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Woman sets Everest bike record

Published: 26 August 2003

A Swedish woman has set a new world record for the highest ever motorbike ride after taking a Honda XL250 up Mount Everest.

Despite bad weather, motocross rider Annie Seel left Base Camp, 5000m above sea level, on the 20 year old off-roader and climbed to 5305m (16,500ft) to break the existing record by more than 50m.

Snow and fog made conditions treacherous but permission for the record attempt was limited to that day so there was no alternative.

Seel explained: " It took three hours to get just 100m up and at 5290m we thought that was it. The way ahead of us was covered with boulders and there was no obvious track. But we struggled like Yaks and managed to pass 5300m. I was really exhausted and my head was aching because of the strain in the thin air, but I just felt so happy for the new record. "

The attempt was made even more difficult by the fact that the Nepalese government banned the import of new bikes 10 years ago so Seel was stuck with the ancient heavy XL250. It broke down on several occasions just on the ride up to base camp.

The previous record was set by a Japanese rider who managed to get his bike to 5250m.

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