Everest challenge comes to Firle

An epic attempt to cycle up (and down) Firle Beacon 70 times and match the height of Mount Everest gets underway on Sunday September 20.

Eoghan McHugh aims to raise £10k for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and raise the profile of their ongoing campaigns to protect national marine conservation and empower local communities to protect oceans, beaches and wildlife.

The incredible feat of endurance is supported by Lewes District Council chairman Adrian Ross. He is donating £100 from the Civic Office to the sponsorship appeal and, earlier this month, joined him for a practice ride.

“Cycling up and down Firle Bostal once was enough of a challenge for me. I have no idea how anyone could even contemplate doing it 70 times!  I wish Eoghan the very best of luck for his challenge and in his fundraising for a very worthwhile charity.”

Cllr Ross said SAS’s aims were in line with the environmental action part of his theme of office and praised their support for beach cleans and plastic-free campaigns in Seaford, Newhaven and Tide Mills.

He said the ride would also highlight a beautiful part of Lewes District. The village of Firle is popular with hikers, cyclists and day-trippers. Firle Beacon is a landmark on the South Downs Way, a 100-mile off-road trail between Eastbourne and Winchester.

The ride starts just after midnight and Eoghan aims to complete the challenge by early Sunday evening.

“It’s a big challenge,” Eoghan said. “Organising an event around the challenge seemed like an opportunity to invite people from across East and West Sussex to remember what a great community we live in and how beautiful the Downs are. Being outdoors in an area resplendent in beauty like Firle, Surfers Against Sewage were an obvious charity to partner with. It’s organisations like SAS that will help to protect and improve the landscapes we all love!”

You can support the ride at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stories-from-a-man-and-his-bike . Supporters and spectators are very welcome. Coffees and cakes will be on sale in the car park at the top of the climb, courtesy of Sussex Coffee Trucks.

Everest is 8,848m high

Firle Beacon is 127m high

1 x climb = 0.81 miles

70 x 127m = 8,890m

Average gradient = 9.7%

Steepest gradient = 13.6%

The road from picturesque Firle Village to the Beacon at the top of the South Downs is called Firle Bostal.