2021 would be the 17th year of my silly annual cycling challenges. Back in 2005, I was an occasional cyclist and challenged myself to ride 10,000 kilometres. Now I am addicted to riding my bike.
See here for my 2020 Cycling Challenge results.
I must admit that I have come close to ending this blog after this depressing year. Me on twitter a few hours ago. 🙂
I am considering ending my blog and simply posting photos of "benches with a view" 🙂 pic.twitter.com/hiCNoBWGKV
— cyclingchallenge (@cyclingalps) December 31, 2020
But fuck it. Yes, 2020 sucked. But let’s have some hope. Plus, I need the motivation. Let’s start over. I am going to do the exact same Challenge as 2020!
So here is my simple, yet hopeful, 2021 Cycling Challenge:
160,200 Metres of Vertical Ascent
When I was a kid growing up in Canada, we switched from Imperial to Metric. So I am vaguely “bilingual.” 160,200 is a magic number for me.
- 525,600 minutes in a year
- 525,600 feet = 160,200 metres.
So basically climb a foot for every minute of the year.
I like cycling slowly uphill, often unpaved. Personally, I prefer tracking ascent more than distance or speed. And I live in a hilly region.
20 New Climbs
I like exploring. I think one thing people like about this site is when I post interesting routes that are not well known – paved or unpaved. I’ve had lots of time this year to plan a few ideas. 🙂
In 2020, “La Route de la Soif via Col de l’Arpettaz” was probably the ride where I received the most emails or messages from people that went on to ride the route after me (and loved it).
BONUS CHALLENGE: Find a few new climbs that I can add to this favourite old post: Forty of the Highest Unpaved Cycling “Roads” in the Alps
Cycle 100 Different Cols
Variety is the spice of life. COVID restrictions prevented me from completing this goal in 2020. Hopefully, 2021 will be better. I like discovering new cols as well as revisiting great old friends.
At least one great sunrise ride
Hopefully, with my friend Tim. Half the fun is brainstorming a good option. It needs to be a great climb with perfect views towards the rising sun. See here for a few favourites from the past:
More Adventures with Doreen
I love biking (and hiking) with my wonderful wife. She is not a bike fanatic like me but has a long list of accomplishments (Galibier, Ventoux, Iseran, Alpe d’Huez, etc. etc.) always climbed with a smile. Hopefully, we can plan a few more adventures.
Our best trips have been exploring the endless network of Burgundy canals (traffic free and peaceful). But hmmmm, I’ve always wanted to show her Colle del Nivolet?!?
I’ll just repeat what I said last year:
I have lots of other ideas. I’d like to get above 3000 metres again. I’d like to ride at least one of the many signed, multi-day, grande-traversée mountain bike routes in France. I have a never ending list of cols I hope to visit. etc. But I’ll leave all these ideas as potential upside for the upcoming year.
I hope everyone has success with whatever cycling challenges you may have.
Happy Better New Year!