Can you ride down Kilimanjaro

yr99jparkin
yr99jparkin Posts: 47
edited March 2009 in MTB general
So...........is it possible? Has it been done? Any idea of routes?
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Comments

  • v23
    v23 Posts: 217
    Yes. Up and down.

    Hence the name of the Saracen Kiliflyer.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Yes, it's very high but most of it isn't really that steep. As a trek it is long but not technically all that difficult. Don't know any specific MTB routes but I have seen companies doing cycling holidays in the Kenyan highlighlands nearby - worth a google.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Look up Nick Crane, you'll realise he's a bit of a star, same guy that used to present BBCs 'Coast'. You wouldn't know what he's got up to on a bike over the years from watching Coast!
  • xtreem
    xtreem Posts: 2,965
    Use google Earth too. :)
    You mean from the summit?
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    Is this hypothetical or are you actually planning on doing it?
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    As a previous poster has said Nicholas Crane and his cousin Richard Crane rode up and down Kilimanjaro.

    He wrote a book on it Bicycles Up Kilimanjaro in 1985.

    If I remember correctly I think they were riding Overbury's made in Bristol had a 14" bottom bracket.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    But did they go to the summit?
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • robertpb
    robertpb Posts: 1,866
    Yes they went to the summit, it was done for charity, raising money to build windmills to pump water in East Africa
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • llamafarmer
    llamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    I'm hoping to climb Kili next year, but biking it would be soooo good! :D

    I'd imagine the extra pace of climbing and the probably greater physical exertion would make altitude sickness more likely though...
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    I'm hoping to climb Kili next year, but biking it would be soooo good! :D

    I'd imagine the extra pace of climbing and the probably greater physical exertion would make altitude sickness more likely though...

    Not sure altitude sickness is connected with physical exertion?
  • jam1e
    jam1e Posts: 1,068
    If you are susceptible to altitude sickness (which seems to be pretty much pot luck) your suffering will depend on the speed of your ascent. The faster the ascent, the greater the chance of altitude sickness in those predisposed to altitude sickness...

    (If that makes any sense!)
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    edited March 2009
    My dad went up Kilinanjaro and from what he says going up on a bike all the way is impossible,it`s hard enough on foot.They must have had the bikes carried a fair bit of the way.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • rhysduk
    rhysduk Posts: 138
    jam1e wrote:
    If you are susceptible to altitude sickness (which seems to be pretty much pot luck) your suffering will depend on the speed of your ascent. The faster the ascent, the greater the chance of altitude sickness in those predisposed to altitude sickness...

    (If that makes any sense!)

    People are more susceptible to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) if they have not been to high altitudes before. High altitudes being 8000ft or above. Although AMS is not common in a particular age range or sex. Pot luck I suppose as you say.

    From my understanding and being far from an expert in the feild... Increased physical exertion will result in more rapid breathing and the body / muscles needing greater amounts of oxygen to keep it at a "normal" state, as you all know. So with the less amount of O molecules per breath I would assume the body will not get enough oxygen to keep it running.

    You can descend as fast as you possibly can with no problems... unless you hit a sheep.

    Some will say AMS is caused by decreased oxygen molecule levels, others will refer to Co2 being reduced (causing higher blood ph)....

    Thats what I remember anyway.. no doubt it will be torn to pieces. :oops:

    Rhys
    PP Shan & Intense SS2
  • rhysduk
    rhysduk Posts: 138
    edited March 2009
    [EDIT]
    Sorry, sodding forums are slow and I double posted. :oops:
    [/EDIT]
    PP Shan & Intense SS2
  • xtreem
    xtreem Posts: 2,965
    As I can see from this picture the summit is 5895m high. :shock:
    So as rhysduk said and what I've seen at Discovery channel, you have to spend a
    day or two at 3000m above sea level to allow your body to accommodate to the lack of
    oxygen.

    The fact that on the summit there isn't any snow in the summer makes it possible to do it.

    MarkCoker_Kilimanjaro.jpg
  • clarkson
    clarkson Posts: 1,641
    an interesting point, and one worht looking into, particualrly in light of radio 1's red nose climb!
    I said hit the brakes not the tree!!

