Cycling challenges for 2008 April 16, 2008 3:38 PM   Subscribe

MetaFilter cycling is starting to ramp up due to good weather, which has me wondering. Some plans for formal challenge(s) this summer would be good. And, head over to WeEndure and start entering your rides!

A big push for May, and again in August seems good. It would also be great if we could add category(s) and have prize(s). Most improved from last year comes to mind, but other suggestions are welcome.
posted by Chuckles to MetaFilter Gatherings at 3:38 PM (35 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Last August, when I didn't even have a job, Wolfdog beat me by a thousand miles. What prayer do I have now that I'm employed?

I would like to participate. Last time was a lot of fun, and the "competition" helped keep me in the saddle.
posted by popechunk at 5:14 PM on April 16, 2008


I loved the icicle challenge over the winter. I had no shot at winning, but it was fun anyway. It only kept me going for a week or two, but that's a week or two in which I'm sure I would've taken the bus without the competition. Anyone else have any clever ideas beyond just adding up the total distance traveled? (Preferably ones that don't require accurate time keeping. I can never remember to check the time.)
posted by ErWenn at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2008


Yeah, I need to catch up with about 4 months. I'll do that tonight ... or maybe this weekend. I got a flat sometime last December. After that I quit posting my boring 15.30 km daily commutes. I post there as psulli.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 5:46 PM on April 16, 2008


Best time for a metric / imperial century, completed during [arbitrary MeFi challenge period]?
posted by everichon at 6:54 PM on April 16, 2008


Also: if I was to proud to post my stupid commute miles, I'd have squat. ;o)
posted by everichon at 6:55 PM on April 16, 2008


Chuckles, you've been our diligent scorekeeper since the beginning, posting weekly tallies so anyone not in the top five can see their standing. Now you're asking for more work? My helmet's off to you, sir!
posted by hydrophonic at 6:55 PM on April 16, 2008


Yeah, Chuckles, thanks for all the calculating, being de facto club poobah, etc.
posted by everichon at 6:58 PM on April 16, 2008


Is anyone doing any touring this spring/summer?

Starting in mid-May, I plan to ride from St. Augustine, FL to Bar Harbor, Maine. Should take about a month, if I average 70 miles a day. I may then continue west to Washington state.
posted by JeffL at 6:58 PM on April 16, 2008


I've just recently hopped back on my bike. Around here, it is far too dangerous to bike in the winter (no shoulders left and only highways to bike on) and I'm eager to put in some distance again.

JeffL: I'm planning to do the US West Coast (Vancouver to San Diego) in May/June. I guess that would be the mirror image of your trip, in a way, though I'm pretty sure I won't be biking across to Florida after.
posted by ssg at 7:22 PM on April 16, 2008


I'll put in some miles this spring, though not nearly as many as those guys.

I'm just getting in line to thank Chuckles and defeated for all their hard work.
posted by box at 7:27 PM on April 16, 2008


I'd be the same way, everichon. For me, it's not about whether or not to go get on my bike and ride for riding's sake. It's more about whether I should ride to school/work, take the bus, or bum a ride from my girlfriend.
posted by ErWenn at 8:22 PM on April 16, 2008


Chuckles, if you can come up with some categories for winning, I can pony up the dough for the prizes.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:09 PM on April 16, 2008


I'm with ErWenn. I'll join up just to keep a tally of the miles I get through going to work and back, and it might just motivate me to give the tube a miss some mornings. Anyway, I'll get myself an account and see how it goes.
posted by MrMustard at 12:55 AM on April 17, 2008


Wait, we were supposed to ramp down for the winter?

I'll throw in some of my bike stickers (you don't have to choose the MetaFilter ones) as prizes for any contests.

How about "most consecutive days of at least 5 miles" starting in May?
posted by mikepop at 5:51 AM on April 17, 2008


Given my plans for the summer, and my desire to win something at least once in my life, I (facetiously) propose the following challenges:

1. Most states ridden through
2. Most Little Debbie snack cakes consumed while riding
3. Most extreme tan lines
4. Most weight carried on bike
5. Most incidents of asking for directions
6. Slowest average speed
posted by JeffL at 6:17 AM on April 17, 2008


6. Slowest average speed

Finally, something I can win. (Zero counts, right?) But seriously, I _really_ want to get myself going on this bike riding thing. This is the year, I just know it.
posted by inigo2 at 6:46 AM on April 17, 2008


Still needed: Team MeFi bike jersey.
I hope to ride my first fixed-gear century this summer, and a Metafilter jersey would help me finish under the cutoff time.
posted by ardgedee at 7:37 AM on April 17, 2008


> 6. Slowest average speed

7. Best traffic-fu
posted by ardgedee at 7:38 AM on April 17, 2008


7. Most flats
8. Bike weight multiplier
9. Heat index multiplier
10. Tackiest jersey
11. Biggest day
12. Biggest weekend
13. Biggest week

At the risk of been seen as setting myself up for this one:
12. Most miles commuting. We'd have to have a separate tally of strictly commuting miles.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:39 AM on April 17, 2008


"Most miles commuting" could rapidly turn into "most serpentine route to work". But hey!
posted by everichon at 7:54 AM on April 17, 2008


I look forward to 'slowest average speed' devolving into a trackstand contest.
posted by box at 8:05 AM on April 17, 2008


I want video of a MeFi trackstand contest!
posted by needled at 8:35 AM on April 17, 2008


*wobbles*

*falls over, still clipped in*
posted by everichon at 9:06 AM on April 17, 2008


Thanks for the reminder, Chuckles! It's beautiful today, and I've been thinking of riding...

