By BEV JORDAN
It took nearly 10 hours but 9-year-old Oscar Szkudlarek from Dural has become the youngest person in Australia, possibly the world, to complete a “half Everest” bike ride … 29 times up one side Galston Gorge (the descents don’t count).
His proud mum Laura said her son has always been an avid cyclist and as soon as he heard of “Everesting” he wanted to take on the challenge.
The worldwide “Everesting” challenge requires cyclists or walkers to pick any hill and ascend it to the equivalent of Everest or Everest Base Camp.
Everesting “base camp” challenges walkers and cyclists to complete an elevated journey of at least 4,424m to reach a summit. Oscar is now named in the global Everesting Hall of Fame after completing 4558m, 169km with an elevation of 5.4% up the East side of Galston Gorge.
The Year 4 student at Oakhill Drive School has been riding at the Fred Cateron BMX track since he was 5 years old and when Lockdown started last year he began roading riding with his dad Krzysztof.
“He is always on a bike,” said his mum Laura. “People will often see Oscar with his dad and younger brother ( 7-year-old Elliott) riding around the area.”
She said Oscar set out with his dad at 4am on October 10th to start his ride and had a roster of riders with him so he wasn’t alone.
Laura says as Galston Gorge is so nearby it was the obvious choice.
“He was out for about 11 hours and 26 minutes (with breaks) but all up but 9 hours and 50 minutes of actual ride time (in the saddle).
“ Oscar, who turns 10 on November 8th, said: “It was a hard challenge. At some points, I wanted to stop and cry. I couldn’t have done it without my friends and family there.”
Oscar’s sights are set on becoming a professional cyclist and competing in the Tour de France.
This weekend he is competing in the Auscycling State Championships at the Hunter Valley.