My 2008 Cycling Challenge:

Col du Glandon

It’s 2008 and time for a my 4th annual challenge! Quite honestly, I am a bit nervous, because while 2007 was a fantastic year. It was also by far the most I have ever cycled. It will be tough to beat with my aging legs.

2005: Cycle 10,000 kms
2006: 30 Big Climbs
2007: 160,000 metres vertical ascent

2008 November Update: Exhausted, I have achieved my 2008 ascent goal – details here.

The Main Challenge:
challenge success

In 2008 I will again try and cycle 160,000 metres of vertical ascent (525,000 feet or one foot for every minute of every day of the year).

But I will try and do it a little smarter, focusing a bit more on optimizing my fitness – but without taking myself too seriously. I like cycling uphill and using ascent as a challenge means every ride counts. It suits me.

I considered making the challenge to climb 100 Cols (passes) but this would exclude so many other great rides – but I’ll keep track 🙂

Secondary challenge:

Continuing my December 11th mini challenge:

I will lose 13 pounds by June 30th – AND importantly keep it off until the end of 2008.

For Fun: Time Trials:

I will also have periodic time trials versus my 2007 self. Using my Garmin Edge GPS I can race myself in real time using previous routes as a comparison. So every now and then I will measure progress versus 2007.

virtual partner

As always, I will publish monthly progress updates to keep myself on track.

Rules: Hiking and cross-country skiing count – I don’t want my silly challenge to discourage fun.

Why do I do these Challenges? – For some reason they keep me highly motivated – I would exercise a fraction of the amount otherwise. And it’s a hobby I guess.

Wish me luck and happy new year.


About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Hi will,
    It’s a little the same challenge but It’s always too difficult ! I think it’s impressive, and you must be motivated all the whole year…
    How many rise of the salève this is it? ? About 160 000 ?!! 🙂

    I have created a little website with some climbs. I have used the same template than you (mimbo). I will update from march (I go abroad 2 months)

    So Good luck and Happy new year !

  2. Happy New Year Will.

    It’s a nice set of goals for 2008. I’m happy to see you’ve put the TT goal as “for fun” though. You might never catch the virtual partner you create on the day the wind is at his back. If you created him early in the year… But then, you could always simply delete him.

    All the best for ’08!

  3. Salut Bast

    J’aime beaucoup votre site.!

    I like your new web site a lot. We can give each other lots of ideas for 2008 – for me I will try and climb the legendary Puy de Dome near you,

    Good luck with your travels.

    Mark, yes, I try not to take this stuff too seriously, 🙂 but the Virtual Partner can be fun to race.

  4. Happy New Year!
    That’s going to be a great accomplishment. Just remember that you have more work to do in 2008 because it’s a leap year… that’s another 1,440 feet over 2007!
    Good luck

  5. Chilly Willy,
    First, big congratulations again on successfully completing your 2007 challenge — it is very impressive! And second, I think your 2008 challenge is great — let me know when you need a support driver to bring you down from your big ascents! Bonne chance!

  6. Will- I’m sure you can do this… especially the 13 pounds. After that, the virtual races will be a breeze… think about how your “power to weight ratio” will improve. Your “old self” will look like it’s cracking and the “new you” will be dancing on the pedals! Cheers, Donald

  7. Pingback: 2008 February Challenge Updatee : Cycling Challenge

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  10. Martin Sigrist on

    Stumbled on your site by accident while looking for a map of cols in the Alps (going out there tomorrow for a couple of weeks leading up to the Marmotte.)

    Thanks v much for the map but also good to read about a fellow climbing nut…especially one who also uses a triple.

  11. Have you ever ridden across the Nullabor? Any suggestions – do’s or don’t’s? Do you travel with a support team or on your your own?

  12. Pingback: 2008 Challenge Success! : Cycling Challenge

  13. Chill
    Congratulations on meeting the “challenge”. Glad that I was able to partake in part of your sucess! A memorable year indeed! Watching Le Tour with you at Le Col du Galibier stands out as the highlight of the cycling year for me!
    Only one suggestion…..try to have more fun next year. You are just wwwwway tooooooo serious!!!!!

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