bicycles lent him a bike for the challenge. Siglos says he's prepared for any mechanical issues such as a flat tire, but admits completing the challenge is not a sure thing.
"There's definitely a lot of things that could go wrong," he said.
He'll chart his progress online and hopes other riders will come and join him.