May Cycling Challenge and 10km Streak May 11, 2008 2:36 PM   Subscribe

The MetaFilter May Cycling Challenge is on! Also begining May 1st, the 10km Streak competition. (no association with nude bicycle riding implied or intended)

The 10km Streak competition will rank riders based on their longest streak of consecutive days riding more than 10km. To have a streak count, you will have to enter a new activity for each day of riding, and enter the date correctly in the New Activity page. All activities based on your local timezone. I'll script it to look back a little more than 1 week, and keep track of active streaks (so, for example, May rides added in the middle of June won't be counted).

I have it on good authority that the winners of both competitions will be getting prizes, but I'm leaving it to the generous prize givers to announce exactly what.
posted by Chuckles to MetaFilter Gatherings at 2:36 PM (42 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I should have mentioned, I will add all activities with a given date stamp to arrive at a total distance for each day.
posted by Chuckles at 3:14 PM on May 11, 2008

This reminds me that I started a running challenge like two months ago and forgot about it. Oops!
posted by loiseau at 3:32 PM on May 11, 2008

How about I'll give a garmin edge 705 to the cyclist with the most consecutive days riding. I have a 705 and it's the best bike computer I've ever used.

Are we tracking most consecutive days of running? I could give a garmin forerunner 405 to the winner of that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:36 PM on May 11, 2008

I honestly thought "10km Streak competition" meant something entirely different from what you described. Something I'd definitely have to travel outside the city limits a ways to compete in.
posted by DMan at 4:47 PM on May 11, 2008

mathowie said "Are we tracking most consecutive days of running? I could give a garmin forerunner 405 to the winner of that."

Aww, that's awesome of you! I think they were tracking overall mileage for March last I checked. Here's the MeFi group -- it looks like there's no challenge up for May, but I might be wrong.
posted by loiseau at 4:59 PM on May 11, 2008

If you live in America can you just bike 10 miles?
posted by ND¢ at 6:56 PM on May 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

10 miles = 16.09 km and 10 km = 6.21 miles. So if you lovely, sweet, generous Americans want to cycle a minimum of 10 miles a day, while the rest of us only have to cycle the equivalent of a little more than 6 miles a day, go for it!

(Chuckles, will the David Niven Memorial Challenge standings be listed in kilometers instead of the usual miles, then?)

I think May is the month when I finally get all my bottles and cans out to the local recycler. Two round trips a day = just over 10 km. More space in the garage!
posted by maudlin at 7:37 PM on May 11, 2008

well, if the runners want in, let's say the same as bikes -- most consecutive days running between May 1 and Aug 31, at least say, 2 miles per day.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:44 PM on May 11, 2008

How's the data tracked? GPS? Honesty?
posted by Memo at 8:37 PM on May 11, 2008

It's tracked by honesty for now, hopefully no one would fake their way through this for an entire summer.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:19 PM on May 11, 2008

problem with streaking is that it's rarely done by people you'd actually like to see nekkid.
posted by krautland at 2:46 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Are we tracking most consecutive days of running? I could give a garmin forerunner 405 to the winner of that.

I'm not gonna win it, considering that I just do 5k every day, but I know a lot of people who have done this for years and years without a single days rest. by which I mean to say the winner might need some time to get his hands on that prize and it would probably involve someone running just 8k one day because of weather, time or something like that and having to be excluded like that.

but it's a way cool idea.
posted by krautland at 2:49 AM on May 12, 2008

I don't follow how this works. I've signed up over there, added my week's activity, joined the MeFi Group, but do not see myself on the list on the page linked on this page. How do I throw my activity into the pool?
posted by dobbs at 5:35 AM on May 12, 2008

Matt, since this is now an official MeFi, on MeTa, thing, could we start it *today* instead of May 1?

(I've been out of the loop since the last of April with the sick-cat blues.)
posted by notsnot at 6:18 AM on May 12, 2008

I'll throw in bike stickers for the winner (MetaFilter stickers or winner's choice).
posted by mikepop at 6:20 AM on May 12, 2008

Sounds fun. I would participate but it's autumn around here and I don't want to be found in a ditch, inside an ice cube.
posted by Memo at 6:41 AM on May 12, 2008

Yes, purely the honour system. The only other choice would be for mathowie to buy 120 GPS trip computers, and one is already totally awesome, so...

dobbs, you just have to wait for a periodic update. I guess I could do that tonight, because it has been a few days..

The consecutive day script still hasn't been written, I'm looking to do that in the next couple of days.
posted by Chuckles at 7:56 AM on May 12, 2008

I average 16 to 20 miles a day on weekdays, year round. Guess I'll start keeping track on WeEndure again.
posted by smich at 7:58 AM on May 12, 2008

The only other choice would be for mathowie to buy 120 GPS trip computers

posted by hangashore at 8:27 AM on May 12, 2008

Man, I love that we have admin-sanctioned contests like this here, it really engenders a sense of competitive community, which I think is fantastic.

