EF-Easy Post ultra cycling aficionado Lachlan Morton is currently halfway through a 530-mile (853km) loop of the Colorado Trail, in memory of his friend and fellow gravel grinder Sule Kangangi, who died 10 days ago in a racing accident.
Morton had already planned the ride when he heard of Kangangi's death, and he is now dedicated it to the Kenyan and will be using the ride to help raise funds to support Kangangi's wife and children.
Since starting later afternoon on Tuesday, the 30-year-old Aussie rider has ridden just over 264 miles (425km) of the trail, which runs from Denver in the north to Durango in the south of the US state. The trail features an eye-watering and leg-busting 75,000 feet (22,800 metres) of climbing, taking in several mountain passes.
Waved off by his wife Rachel and EF team boss Jonathan Vaughters, Morton set out in 100 degree heat, riding a full-suspension Cannondale Scalpel mountain bike laden down with bikepacking gear, including a bivvy bag for catching some sleep on the trail when necessary.
Any sleep will be kept to a minimum though — for Morton is famed for his long stints in the saddle with no shuteye.
Earlier this year, for example, he rode from Munich in Germany to Korkzowa-Krakovets on the Polish-Ukrainian border in one go — 660 miles (1,064km) in 42 hours — raising $250,000 for Ukrainian refugees. Last July he rode his 5,500km 'Alt Tour' for World Bicycle Relief — every stage of the Tour de France unsupported, plus transfers, beating the pros to Paris by six days and raising $700,000.
In comparison, you might think the Colorado Trail will be easy, but Morton has ridden it once before and would beg to differ.
“It was everything I could do to finish it. I’ve thought about it at least every week since then, how much it kicked my butt,” he said on the EF-Easy Post website.
EF, Morton, and Cannondale have teamed up with the Kangangi Memorial Go Fund Me organisers to offer a prize package to encourage donations.
You can win a Cannondale bike, POC helmet and a signed jersey. For more details, click here.
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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields.
Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.
A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now in the past, although that doesn't stop him banging on tirelessly about "that one time" he nearly rode a 20-minute '10', and planning the big comeback that everyone knows will never actually happen.
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