You may remember during the summer lockdown of 2020 we ran a route plotting challenge, to see how much elevation you can squeeze into a 100km (62.13 mile) ride. We had thousands of entries from all over the world, and we went to ride the UK's toughest entry, with over 3000m of elevation.
So, seeing as winter is usually a cold, dark and wet time to ride, but still wanting to find those metres of elevation, we've created a new challenge to keep you climbing in January and kick start your year of riding.
So, just how much climbing can you complete in one hour? Ok, it's not that simple.... as there are rules, just like our 100km challenge. As let's face it, anyone can ride up and down the same climb for an hour. That's too easy, and where's the creativity in that?
No, just like our 100km challenge, there's a twist. This time, you're going to need to plot a route, AND ride it, and more importantly, finish it within 60 minutes.
To the rules..
1. The route must start and finish at the same place.
2. You cannot ride the same road twice, and cannot double back on yourself, or criss-cross at any point. You cannot ride up and down the same climb.
3. You have 60 minutes to complete the challenge. You can ride for less than an hour, but not a second more. You must return back to the starting location in 60 minutes or less, not a second more.
4. The ride can be done virtually on Zwift etc, but it must still meet our other rules.
Sounds simple, but plotting a hilly route, and finishing the hilly route in one hour is tougher than you'd think. Unless you made it easy for yourself.... but where's the fun in that? The challenge comes from:
A. Trying to plot a hilly route on Strava (or other route planning software) that will allow you to maximise your elevation over a distance you think you can ride in one hour. Again, making it easy is just no fun, is it?
B. Riding the route and trying to complete it in 60 minutes or less. If it takes you 60 minutes and 1 second, you've failed. Remember, you must get back to the start location in 60 minutes or less.
Remember, this is a personal challenge, we're not trying to find who lives in the hilliest location or who can find the most elevation worldwide. This is your own personal challenge to find out how much climbing you can do in a one hour ride, within our rules.
If you find you've completed your ride but it's taken you 61 minutes, you have two options..... ride it again, but faster, or change the route to make it shorter/flatter.
Everyone across the world can do this. Those who live in the mountains may have greater elevation potential, but their road choices may be fewer, as they can't double back. Those who live in flatter parts may have to be creative in how to maximise elevation.
We're giving away 3 x £500 gift cards to spend on our apparel for those who enter and submit their rides. Winners will be chosen from eligible entries at random. Remember, no prizes are awarded for the most elevation, it's your own personal challenge. However.... your entry has to follow the rules.... if it doesn't, you won't be eligible to win. So, a reminder of what we must see in your entry:
1. A ride of 60:00 or less
2. Starting and finishing in the same place
3. A route which doesn't use the same road twice, double back on itself, or criss-cross at any point.
4. We need to see the Strava or similar ride URL (not your profile URL or a route file)
5. Please name your ride - Band of Climbers One Hour Challenge - so we can find them
6. You can enter as many times as you like, but only unique rides count (you can't enter the same ride multiple times)
7. Entries must take place between 1st and 31st of January. Winners will be announced by email in the first week of February 2022.