Now, as soon as we have a sit-in-bed-all-day-playing-GTA-4 ordered event, I'll be there. I've been training every day since it's release, and I think I might be ready to compete with some of the best out there.
posted by quin at 8:53 AM on May 12, 2008

Chuckles, thanks! I wasn't aware that you'd built the site. Neat!
posted by dobbs at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2008

Actually, it's defeated's site, but only the top 5 lists are tracked server side, so I scrape the data and post updates. I believe he has some plans for making me obsolete, but he's also pretty busy at work, so..
posted by Chuckles at 10:55 AM on May 12, 2008

Matt, since this is now an official MeFi, on MeTa, thing, could we start it *today* instead of May 1?

Yeah, I just took a week off. Maybe this would be more fun if there was a defined starting point coming up.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:25 PM on May 12, 2008

Would I get like extra points if I did it without ever coasting?
posted by fixedgear at 1:44 PM on May 12, 2008

The May Mefi running challenge is here. I run a lot, but if I don't take days off I get injured pretty quickly. It's self-serving, but I would argue that for running distance is a more fair metric than a streak, because the repetitive pounding is much harder on your body. I was a courier for two years, rode every day on the weekends, and never lost a day to injury. If I go two weeks running without a day off I'm pretty likely to get injured.
posted by OmieWise at 4:26 PM on May 12, 2008

Matt, curious why you chose most days in a row. Shouldn't it be most days in a month? Shouldn't the person who rides 14 days, takes a day off, rides 15 more days be rewarded more than the person who rides 16 days in a row but no others? Seems like an odd decision to me.
posted by dobbs at 6:08 PM on May 12, 2008

Matt, curious why you chose most days in a row.

Because that's what makes it a challenge, to go out there and do it every day, day after day. I can't muster more than maybe 10 consecutive days in an entire year given my travel, sickness, etc schedules, but Chuckles was trying to think of something really hard to give a big award for and that seemed like it. It's crazy, it's dumb, it's hardcore. Most mileage is what we've done for the past year and it gets boring and I thought changing it up would be fun for participants.

Also, we're talking about 120 days total, so I think starting it on May 1st only puts you out 10% tops from doing the entire amount. I am guessing someone will be able to swing a month or so of days up to maybe say 40-50 days max, and they can win it. I have no chance and would love to watch someone dedicate themselves to trying to win the challenge.

I'm hoping no one games it (runs/rides very little, but everyday) or cheats outright (makes up numbers), but I think it'd be a fun change.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:27 PM on May 12, 2008

Okay, thanks for the explanation....

Although now I'm a confused about something else. Chuckles called it the May challenge. You're referring to 120 days. In Canada May has 31 days. :)

So... is this actually a May, June, July, and August challenge?

And yeah, I agree with the above. Awesome that you're offering up such a great prize! Very nice.


How are other folks figuring out their distances if they don't have a computer yet? I use that Pedo Google Map thingy where you click out your route. Is there an easier way?
posted by dobbs at 10:17 PM on May 12, 2008

This previous discussion might help clarify what's going on: Cycling Challenges for 2008.
posted by Chuckles at 11:21 PM on May 12, 2008

Yeah dobbs, we're talking about two challenges. As always, there's the "who won the month with the most mileage" but Chuckles also thought of "who can ride the most consecutive days for the four months of prime summer riding" which is what I was talking about.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:09 AM on May 13, 2008

Do I get extra credit for trying to keep up on the running *and* riding?

I don't know if I consider the minimums "gaming" the system. I mean, I personally will have some days where I do pretty good - five six miles on foot, or 30 on the bike - but other days will be just a hair over the minumum to keep a streak going.

(ugh, weather's gonna be a *bitch* on this one.)
posted by notsnot at 5:55 AM on May 13, 2008

Ah, okay, thanks Matt and Chuckles for the clarification.
posted by dobbs at 6:04 AM on May 13, 2008

I'm going to second OmniWise on the run challenge. That's just begging for some injuries. Why not most runs of 5k (3.1 miles) between May 1 and August 31?

notsnot, I hope you're going to have a not insignificant number of active recovery runs and rides. I'll be a bit sad if you get injured. You're a bit of a role model. I hope to follow in your footsteps once I am cleared to run.
posted by sequential at 8:50 AM on May 13, 2008

Sequential, thanks for the props! As far as runs go, some days I'll just do 25 minutes of plodding along, maybe even on the track where the squishy surface will make it easy. And my bike rides, really, aren't all that. I mean, I cook with gas where I can, but my last mile is a slight downhill that's fast even in a headwind, so I'm not even winded when I get home. I'll likely make "offdays" be a little mountain bike/skills ride, enough to pump some blood around.

