We get a lot of press releases sent to us at BikeRadar and, if we’re being charitable, some of them are more interesting than others.
Here’s a story that ticks the boxes however: the news that Jaguar’s I-PACE electric car has completed an Everesting challenge on a single charge, with Olympic champion Elinor Barker at the wheel.
In case you’ve been living under a rock – or simply don’t find somebody repeatedly riding up and down the same hill all that interesting – Everesting is doing 8,848m of climbing in a single ride, i.e. the equivalent of climbing that big ol’ mountain.
This Jaguar story has it all:
- Appropriation of a very specific niche of competitive cycling
- An elite cyclist (mostly not riding a bike)
- A futuristic electric car which is sort of green I guess, like an ebike?
- A video with some very natural dialogue
Lest you think I’m being a big meanie, I actually like cars and happen to believe the tech behind ones like the I-PACE is really cool – a claimed 292-mile range is not to be sniffed at and nothing about the performance is likely to leave you wanting. I also have nothing but respect for Elinor Barker’s achievements in cycling.
According to Jaguar, the challenge required 16.2 repeats of Great Dun Fell in the Pennines, with the I-PACE covering 124 miles (199.6km) in total, including an 8-mile drive to the start, and finishing with 31 per cent battery remaining, partly thanks to its regenerative braking.
Despite all this, Everesting in a car makes the cycling equivalent look absolutely riveting, and that’s saying something (although even I’ll admit that sometimes the bikes are seriously cool).
I’d like to propose some other cycling activities that could be undertaken in cars. Here are some ideas to kick off:
- Gravel riding: Drive through the woods with big floppy bags tied to your car. Put it on Instagram.
- Enduro: Drive up the hill and then back down again, but wear pyjamas.
- The weekly club 10-mile time trial: Drive your family car up and down the local dual-carriageway, write your time on a clipboard, eat a cake. Rear lights must be fitted, no drafting other cars, weird custom aero mods encouraged. Alienate family and friends via endless discussion of CdA, rolling resistance and watts.
- Sportives: Drive round a signposted route, viciously overtake other drivers who are enjoying themselves. Tell your friends you were “racing” at the weekend.
- Fixed gear: Remove your car’s brakes, drive everywhere in second gear, talk about the zen of driving, get a rear differential tattooed on your calf.
- Hill climbs: Replace every single part of your car with one that’s anodised, 20 per cent lighter, and 250 per cent more expensive. Drive up hill thronged by a shouting crowd, vomit at the top.
- Indoor training: Play Mario Kart.
Which cycling disciplines would you like to see borrowed for automotive marketing purposes? Answers in the comments, please.