The Annual Lunacy (aka "I Don't Do Winter") Challenge Chatzone

Discussion in 'CycleChat Monthly Challenges' started by ColinJ, 14 Oct 2018.

  1. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    If you follow this thread through the next 9 pages you can see how this challenge evolved.

    This chatzone thread is for discussion of your challenge rides and supporting other riders in theirs. There will be a new rides thread every year where you should post details of that year's qualifying rides. A full description of the challenge will be provided in the opening post of each year's challenge.

    In case any of you are wondering why we are calling this the 'Lunacy Challenge' but can't be bothered to read those 9 pages ... We settled on a target of 13 qualifying rides a year. That fits neatly with averaging approximately one every lunar month, although it is anticipated that qualifying rides in winter months will be fairly rare, but made up for by multiple such rides in the spring, summer and autumn months. A 'lunatic' was a person suffering from 'lunacy', mental health problems thought to be caused by the malign influence of the moon.

    Maybe you have to be just a little bit mad to take on this challenge? :whistle:


    I do the metric century and half metric century a month challenges but I have never gone in for the imperial century a month challenge because I know that I am unlikely to do 100+ mile rides from November to February. (It is very hilly round here so our choice of routes is a bit limited if we stick to well-gritted roads at sensible elevations.)

    @Littgull does a modified version of the imperial a month by aiming to do 12+ imperial centuries from Spring to Autumn and then relaxing a bit in the winter. I quite like that idea.

    So, I'm wondering if we winter wimps should start an "I don't do Winter" challenge? If we go for this, lets keep all of the distances in one thread so we don't have gazillions of extra threads, just "I don't do Winter " challenge and "I don't do Winter" chat threads. This one can be the chat thread.

    I propose that these rules would apply:
    • State your preferred distance in January. Choose a half century (metric or imperial doesn't matter, vary from month to month if you like), metric century, or imperial century.
    • You must do at least one ride of your chosen distance every month from March to October.
    • You must complete at least four extra rides at your chosen distance during that year.
    • Because this is a relaxation of the strict rules, why not allow even more flexibility? If you have a 'good' reason for missing a monthly Mar-Oct ride (illness, injury, imprisonment (:laugh:) etc.) then just make the statement "I couldn't do this month's ride because ..." and then catch up ASAP. "I was too lazy" or "The dog ate my bike" are not good excuses; "I was 8 months pregnant with triplets" or "I broke my leg" are!
    This suggestion is to try and encourage people who are put off doing any of the current challenges because of winter weather, limited hours of daylight, etc. and also to offer an option to transfer 'down' into this challenge if illness or injury forced a rider to drop out of one of the full year monthly challenges.

    Assuming that we go ahead with this idea, then I will attempt to do the full year metric and '50' challenges PLUS the winter wimp imperial, with each ride only being counted in one challenge.

    If you all HATE the idea, then I'll just do my winter wimp imperial challenge with Littgull and not tell you about it! If there is some enthusiasm for the idea then I will start the threads.

    If you LIKE the idea, what do you think of my proposed rules? Any suggestions? :whistle:
    Last edited: 24 Dec 2018
  2. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    If you live somewhere other than the UK, choose your own block of 8 months to avoid your most problematic months!
  3. cosmicbike

    cosmicbike Perhaps This One..... Moderator

    I live in the Thames valley, so any excuses about hills are null and void. Pretty much the same for proper cold weather. I do find the 4 Winter months the tough ones though, and tend to stick with close to home routes rather than being a little adventurous.
    ColinJ likes this.
  4. Part of the challenge of the imperial a month, is that at least 3 ( usually 5 ) of them, are in harsher, darker conditions. I’m sure there are a few that could do the 12 rides, and take 3 months or less to do so, but that takes out a key part of the ‘challenge’.
  5. I like this idea. I've considered and rejected the imperial century challenge in the past for the same reasons as you: around here it would encourage riding in, for me at least, relatively unsafe conditions, either on overly busy roads or in potentially slippery conditions, or both. More to the point, it would definitely involve getting going an awful lot earlier in the day than I'm willing to in order to avoid finishing in the dark.

    So, if the idea takes off I'll be in for the Winter Wimp Imperial.

    You'd need to think about whether an accidental instance of whatever distance during the November to February period counts towards the twelve. Arguably, it's a bit harsh if it doesn't, but then again it makes the eight month period easier to complete so that's not entirely clear-cut. You could perhaps simplify the rules by saying 'twelve during the year' rather than specifying months. That avoids the 'which months?' issue entirely.
  6. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    How about an 'I don't do made up, artificial challenges' thread? :whistle:
    HLaB, bluenotebob and Sea of vapours like this.
  7. Hmmmm...... Anything based on calendar months is artificial, in that calendar months are most emphatically a human invention. Arguably, however, lunar cycles are natural so all the existing, monthly challenges ought to be based on lunar cycles perhaps? :whistle: That's vaguely thirteen a year so perhaps Colin could 'improve' his Winter Wimps Challenge by making it thirteen rather than twelve.
    SpokeyDokey likes this.
  8. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    All challenges are made up and artificial!

