The road.cc “Attaining A Higher State of Consciousness” Challenge 2014

by VecchioJo   January 2, 2014  

A different slant to the usual annual challenges and something more rounded and all-encompassing.

The game this year is to become a better, more experienced cyclist by trying one new thing each month. Be that attempting a distance you’ve never managed before, a bike related activity that has passed you by or a cycling skill that you have yet to master.

It can be as simple as learning to wheelie, entering your first race or even riding a different type of bike, maybe completing your first proper century, or 200kms, something as grand as crossing a mountain range or as simple as riding to the top of that hill in one go. It could be your first night ride, or ride through the night. Possibly something mechanical from learning how to change a gear-cable through to building your first wheel, anything that tests you.

The size of the endeavour isn’t significant, whilst some might seem grander than others that isn’t the point, they’re all equally important personally. So anything goes, something that you’ve never done before, something that makes you step out of your comfort zone, twelve things that will make you a better, more complete, more experienced cyclist after 12 months.

No prizes or sew-on patches for this one, just the knowledge that by the end of the year you’ll have experienced a whole load of new things and progressed a bit.

Go.

27 user comments

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I'm in.

Claud And I's picture

posted by Claud And I [16 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 19:38

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I like this thing. This is A Good Thing.

One of my biggies will definitely be "build-a-bike-up-and-don't-break-it", though almost without shadow of a doubt I'll need my lovely LBS to help somewhere along the way.

Hopefully I'll also be doing some proper, proper climbs this year - be it in Spain or in the Lakes.

What else? Ah yes, risking it all on a Chinese frame. Dicing with death.

posted by bashthebox [638 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 19:42

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This is indeed a good thing.

First double-ton for me is a key goal.
10,000ft elevation in one ride is another.
Join a cc.
Race CX.
Watch le Tour live for the first time (I have seen the final stage of the Vuelta before, incredible)

And so on.

Great idea!

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [165 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 20:00

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I will, (hope) get past January the 1st in my new diary!

antonio

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posted by antonio [947 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 20:02

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Manualling, that's what I want to do.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2172 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 21:03

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After some thought I could only think of two bike related activities which I've never tried, riding one of those tiny miniature velodrome thingies and Cyclo ball, I'm game for both and anything else different anyone can suggest, but i will have done most of them because I'm obsessed.

posted by drfabulous0 [292 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 22:21

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Oh go on then. ^_^

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 10:18

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One new thing each month? I've got these sorted already...
- Visit to Velodrome (March)
- Watch the Tour live (July - may even go and see the cobbled stage)
- Closed Road Sportive (August - London 100)

The others could be tricky. I've ridden MTB, road, CX, and BMX (when I was younger). I've ridden to work. I've adjusted gears and brakes, and replaced pedals, tyres, tubes etc. I'd love to build a bike from scratch but I haven't the space or a headset press.

So, I might do a track induction, and I might ride my first 'col' in the summer. Apart from that...

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [814 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 14:45

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drfabulous0 wrote:
After some thought I could only think of two bike related activities which I've never tried, riding one of those tiny miniature velodrome thingies and Cyclo ball, I'm game for both and anything else different anyone can suggest, but i will have done most of them because I'm obsessed.

maybe you could do something that's not about You then; help organise a race, or if that's too hard just marshal on the day, teach a child to ride, volunteer at a co-op style bike project, fix it up an old bike and give it to someone who needs one

give up your time to help cycling in general rather than take, you may have done all of these already of course, i'm just thinking out loud, improvement is a broad church

posted by VecchioJo [744 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 16:38

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Hmm this is an interesting one. Pity it wasn't last year when I:

Went mountain biking
Commuted on my bike
Bought a second bike
Rode a fixie
Rode on a velodrome
Sucessfully replaced handlebar tape!
Rode a century

etc etc

Fair point Jo about helping others as well.

Sod it, I'm in. No idea what I'm going to do though...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3083 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 19:30

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Going for the wheelie

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 22:32

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I've always wanted to go for a pee whilst still riding, got to figure out how the pro's manage that!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [330 posts]
4th January 2014 - 13:12

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Quote:
I've always wanted to go for a pee whilst still riding, got to figure out how the pro's manage that!

*adds to list*

I hear it's easier if it's raining at the time.

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posted by Claud And I [16 posts]
4th January 2014 - 16:03

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Claud And I wrote:

*adds to list*

I hear it's easier if it's raining at the time.

and the wind is blowing away from you....

