The Strava product designer became the youngest cyclist to “everest” a climb in the US.
We tagged along on his 25-mile morning ride to the office.
The sun has barely begun to peek between the skyscrapers to the east of Ed Dorsey’s San Francisco apartment when he wheels his bike out the front door and pedals down the road.
“If I woke up, drank a cup of coffee and sat in front of my computer, I probably wouldn’t work as well as if I just got back from going for a bike ride in the morning,” he says. “I definitely always try to get whatever it is done in the morning. Then it’s out of the way.”
"I probably wouldn't work as well as if I just got back from going for a bike ride in the morning."
His office is an easy two-mile, downhill ride from his place if he hangs a right at the first light. But today, as he does so often, he banks left and begins what he calls his “extended” commute. He’s quickly out of sight, easily outpacing the cars congesting the city streets.
His morning ride takes him on a 25-mile loop that starts north out of the urban bustle across the Golden Gate Bridge to the natural serenity of the Marin Headlands. There Dorsey races the sunrise up Hawk Hill — a 590-foot climb that offers iconic views of the San Francisco skyline and a lung-burning workout for cyclists. He knows every inch of the ascent, and not only because he rides it least four days a week.
On Dec. 27, Dorsey and his friends Byron Hood and Matt Redmond took on a self-issued challenge to become the first riders to “everest” Hawk Hill. All three of them work at Strava, the GPS tracking app and global community of runners and cyclists. Last year, cyclists logged over 1.6 billion miles on the app, using it to share progress with followers and compete in virtual competitions. One challenge undertaken by a masochistic few is everesting, wherein riders climb the same slope repeatedly until their overall elevation gain is the equivalent of summiting the highest point on earth — the 29,029-foot peak of Mount Everest.
In the case of Hawk Hill, that means riding up the 8-percent gradient 49 times for a total of 153 arduous miles.
“There’s a curiosity in trying to push that boundary and work out what happens when you’re no longer having that much fun and everything is making you want to stop.”
“I’ve always been into just pushing things a little bit further,” Dorsey says. “There’s a curiosity in trying to push that boundary and work out what happens when you’re no longer having that much fun and everything is making you want to stop.”
It took 19 hours, riding before sunrise and riding through nightfall, long after most of their friends and support team had gone home, but Dorsey, Hood, and Redmond all reached the peak. Every foot of their climbs was recorded on GPS devices, uploaded to Strava, and submitted www.everesting.cc, a website that vets everesting rides and maintains a database with details of every successful attempt. There are currently 394 rides listed on the site. Dorsey, 23, is the youngest to ever everest a climb in the United States.
“It was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done,” he says back at Strava headquarters after his morning ride. He’s already showered and changed by the time we catch up with him. “But in a way it required less effort than a lot of other challenges. I didn’t need to get on a plane and fly far away. I didn’t need to buy a lot of new gear. I just needed to go there and get it done.”
ED DORSEY | CYCLIST | STRAVA PRODUCT DESIGNER
There’s a little bit of everything depending what your lens for cycling is in that moment. Sometimes I just want to think about something, and so I go on my bike to think about something. Sometimes I don’t want to think about anything at all, so I go on my bike to think about nothing at all. The things you can see on a bike, it’s amazing. There’s the outdoors component, there’s the fitness/competitive component, there’s the gear, there’s the massive cultural scene. It’s complimentary as a lifestyle in some ways because it’s social when you want it to be and it’s something you can do on your own.
His fitness philosophy
You need to find what you find fun. If you like trail running go trail run. If you like dancing go dance. Find a group of friends that you have a similar vibe with and just start small and keep motivating yourself and go do it.
His fitness hacks
There’s a lot to be said for getting everything ready the night before. If I’ve got to be up at 5am, I don’t want to wake up to any hassle. I get my kit out and everything lined up. I don’t want to spend 10 minutes in the morning looking for my knee warmers. There’s that pain barrier of getting into a routine because it sucks. It’s the worst thing, but once you can make it a routine, then it’s effortless.
His diet (or lack thereof)
I eat a disgusting amount of food. People see working out or being athletic as this thing you have to not enjoy, and that’s just never going to get you anywhere. If you can go for a run with your friends and then go and have a few beers with them after, that’s an amazing thing.
Myles Men lead the active, stylish, and healthy(ish) lives that inspire every piece of Myles apparel.