Nearly 8,000 miles separates Hearst Castle and Mt. Everest in Nepal. The 1,600-foot hill the castle sits atop is a molehill compared to the 29,029-foot summit of Everest.
But the two iconic locations will be connected on Thanksgiving Day.
North Coast business owner Cubby Cashen will be "Everesting" the Hearst Castle hill in a personal fundraising effort for no-kill animal shelters. In other words, Cashen — the owner of San Simeon Cove kayak rental business “Sea For Yourself” — will ride his bike up and down the brutally steep, 3.7-mile road from Highway 1 to the castle 23 times.
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“Everesting” is a fundraising strategy that entails biking the elevation of Everest within a 36-hour window on a hill no one else has challenged.
The rules — created by the High Rouleurs Society (HRS) — specify that a participant can stop, rest, sit, eat and visit a restroom, but they can't sleep.
“This approach is all about finding the boundaries of what is possible in a single ride,” the High Rouleurs Society explains on its website.
Serious bike riders who enjoy challenging steep hills rather than simply racing each other created the concept.
“We would set ourselves goals that no one else was doing,” the HRS website says. “The pre-requisite for any challenge that we set was that it had to be tough. To qualify, it needed to be too difficult to just go out and ride it.”
Cashen plans to begin training in earnest about 12 weeks before Thanksgiving Day. In the meantime, he hopes to get on his bike for a "short ride” three to five times a week.
“Once summer ends, I’m going to try to do one long ride a week, four to eight hours, to get into racing shape," he said. "Even though this is not racing, I need to be in that kind of shape."
His overarching objective is to raise money for pet adoptions, especially dogs, and in particular those that are housed in “no-kill” shelters.
“Since childhood, I have always been in love with dogs,” he said, adding that both of his dogs were rescued.
He says caring for a dog (veterinary costs, everyday needs) costs a shelter about $700 yearly, meaning if he raises $14,000 that could rescue “at least 20 dogs.”
Cashen is not asking people to watch him ride on Thanksgiving Day, but he is asking for support in his cause. To donate, send money orders or checks to Rescue Alliance, 5425 Jack Creek Road, Templeton, CA, 93465 (write “Everesting” on the check). He adds that people can pledge a certain amount of money based on how many trips up and down he will make.
People can find updates and donation information on Cashen's Facebook page at facebook.com/everestinghearst.