The taming of the Aloha hell needs a plan.
Meet our strategy:
To get on top we have to eliminate three factors:
1: the extraordinary length
2: the infinitely sloping road
3: the unimaginable height
1: To be able to handle the length we ride as many kilometers as possible.
2: To tackle the slope we try to increase our average Watt per kg.
3: To ascent the enormous height, (4207meters) we have to get used to altitude.
Number 3 is a challenge when your training area is around Amsterdam, one meter below sea level.
What’s the story about exertion at great heights?
The air pressure decreases as you go higher. Yes, this means less air resistance and that is an advantage! But don’t get your hopes too high… The rarefied air has a negative influence on our oxygen uptake capacity and thus also on our performance capacity. The good news is that our blood composition adapts to altitude. You only need to stay at altitude for a longer period of time.
“NO WAY! WAS THE REACTION OF OUR BELOVED PARTNERS…”
“You go to Hawai, but we’re not spending our summer holidays on top of a mountain aswell!!”
Ok, so the altitude training is a no go area.
At an hour’s drive from Amsterdam is an unique training facility for riding at height….. So on a Monday evening 16 men climbed on a wattbike for a night of labor at simulated altitude in Zoetermeer.
The tin air caused less talk, some blue lips and a whole lot of sweat. Our heartbeat was immediately 20 strokes higher and our lungs we’re being squeezed when we tried to pace up. Two of us got an oxygen cap to recover an some of us still suffered from heavy breathing the day after. It was a small kind of battlefield.
Afterwards, we realize again how epic our mission is.
In the simulated environment respect for the elements of nature came to us. Our admiration for the overwhelming high crater grew. But most of all the motivation to tame it! So a warm welcome to our new red blood cells, stay as long as you want!