    I could rename this one the "I'm a lazy bugger and need motivating to get out of bed in the winter, but being squashed by a truck in freezing fog on the A65, or suffering hypothermia in Swaledale in December doesn't do it for me" challenge, if that would help? :whistle:

    Nobody is denying that. This would be a 'lesser' challenge but would still require making a decent effort. Those who have been doing the full conventional challenges could continue to do so! :notworthy:

    I have seen several very hard-working challenge riders fall by the wayside due to illness or injury. It would be nice if someone (say) who had completed the full imperial challenge for 4 years but suffered a badly broken collarbone on January 1st in year 5 had another challenge to go for despite 2 months off for recovery. The current message is "Tough luck - see you next year"!

    As for comparing the 'worth' of different rides ... a 100 mile ride with only 2,500 ft of ascent in (say) the Thames Valley in February is probably going to be much easier than a Sea of Vapours trans-Pennine monster with 10,000 ft of ascent in April! But we don't make those comparisons ... We pretend that all rides are equal no matter what the weather, the terrain, or what speed they are ridden at.

    The only 'real' challenges are races or ones that potentially kill you! :laugh:

    Getting rid of the restriction on months for this proposed challenge makes sense. What if that broken collarbone were in June?

    I think making the challenge 13 rides would be lunacy! :smile:
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2018
  9. Very witty :biggrin:

    It's almost worth making it thirteen just to be able to call it the Annual Lunacy Challenge :-)
  10. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    Unlucky for some... yes, let's do that! Apart from giving the challenge a funny name, the extra ride could be a penance for wimping out of the associated full year challenge.

    The 'rules' become much simpler:
    • State what distance you will be going for - '50' (km/miles, it doesn't matter which; any mix counts), 100 km, 100 miles
    • Ride that distance 13+ times by December 31st
    Let's say that you can drop into this challenge at any time of the year. That way if a full annual challenge gets wrecked by illness/injury/imprisonment/work pressure/localised flooding/alien invasion/[insert excuse of choice here] you still have this challenge to come to. It also means that people who find about the challenge mid-season could start immediately without having to wait until the following year. (Any rides earlier in the year still count, just list what you did and when.)

    If you want to count points - 1 for 50 km, 2 for 50 miles, 3 for 100 km, 4 for 100 miles, 5 for 200 km. If you are riding further than 200 km (do you really need this challenge, you cycling God!), add 1 point for each extra 50 km completed?

    Due respect should be given to those doing the full annual challenges, but wear your lunatic badge with pride!
  11. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    I think this is a great idea. :thumbsup:
    Pat "5mph", Sea of vapours and ColinJ like this.
  12. OP

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    There have been quite a few times this year when I would probably have extended a metric century to an imperial if I'd just had a little bit more motivation. It looks like I will end this year with 7 or 8 rides of 100+ miles. I would have had one more if I had bothered to put the hilly version of nickyboy's Llandudno ride on my GPS. (I didn't, got lost, and took a shortcut down to the train home!). It would take a bit of effort, but I reckon I could get those extra 5 or 6 imperial centuries in if I had this challenge to aim for each year.
    SpokeyDokey and Sea of vapours like this.
  13. GuyBoden

    GuyBoden Fat bloke, pedalling slowly and enjoying the ride.

    ColinJ likes this.
  14. 13 rider

    13 rider Guru

    Anything that's get people out cycling safely has to be good if difficult to monitor . Me and @Lilliburlero were chatting about this while cycling today in horrid conditions to complete challenge rides thinking how lucky we are in the Midlands by not getting the worse of the weather . I think people underestimate the severity of the winters in higher more northern areas . Some of @ColinJ photos of last winter would have had me hiding indoors not riding
  15. StuartG

    StuartG slower but further

    SE London
    I can strongly identify with the sentiments behind this. This will, hopefully, be my third year doing the metric century challenge. It has been good at extending my rides round the year and pushing me out on cold winter days. It would be natural to step up to the imperial century.

    But, but the difference is I can squeeze the metric century into a daylight ride in winter and I don't have to start too early and catching those frost hollows we have even in Surrey (around Gatwick and south of the North Downs are notorious). I've come off, I've seen others and broken femurs and worse.

    I'll be seventy in February which means the chances of a full recovery in decent time are not good. That's why i have an absolute bar on going out when the temperature is forecast lower than 37F (which allows for lower temperatures in those hollows). Doing more imperial centuries is more important than doing the December one. I'll do it if I can but I don't want the pressure of completing the challenge to push me into taking a risk I shouldn't.

    So, on reflection I think I may fall back to my Eddington Challenge. To do 100 imperial centuries before I'm 100. Only 64 more to go! Getting that done in 5 years would be good at 12/year as my performance may not be what it was in my nineties notwithstanding my best ever is 9 in one year (this) .... so I'm almost in.
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2018
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