Former Tour de France rider Nathan Dahlberg is used to cycling up high mountains, but even the tour’s legendary ascents up L’Alpe d’Huez and Le Mont Ventoux will seem like molehills compared to the next mountain he plans to climb.
The Nelson-based cyclist, who rode in the Tour de France in 1988 and 1989, is aiming to set a new world record by riding a bike on top of the 8051 metre Broad Peak in Pakistan.
Broad Peak is the 12th highest mountain in the world and if Nathan is successful he will break the present record of biking on the 7564m Muztaga Ata in China.
Nathan says he decided to attempt to ride a bike on an 8000m mountain to attract spon- sors and “put a mark on the map”.
He will attempt the record with Slovakian climber Zdeno Brnoliak, supported by a team of three other climbers.
“A couple of guys going off to climb an 8000m peak by a standard route is no big deal. Taking a bike up there and riding it, well, it’s kind of crazy, but also kind of interesting and something one can write home about.”
Nathan says he selected Broad Peak because he has a long association with Pakistan and the ascent is not too technical.
“I’ve been to Pakistan nine times, most recently in 2014 when I cycled up the Karakorum High- way, stopping to hike and climb up over 5000m a number of times on the way.
“And the standard route up Broad Peak is not technically demanding although it is consist- ently very steep. Most failures on the mountain are due to exhaustion and altitude.”
Nathan says they will still need to take a specially-adapted light-weight bike that will weigh less than three kilograms.
“The bike we are proposing couldn’t be any standard bike for a number of reasons. Most importantly, we would have to carry it at high altitude on very steep slopes so weight has to be eliminated.
“It also has to be easy to manage and able to operate in extreme cold. It will only be ridden at the top or however far we manage to get, hopefully above 7700m to set a record.” Nathan says they are planning to fly to Pakistan on July 20 before riding to Askole which is the gateway to the Baltoro and Broad Peak in the Karakorums, in June.
The ascent is planned for July 1 to August 8. Anyone interested in sponsoring Nathan’s world record attempt can go to his website