My 2021 Cycling Challenge – Results


Today is the end of the 17th year of this blog and thus the end of my 17th annual cycling challenge. How did I do versus my 2021 Cycling Challenge (details here)? Well … there’s some good news and some bad news.

For obvious reasons I didn’t stray far from home very often. And problems from my neck/spine fracture a couple of years ago has made very long rides difficult. But I stayed active, cycling 250 times and hiking more than a 100 times in 2021.

The Good News:
I did achieve my primary goal of 160,200 metres of vertical ascent.

Remember: there are 525,600 minutes a year. Climb one foot a minute. 525,600 feet = 160,200 metres).

The Bad News:
But I failed in my other goals as I only had a handful of rides that didn’t begin and end at my home. So I certainly failed at my goal of cycling up 100 different cols. BUT, I must have at least a 100 rides that included my local Col du Mont Sion. 🙂 Above the col are several unpaved routes up and across Mont Sion and I visited them often in 2021:

Atop Mont Sion (Mont Salève in background)
Favourite Rides of the Year

1. La Barillette at Sunrise

Another part of my 2021 challenge was “At least one great sunrise ride.” Success!

Apart from my wife, I rarely rode with anyone else this year. But I met up with my great friends Tim and Richard in October to cycle up to La Barillette for the sunrise. Wooohooo! Fabulous views of the distant Alps were the reward for the early start in the dark. Details here.

2. Cormet de Roselend via Col du Pré

Ridden just before the Dauphiné. Remember, via Col du Pré is the best way up to Roselend as you get to ride across the damn dam. Details here.

3. Lots of rides with my wife

I had quite a few rides with my wonderful wife. Always fun.

4. Rides above the clouds

Autumn where I live can often be dark, foggy, and overcast. But if one cycles high enough it is often possible to find the sun above the clouds.

Final Thoughts

I know 2021 was a challenging year for almost everyone. For me, the key to happiness and well-being is exercise. I just feel better not just during but also after a fun bike ride. I am sad not to have achieved all of my 2021 Cycling Challenge – but am pleased I stayed active.

I wish everyone a Happier New Year. Be well.


A few more 2021 photos

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Will, I see no fails there on your 2021 biking. Congrats on all your achievements and now 2022 calls all us cyclists!

  2. Thanks Will, you’re a true legend! I only manage to snatch a few days cycling in the Alps each year while on family hols and your posts are truly superb for planning great days out. Finally in 2022 I’m planning a 10 day trip of 20+ of the most famous cols from Geneva to Nice and back and as ever you’re my primary resource…if ever I meet you there’s a few beers coming your way!

    • Luc Berthelotte on

      Hey Will, thank you for continuing your posts, as you almost gave up a few years back. If only this covid ~§<#&” can end , we will head over to Europe and certainly join you for some rides. My partner in crime has finally retired and we are free as birds. Birds in a cage for now, but we certainly plan on escaping when the doors open. Keep on trucking my friend and happy new year ??. See you when we fly out of our cage. Cheers! Luc and Pascale / canada

  3. Steven Mc Donald on

    Hey Will, that’s a fantastic year by my estimates given all that has happened… I wait with baited breath each year hoping you will continue your fantastic contribution to the cycling community and you have never yet let us down. Well done and keep those pedals turning in 2022

  4. Hi Will & Doreen,

    I wish you both a happy new year. Lots of cycling fun. And of course a good health.
    And remember every ride counts.

    Greetings from Ken (Belgium)

  5. Happy New Year. Your website is an inspiration and has helped me thru this pandemic. Covid allowing I really want to try your Colle della Rho route this summer.

  6. Will, another great effort given all the cicumstances. Keep riding and keep safe. All the best to both yourself and Doreen from Down Under.

  7. Nice one Wilxxxx, 177,000 m is a lot of climbing (just 112,000 m for myself). Hope 2022 is kinder to you and all of us.
    Now on ya bike, lad.

  8. Will- Congrats on another successful year!
    Always appreciate your humorous posts and beautiful pictures.
    Kim and I relocated from Virginia to Central Oregon in SEP 2021 and look forward to exploring the many beautiful areas that surround our new hometown of Bend.
    Hopefully, some Lost Boys alumnus of our 2008 Tour d’Enfer, including Scottie Moore, Larry Kessler and Leslie Reissner, among others, will be be able to join in the discovery of this area including the amazing Oregon Scenic Bikeways.
    You and Doreen are always welcome….and able to travel once this pandemic is in the rear view mirror.
    One of my first challenges for 2022, when the snow subsides, will be climbing over lava-covered McKenzie Pass which I did in 1977 (45 years ago!) on my cross-country cycling trip of the USA! I will send pictures.
    Looking forward to your 2022 Challenge posts!

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