Two More Strava Challenges Completed

raphaI had forgotten about blogging for a little while, so here’s a somewhat quick recap. I had last posted at the beginning of the October Strava challenge which was to ride 60 hours over 3 weeks and 1 day – about 20 hours a week on average. I thought that commuting would be a good portion of that, and I could just add in some weeknights here and there and find a few group rides on the weekends – that turned out to be hard to do this time of year!

Once daylight savings hits, anything after work is in the dark. I do have a set of dynamo lights that run forever, so light isn’t an issue, but for this challenge there were many other aspects to be challenged by. For 12 days in a row I was riding in some form of precipitation – mostly rain until the last few of snow. That meant that I was also often riding in fog, at night, with critters around, in hilly terrain. Needless to say my hands stayed close to the brakes, and I nearly hit a skunk and a opossum on separate nights.

I would try to get two weeknights a week with 2-4 hour rides each. Weekends I was out 4-6 hours at a time, and only two of those were partially group rides. Turns out that it’s hard to find people willing to bike 80 miles this time of year! But I completed the challenge 60 hours of riding later and promptly stopped biking (other than commutes) until…

…The Rapha Festive 500 challenge came up again. I failed this one in 2010 due to constant snow, cold temps, and lack of willpower. I did finish in 2011 in fewer days than allotted, due to no snow on the roads (though it was darn chilly). For 2012 I finish just in time for a brief New Year’s trip out of town.

It started with a longer first day to get a good portion out of the way. I brought a bike to my 3-day trip to PA for Christmas, and the weather turned sour and I wasn’t able to get enough miles then. That meant the majority of time left would be at night, and so Peter and I met up for a few nights to get in what we could.

With some major snow storms coming down, I fixed up the mountain bike and did nearly a third of the miles at the end on that bike. I thought Peter had bailed, when on the last day I saw that he got out the Ti race bike and shot around Cayuga faster than I could have. It was great to finish again, and see at least one other rider I knew do it as well.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I’m sure Strava will whip up some new challenges in 2013!

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