I'd never heard the phrase "active recovery" but on a quick Google search, yeah, I'll be doing something like that, though I'll also refrain from doing many balls-out workouts, ones that would really tear me down, either - half marathons or centuries. I may try a sprint tri, though - anyone got advice for that?

(my big thing, right now, is a Biggest Loser contest with my family, worth 800 bucks, and continued weight loss and fitness for my wedding in late August. After those comes the experiments to see just how much beer and cookies a person can drink and eat, and not gain weight.)
posted by notsnot at 10:44 AM on May 13, 2008

I've thought about this a bit more, and I wanted to comment again to say that the idea of a streak, while fine for cycling, is a poor choice of an achievement for running. I mentioned before that streaks lead to injury while running much more quickly (and regularly) than they do with cycling, and that bears repeating. Because that's true, a running streak measures nothing but the streak. If one takes the streak as a proxy for commitment or work ethic, it's a poor proxy. I could run two miles a day every day for the next month, and literally not reach the mileage that I will run this week. I could be more fair, and run four miles a day for a month and not reach half of my monthly mileage.

I train fairly seriously for running, and I guess what bothers me about the specifics of this challenge is that that's what makes me ineligible to even compete for it. In order to train I have to take days off, otherwise I'll get injured and my training won't go anywhere. As it is, I run 7-8 times per week, with two days off and several days of multiple runs. I've consistently posted monthly mileages that, while not particularly impressive in the realm of serious running, have exceeded other MeFites in the RunnerPlus challenge every month this year. I have no doubt that were there a real competition there would be other runners here who could exceed my mileage, but I think the fact that I have absolutely no chance (precisely because I care more about what I'm training for than I do about this challenge) suggests that the metric which makes sense for cycling is not appropriate for the running version of this challenge.
posted by OmieWise at 6:28 PM on May 15, 2008

Was going to post this on weEndure, but I guess here is better:

"I'm hoping no one games it (runs/rides very little, but everyday) or cheats outright (makes up numbers), but I think it'd be a fun change."

I was going to participate, but I guess I'd be "gaming" it (my commute isn't much over 10k). If short distances don't count, then could you be a bit more explicit in the rules and bump up the distance?

Maybe I'll just join for the heck of it, and I can just be DQ'ed if need be; it's likely I won't bike weekends, anyway.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:20 AM on May 20, 2008

By the way, is there an easy way to figure out the standings on the streak competition? weEndure is nice, but it makes me appreciate Metafilter's thoughtful design when I try to find data.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:26 AM on May 20, 2008

I think Chuckles is still working on the script.
posted by notsnot at 10:09 AM on May 21, 2008

Still? :)

Don't worry, I'm feeling very guilty about it, so I'll be starting it anytime now.

I'm very sorry to all participants, and I'm eager to see some standings myself!
posted by Chuckles at 5:56 PM on May 21, 2008

RikiTikiTavi, I don't think what you describe is gaming the rules at all. I know where mathowie is coming from though.. It is just that it would be nice to think a daily 10km rider would throw in a couple of big days here and there, just to prove they are really trying.

I think I'll keep track of a couple of other distance thresholds, just for the bragging rights.
posted by Chuckles at 6:02 PM on May 21, 2008

Yeah, not only that, but my total daily mileage is in fact generally assembled from two sub-10-k (commute) rides.

At least I've got some elevation change to throw in there. Maybe a hill-climbing sub-competition?

Thanks for setting this up!
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:56 PM on May 23, 2008

The streak script is done(ish) and the first results are as follows:

24 days by hangashore *
21 days by sequential *
19 days by dobbs *
16 days by Chuckles *
15 days by ssg *
13 days by notsnot *
11 days by JeffL *
11 days by spokenword *
9 days by monkeystronghold *
7 days by asbestos_mcpinto May 10, 2008
6 days by hydrophonic *
5 days by hydrophonic May 09, 2008
5 days by epersonae May 09, 2008
5 days by mikepop May 09, 2008
5 days by mikepop May 16, 2008
5 days by asbestos_mcpinto May 16, 2008
4 days by mathowie May 10, 2008
4 days by mikepop May 21, 2008
3 days by hydrophonic May 15, 2008
3 days by rikitikitavi *
3 days by ssg May 04, 2008
3 days by epersonae May 16, 2008
3 days by dobbs May 03, 2008
3 days by spokenword May 08, 2008
3 days by MrMustard May 08, 2008

See the Streakers thread at WeEndure for other details.
posted by Chuckles at 3:06 AM on May 25, 2008

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