The nights were cold.
The nights weren’t pleasant.
But when it came to a ride to the top of Mount Kwakunui in South Australia, none of that mattered.
On a crisp February morning in 2017, 20-year-old Ryan was heading up Mt Kwakaunui in an effort to break the Guinness World Record for most consecutive hours on a cold mountain bike.
Ryan and his girlfriend Katie were on their way to the summit when they heard the noise of an avalanche.
They were headed up to the edge of the mountain.
The pair could hear a loud crash and the sound of someone being thrown down a steep slope.
“It was just like I’d never experienced anything like that before,” Ryan said.
The next day, Ryan and Katie were back at their cabin in Darwin to do the final adjustments to their bikes and pack up.
The couple said they’d never been so prepared to go to the peak of the world.
“I’m not even in a position where I’ve done this before,” he said.
“We’re just going to go for it.
It’s not really a challenge, but if you do it the right way, you can do it.”
Ryan and Katie’s ride was their third time riding the mountain on February 10.
The next day they would do it again.
“The last one was really crazy, we were really nervous and excited and nervous, but we managed to get it done,” he says.
The experience was similar to the way Ryan describes it now.
“Getting out on a snowboard and just enjoying the snow, and that was it,” he explains.
“A couple of days later, we did the same thing, just a bit more relaxed, and it just felt like a natural thing to do.”
Ryan says it was the first time he had ever ridden on a winter day.
“There were times where it was so cold that we had to turn our jackets inside out and cover up because we didn’t know if it was going to rain,” he recalls.
“But it was just a really fun experience.”
Ryan said the snowboarding experience gave him an insight into what life would be like for someone who lives in a town with a ski resort.
“You’re just so aware of what’s around you and you really get the sense that you’re living in a world that’s a lot colder than you are,” he explained.
“For me, it was kind of like that.”