    2006 Specialized Enduro Expert
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  • llamafarmer
    llamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    antfly wrote:
    My dad went up Kilinanjaro and from what he says going up on a bike all the way is impossible,it`s hard enough on foot.They must have had the bikes carried a fair bit of the way.

    There's more than one route to the top, so I guess at least one is rideable.
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    I`d be surprised if anyone else has done it on a bike,it`s certainly not something to be undertaken lightly,getting up there on a bike is probably like climbing Everest.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • Dirtydog11
    Dirtydog11 Posts: 1,621
    They did it on bikes like this

    http://www.retrobike.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9184&sid=da5d00232138f66637c9047dd9688a44

    Apparently someone has done it on inline skates and no I'm not Joking

    http://www.skatelog.com/countries/tz/mt-kilimanjaro.htm

    It must be very do_able but you would need to get permission from the Tanzanian authorities to take a bike up there.

    Fastest ascent: Bruno Brunod, 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds
    Fastest ascent (female): Rebecca Rees-Evans 13 hours 16 minutes 37 seconds
    Fastest ascent and descent: Simon Mtuy, 8 hours 27 minutes
    Youngest person to summit: Keats Boyd, 7-years old
    Oldest person to summit: Karl Haupt, 79 or Valtee Daniel, 87



  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,991
    I watched the red nose thing last night and was thinking - I could ride that! The wife called me a few names & made me donate extra :)
  • Airienteer
    Airienteer Posts: 695
    I was thinking the exact same thing! Maybe one day...
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    You`re forgetting the lack of oxygen up there,just walking is difficult.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    "Apparently someone has done it on inline skates and no I'm not Joking "

    Whats the hardest thing about inline skating?


    Telling your parents that you're gay!
  • MrChuck
    MrChuck Posts: 1,663
    antfly wrote:
    My dad went up Kilinanjaro and from what he says going up on a bike all the way is impossible,it`s hard enough on foot.They must have had the bikes carried a fair bit of the way.

    They didn't have them carried, they carried them themselves. It's a while since I read the book but pretty sure I remember some photos of them lugging Saracens on their backs- as I recall it was an old school unsupported thing. They also did a crazy ride to the middle of the Gobi desert, on Raleigh road bikes I think. As someone else said, Nicholas Crane has more strings to his bow than fronting Coast!
  • topsey_turvey
    topsey_turvey Posts: 420
    edited March 2009
    The Cranes certainly got their bikes to the summit of Kilimanjaro, in the snow. The bikes they used were Saracens with rigid forks, 15 gears, very well sprung saddles and pannier racks.

    There's a photo in "The Great Bicycle Adventure", by Nick Crane. You'll instanly recognise the book, the cover has a photo of the Cranes riding over Crib Goch.
    Frank Yates
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    OK it`s an impressive feat but they did have to carry them.Some people on here don`t seem to appreciate the immensity of the task.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • uniqueride
    uniqueride Posts: 177
    looks like we inadvertantely found that standard test for all these "all mountian" bikes :lol: . but it would be an achievement (assuming you didnt have loads of background support. i think that whilst its good that soo many things can be achieved these days it has to be rememberd that i used to be alot harder. a good example is that 500-1000 years ago it took a team of highly experienced saliors alot of effort to sail around the world but these days it can be done by a 17year kid (oh and try telling me someone in his family didnt have a little bit of money).
    Ride it hard on a hardtail
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    If a load of celebrities can get up Kilimanjaro - then a trained cyclist could get his bike up there. Looking at the Cranes bikes - they werent anything special at all.

    I think the key is to take your time - failure rate on guided trips is something like 10-20% due to altitude sickness. The celebs took a few days longer and they all made it. Sure its tough - but its meant to be.

    Chrissie Wellington (Double IM World Champ) used to MTB in Nepal. She'd blitz this ! ;-)
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    If Chris Moyles can walk up it then........
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    If fatty Moyles can walk down a road then there is chance for us all to ride Kilimanjaro