Rebecca Rusch and Patrick Sweeney recently made a kickass journey Mountainbiking up Kilimanjaro, that mighty African mountain. In an effort to raise money for the global charity World Bicycle Relief they decided to take there bike – mountain bikes in this case – and cycle to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak (19,341 feet or 5895 meters). This is the unlikely and highly kickass trip story of them Mountainbiking up Kilimanjaro….
The goal: cycling Kili’s 19,341 feet
Rebecca Rusch and fellow adventurer Patrick Sweeney had a goal: to cycle to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in order to raise charity money. Rusch and Sweeney wanted to ride, carry and push their bikes to the summit at 19,341 feet – without support – and then downhilling the same way back. For each foot of elevation they wanted to raise one dollar for the World Bicycle Relief charity. Raising $19,341 would equal 131 new bikes for students in Africa.
Quite a tough challenge you would say…. But not when you hear what kind of tough cookie Rebecca Rusch is….
Rebecca Rusch, The Queen of Pain
When describing Rebecca Rusch’s athletic achievements, it may be easier to talk about what she hasn’t done as her list of adventurous accomplishments is off the charts
Her national and world titles in whitewater rafting, adventure racing, orienteering, and cross-country skiing certainly impress. It is however her two-wheeled cycling victories that really lengthen her resume. Rusch’s mountain bike accomplishments are just insane. She has national wins across multiple off-road formats, as well as record-setting victories at storied ultra endurance races like the Leadville Trail 100, Dirty Kanza 200, and 24 Hour MTB World Championships. Rusch also claimed the record on the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail, coming in more than an hour and a half faster than the previous champion. It wasn’t her idea, but it doesn’t take a professor to see why she earned the auspicious title as “The Queen Of Pain.”
Well it was her that wanted to cycle up Kilimanjaro….so you can be sure it is going to happen!
Mountainbiking up Kilimanjaro
She took along her friend and fellow kickass adventurer Patrick Sweeney on the cycling trip to the top of Kilimanjaro. The duo took six days to complete the round trip journey — up and down the 19,341-foot mountain, Africa highest point and one of the world Seven Summits.
Due to its massive elevation gain of 13,238 feet from the base to the summit, the team moved at a responsible pace to allow their bodies to acclimatize to the extreme altitude. Over 35,000 people attempt to scale the majestic Kilimanjaro each year and the success rate is only 45-percent. And that is by foot….
That is not to say that Rusch and Sweeney did not have to walk certain steep and inaccessible sections of the ascend…
It was hard…really hard!
Several months after cycling to the roof of Africa, Rusch was interviewed about the kickass experience. In the article she talks about how they got organized for the expedition, why they chose Kilimanjaro, and what it was like on the trail. The Queen of pain called it the hardest ride she has ever done, which should give you an indication of how challenging this undertaking was for her and Patrick. She also shares some insight into what the trail was like, and the gear that she used along the way too. So if you are planning a trip like this she talk useful stuff.
If you on the other have the idea to play a game on Kilimanjaro or scale Kilimanjaro as a penguin, barefoot or just in your shorts you should head over to our kickasstrips Kilimanjaro gallery here.
One constant that remains with every succesful ascend of Kilimanjaro is the well-deserved beer on the summit…
Documentary mountainbiking Kilimanjaro
For an even better look at th amazing mountainbike ride up Kili you should defintely check out the video below. It is a 7-minute short documentary that is sure to inspire you