7. Most flats
Finally, a category I can win!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:09 AM on April 17, 2008


3. Most extreme tan lines

I've already got a headstart on that one from last year. My arm tan lines are still pretty extreme from a tour in September.
posted by ssg at 9:56 AM on April 17, 2008


ssg, where did you go in September?
posted by JeffL at 10:02 AM on April 17, 2008


Nova Scotia and PEI. It was much sunnier than you'd think.
posted by ssg at 10:19 AM on April 17, 2008


Well, one day of commuting done, and 15 miles on the board. I like this. Hope I can keep it up.
posted by MrMustard at 11:23 AM on April 17, 2008


3. Most extreme tan lines

I've got y'all beat...century ride + no-clouds + Mississippi weather = extreme knee tan this past weekend.

And I also think I can win on 9. Heat Index Multiplier.

The gauntlet has been thrown down.
posted by fijiwriter at 1:01 PM on April 17, 2008


Re: Tan line

This was taken after my last long bike tour:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/pic/?pic_id=115737

posted by JeffL at 1:46 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can we have a photo contest of messiest wreck? I was trying to get top honors for all three categories this week, and wound up spending last night in the ER after some asshole fat-tired slob decided to turn in front of me.

Could be worse, though - the asphalt only broke one tooth and tweaked another. Two feet farther up the road was concrete.
posted by notsnot at 2:02 PM on April 17, 2008


With the size of the group here, I'm sure somebody has had a truly horrific traffic accident, but I think I'm in the running for messiest solo wreck. And by "solo", I mean without any other agents, vehicles (moving or otherwise), obstructions, walls, curbs, potholes, cracks, or puddles.

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of the aftermath, but I managed to fly over the handlebars of my bike without any outside influence whatsoever* and faceplant on the asphalt in the middle of an intersection. Tore off most of the skin on one cheek and lost half a molar (didn't notice the tooth was damaged until dinner that night). The facial damage was not particularly deep (didn't need stitches), but it was very wide and thus extremely messy. As for the tooth...the dentist finished examining my mouth and said It looks like you're going to be putting my daughter through college.

* U-lock on the handlebars managed to wedge itself across the frame, yanking my handlebars sideways. It wasn't until it happened again (thankfully throwing me onto a conveniently placed patch of lawn) about a month later that I actually figured this out.
posted by ErWenn at 11:18 PM on April 17, 2008


Thanks mathowie and mikepop, for offering prizes! And, for all the kind words.

Now you're asking for more work?

The "more work" I'd really be into is coding up some kind of horse race graph. You know, like a graph that charts riders day by day mileage in a head to head comparison. Not the kind of thing I'm going to do from scratch, but if anyone knows of a good starting place, I think it would be really awesome.

Suggestions so far:
  1. Most improved
  2. Best time for a metric / imperial century, completed during [arbitrary MeFi challenge period]?
  3. "most consecutive days of at least 5 miles" starting in May (Ya, I know it was meant as a joke, but bear with me :P)
  4. Most states ridden through
  5. Most Little Debbie snack cakes consumed while riding
  6. Most extreme tan lines
  7. Most weight carried on bike
  8. Most incidents of asking for directions
  9. Slowest average speed Best traffic-fu (?!?!?!)
  10. Most flats
  11. Bike weight multiplier
  12. Heat index multiplier
  13. Tackiest jersey
  14. Biggest day
  15. Biggest weekend
  16. Biggest week
  17. Most miles commuting
  18. messiest wreck
Other than most improved, I really like mikepop's suggestion of a consecutive day measure (even if it was meant as a joke). Most consecutive days over a fixed distance, or over some calculated threshold..

Most states ridden through seems interesting, but only if there is likely to be competition. And, you know, that would be states and provinces, obviously. Also, what do you do about those poor Europeans (or whereveans). I guess there'd have to be a minimum distance in a given territory for it to count.
It would be added motivation for me to bring my bike to Nova Scotia next week -- Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Main, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York -- nah, it would never work out..

The best tan line one is a little silly, but the photo stream would be hilarious. It would be easy to organize, just a page of anonymized photos and a simple poll to determine winner.

I'd love to do a weight based challenge -- I road home with 60 lbs of floor tile tonight, so you know it is my kind of riding. All you need is a bathroom scale to get a ballpark guess, so it is feasible, but I'm not convinced enough people would bother figuring out the details on that one.

Finally, another suggestion.. WeEndure allows tagging of activities, which could make some kind of blended "most hardcore" score quite feasible. Ten points for each ride tagged with any of: flat tire, fell off, broken seat post (a personal favorite), towed trailer, and etc...

Proposal
A distance challenge for May and August, as well as most improved in August. In addition, a most consecutive days riding over 6 miles (~10 km), starting May 1 until August 31.
And, if you want the farmer's tan poll, speak now and I'll try to work something out :P
posted by Chuckles at 11:22 AM on April 20, 2008


Other than most improved, I really like mikepop's suggestion of a consecutive day measure (even if it was meant as a joke).

I didn't mean it as a joke. I think it would be a good motivator to get on the bike every day, even if you have to fight the weather or whatnot. I ride everyday to work, but I don't always ride both weekend days (for example). Keeping it to 10km means anyone can go for this one. And it shouldn't have an end date - it keeps going until only one person has the longest string of consecutive days (keeping in mind that people might not enter rides into the website everyday).
posted by mikepop at 5:41 AM on April 28, 2008


> Best traffic-fu (?!?!?!)

Made in jest, unless somebody can establish a usable scoring metric for the acrobatics some use when urban riding at speed.
posted by ardgedee at 7:39 AM on April 28, 2008


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