Strava Challenge Challenge

Strava is a website that I upload my GPS data from bike rides to, and it compares segments with other riders. It’s also just a great way to share rides and see others’ routes without spreading it all over Facebook where few people will care about all the ride details.

After failing the first Strava challenge in the winter of 2010, I’ve been hooked on trying these out. I did complete the challenge on the second try, which was to ride 500km in the last 8 days of 2011. It was tough to get out in the cold and ride 300+ miles in limited time, but I split it into shorter rides, added in the commutes, and was able to finish. Why would I want to add this challenge in winter? It’s just great to get some random inspiration to get outside more, especially during times when I get a little lazy and don’t ride much.

Some of their earlier challenges this year weren’t attainable to me, either because it required riding full time, or during a time I was otherwise out of town or not able to bike. My first challenge of 2012 that I completed was to climb about 23,000ft over 8 days, which instantly got me in great shape for upcoming dirt road rides with relentless hills.

The current challenge is to ride for 60 hours over about 3 weeks. This is the longest challenge for me, but I looked at the calendar and penciled in some rides and think I can finish this if I push myself more than I normally would in Oct/Nov when I’m typically not riding much. It also helps me reach my personal goal of riding 5,700 miles this year.

This weekend I rode 12 hours over the two days, getting 20% of the challenge done up front. Now the hard part will be keeping up the effort without getting burnt out. My knees are already feeling the 165 miles from the weekend!

Yes, the title does say challenge twice in a row. My challenge is to complete as many Strava challenges as I can. There’s even a running one coming up next week that I’m interested in trying, though I’m not sure if I can finish two at the same time. We’ll see about that one!

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