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Old 2008-09-05, 07:56 PM   #1
steve.colligan
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1000km Charity ride across the Roof of the World to Everest

1000km across the 'Roof of the World' to Everest, on a Unicycle

As a keen traveller and mountaineer I have visited Nepal eight times over the last twelve years. Each time I go I am moved by the level of poverty that many Nepali's live with, particularly in rural areas. Some villages don't have access to clean drinking water, electricity, proper toilet facilities or good education. Indeed, Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Asia and the world, with adult literacy at only 49%. Some of the things we take for granted, like safe drinking water, electricity on demand and education for our children become a rare luxury in certain parts of Nepal.

Each time I visit I wonder what I can do to repay the warmth and hospitality shown to me over the years. Now I have found a project that I can offer support to; a Nepali friend has established a small NGO (non-governmental organisation) which is working to improve the educational facilities and amenities in a remote area of the Himalayas. For the last 12 years there has been civil war in the country, which hasn't helped raise the standard of living. With this conflict finally ended, now is the perfect time to help local people with their own development projects.

On the 23rd September 2008 I fly to Nepal, then onto Tibet. I am going to ride my unicycle 1000km (620 miles) across the Roof of the World, from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. I will be riding across the Tibetan Plateau, with an average elevation of 4000 metres. I will cross five major mountain passes, over 5000 metres, where the oxygen levels are half of what we have at sea level. Temperatures will go down to minus 15 degrees centigrade during the night and I will be camping for most of the route, as the area is largely uninhabited. My aim is to raise as much money as possible to help fund the NGO and its projects.

A lot of you know me personally, or from my posts, so please help me out and make a donation. Full details of this challenge and how you can help support can be found on my website, www.unicyclesteve.com

I am funding my own expenses and managing the administration myself to enable me to pass on all the donations received, and so all monies raised will go directly to the registered NGO in Nepal.

Last edited by steve.colligan; 2008-09-05 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:15 PM   #2
samwii
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wow! that is brilliant! what size unicycle will you be riding it on? thats a very long way!
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:22 PM   #3
steve.colligan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwii
wow! that is brilliant! what size unicycle will you be riding it on? thats a very long way!
I'll be riding a Nimbus 36 (ungeared) with Nightrider tyre.
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:25 PM   #4
tholub
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This ride sounds challenging, but Totally Doable. Good luck raising money and completing the trek! I'm in, and I forwarded this to the rest of TD.
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:26 PM   #5
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cool,
I saw your site with pics of you riding a MUni and was thinking you must be kinda crazy to ride on a 24/26"

OH Yes by the way on your site, on the home page when you hover your mouse over the top section (where it shows you on a drawn mountain) it says "100km on a unicycle" you may want to change that to 1000km

Last edited by samwii; 2008-09-05 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:38 PM   #6
Ben Plotkin-Swing
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Wow, this sounds like a great project. If it was happening next year, when I am hoping to be unicycling somewhere in the Himalayas, I might offer to ride with you some of the way.

I would be very interested in hearing about your experience unicycling in Nepal. Have you ridden there before?

Ben
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:41 PM   #7
steve.colligan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tholub
This ride sounds challenging, but Totally Doable. Good luck raising money and completing the trek! I'm in, and I forwarded this to the rest of TD.
Thanks Tom. There will be a full report in the Uni Mag after the event.
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Plotkin-Swing
Wow, this sounds like a great project. If it was happening next year, when I am hoping to be unicycling somewhere in the Himalayas, I might offer to ride with you some of the way.

I would be very interested in hearing about your experience unicycling in Nepal. Have you ridden there before?

Ben
I've been on three muni trips to Nepal so far. There are paths everywhere in the mountains, so you will never get bored of the same route down. You don't have to go that far either before you're away from the tourist trekking routes. You'll love it.
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Old 2008-09-05, 08:57 PM   #9
cathwood
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Blimey.

And I thought going to the BUC was exciting

Good luck and take care.
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Old 2008-09-05, 09:27 PM   #10
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good luck, it is an amazing thing your doing, both the the vast scale of the riding and the reasons you are doing it!
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Old 2008-09-06, 01:57 AM   #11
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Wow Steve, that sounds like an amazing adventure.

Unicycling in Kathmandu is an experience like no other!
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Old 2008-09-06, 02:36 AM   #12
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Are you going to be carrying your camping gear on your back?

Edit: I just checked out the site and saw it was fully supported, so that will be nice to not have to carry much on your back!
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Old 2008-09-06, 04:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve.colligan
I've been on three muni trips to Nepal so far. There are paths everywhere in the mountains, so you will never get bored of the same route down. You don't have to go that far either before you're away from the tourist trekking routes. You'll love it.
And you're taking a 36"

I could hardly ride any of the trails along the Annapurna Circuit on a 26", and it was difficult enough to lug that around.

Maybe a 26" Muni Schlumpf would be a good unicycle if you're planning on Unitrekking as well as touring on the road.

I spent 6wks in Nepal as a student at Kanti Childrens Hospital in Kathmandu in 2002. Let me know if you want to pay them a visit. The kids would love it

Last edited by GizmoDuck; 2008-09-06 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 2008-09-06, 12:13 PM   #14
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I'm in too. Great idea and best of luck to you. Steve, you're my hero.
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Old 2008-09-07, 09:51 PM   #15
steve.colligan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoDuck
And you're taking a 36"
My 26" Muni is already in Kathmandu. The original plan was to ride to Everest Base Camp on both the Tibetan and the Nepali side of the Himalayas, back-to-back. I was going to use the 36" for the Tibetan side and the 26" for the Nepali side. We were in Nepal back in March and so started the process of trying to obtain permission to ride to Base Camp on the Nepali side. Note; all forms of transport are forbidden in the National Park. I had meetings in Kathmandu and several letters were sent, but permission was not granted. Being the eternal optimist I left my muni in Kathmandu, as I knew I'd have problems with luggage allowance when I returned later in the year with my 36" (and all my cold weather gear). On returning to the UK, more letters were sent, including to the Nepali embassy, but the final word was still no!

Yes, I could smuggle the muni past security at the entrance to the NP, but I don't want any bad press for us unicyclists if caught, especially as this is a fund raising exercise.

Anyway, the first half of my plans are still going ahead, riding Lhasa-Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. Once back in Kathmandu, I'll collect my 26" muni and head North up the Langtang valley for 10 days of high Himalayan fun before flying home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoDuck
I spent 6wks in Nepal as a student at Kanti Childrens Hospital in Kathmandu in 2002. Let me know if you want to pay them a visit. The kids would love it
That must have been a wonderful experience. If I have time in Kathmandu then I'd love to visit the hospital. You can either PM me, or reply here with the address.

Steve
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