THE FREQUENT Galbraith Mt. rider known variously as Mongo, Dr. Whacko, Running Dog, The Inexpensive Alternative to Cable TV -- and even occasionally Bruce Brown -- has set the world record for total number of vertical feet climbed on a mountain bike during a year.
During the year 2000, Brown climbed more than 404,000 vertical feet -- the vertical equivalent of 13 sea level-to-summit ascents of Mt. Everest.
This beat the old record, which Brown set in 1999, by more than 100,000 verts.
"I had 220 days in the saddle, " said Mongo, founder of GalbraithMt.com and author of Vert Quest, among other improbable things.
"I broke the frame on one Specialized FSR XC and one Cannondale Jekyll," Mongo said. "Both bikes were graciously replaced on warranty by their manufacturers."
The bulk of Mongo's verts were grabbed on Galbraith, and the bulk of them came aboard the yellow Jekyll. "The FSR XC is actually a better bike for pure climbing, but for technical riding on Galbraith Mt. in the year 2000, the Jekyll is definitely my weapon of choice."
In the spring of 2001, Mongo set a personal best for verts climbed in an hour. "It was a perfectly cool, dry day on the perfect logging road climb -- Anderson Mt. down near Alger. I was on the perfect bike -- the FSR XC -- and I was perfectly rested and uninjured.
"I felt light when I started and I was able to attack all the way through the last face, where I hit the snowline with 2500 verts in an hour.
"I really love a good logging road climb."
So what's the secret of Mongo's climbing success, you ask? Well, he's got some tricks he's worked out. For instance, do you know how to get more than one virtual gear out of every mechanical gear?
You can learn this and a lot more in Mongo's Guide to Climbing...
POSTSCRIPT: For more information on Mongo's World Record, and what happened aftwards, up to Mark Weir smashing Mongo's record in 2005, see Mongo's Vert Quest...