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [330 posts]
4th January 2014 - 22:15

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Completely in love with this idea, a cycling challenge I can get my whole family participating in too
thank you

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

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posted by zzgavin [207 posts]
5th January 2014 - 20:18

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Get my coaching awards before years end.
Beat all of last years sportive times. I have re-entered them.
Get at least one sportive in a month
Ride Ventoux (booked)
Make sure I am in Yorkshire for you know when.
Lose 5kg currently 77kg
Don't chase cars that cut me up.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

Cyclist's picture

posted by Cyclist [144 posts]
7th January 2014 - 20:57

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Cyclist wrote:
Get my coaching awards before years end.
Beat all of last years sportive times. I have re-entered them.
Get at least one sportive in a month
Ride Ventoux (booked)
Make sure I am in Yorkshire for you know when.
Lose 5kg currently 77kg
Don't chase cars that cut me up.

i'm going to be harsh here and say these sound more like resolutions than trying anything new

*getting a coaching awards is laudable and allowed
*bettering a sportive time and entering more sportives isn't anything new, it's just getting faster and doing another sportive
*unless you've been to Yorkshire before that's nothing new, if you rephrased that as "watch a Tour stage start" maybe
*losing weight, again commendable, but as you'll have been your target weight at some time before that can't count
*unless you chase _every single car_ that cuts you up then, no, it's nothing new, just controlling your temper

yes, all of these a better, more rounded cyclist, but not in the way defined, sorry

posted by VecchioJo [744 posts]
7th January 2014 - 23:21

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Like this. Excellent idea Jo.

So far I've got "Watch the TdF in the flesh"
Start a Kids' cycling club (plans already afoot)
Do one of those on-and-off-road Sportives
Get my Coaching qualification
Ride across Wales from border to coast in a day (I live in Lancs and parents live on the west coast of Wales).
Do a ride involving a ferry trip (Maybe Argyll, maybe Fleetwood-Larne for the Giro, being realistic it's more likely to be 'Cross the Mersey!)

That's 50% of the required challenges. Not much time to come up with something for January. Might have to go with today's "Set an uphill Strava PR with loaded trailer attached to the bike". No, I've no idea how that happened. Must have been gawking at the scenery or something on the previous occasions I rode it.

As for other posters, last year would have been good for this given that I did all these things for the first time:

Taught a child to ride
Marshalled a race
Entered a hillclimb event
Taught an adult to ride
Volunteered to serve on the club committee
Rode the velodrome
Rode a fixie
Joined the crowds on a mountain pass for a pro cycle race
Bought and used a bike trailer
Did various scary bike-mechanic related tasks

posted by Bhachgen [88 posts]
8th January 2014 - 20:39

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Ill start mine from June, when i return from travelling

Learn to ride no handed
Ride a century in the UK
Learn to True a wheel
Join a club
Complete London to Paris
Watch all the grand tours
Complete a sportive
Watch a classic on tv
Complete a track day
Ride in a country other than France

hmm, need a few more

Specialized Allez 2009, Campagnolo Centaur 10, Campagnolo Shamal Wheels. 8.3kg

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posted by Miles253 [197 posts]
16th January 2014 - 10:04

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rather than set goals, I'll just see if I can add something new here each month,

So:

January - rode a Cyclo cross sportive. Hard day out in wind and rain, but such good fun I'm signed up for another. Also took a bike 'home' and rode the roads where I grew up for the first time in 25 years. I'd forgotten how fun they were.

February - bought and fitted some tri bars. Never tried them before but they have turned out to be surprisingly easy to ride with, and less uncomfortable than I feared. Finally rode through to friends in South London, so I've braved the 'pleasures' of Cycle Superhighways 7 and 8. Not impressed.

Wonder what March holds...

posted by robdaykin [160 posts]
17th February 2014 - 23:13

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Brilliant idea! I've got two already lined up:

Go riding in the desert (Red Rocks and Valley of Fire outside Las Vegas)
My first century (around the rim of an inactive volcano no less Smile )

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [134 posts]
17th February 2014 - 23:56

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I am riding from Bordeaux to Paris at the end of May, a distance of 600Km with a time limit of 60 hours. To date the longest single ride I have completed is 122 miles, so quite a jump.

Obviously I'm doing it for Charity so here is the link with the spiel about just why you should give up hard earned cash to help critically and terminally ill children.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/BordeauxParis

Yes this is a bit of a hijack but when the cause is this good, surely its OK?

posted by Potiriadis [15 posts]
1st April 2014 - 15:57

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I have done the opposite. I must have been commuting in all weathers for more than a decade now. To be honest over the last 6 months thanks to the daily mail brigade and Clarkson there has been a marked increase in people willfully trying to run me down including a bus driver who is now the subject of a criminal complaint, that and the 3 months of constant pissing down rain I simply went back to work at Christmas and decided to take a few months off the bike. I don't feel guilty. Being able to leave it alone and not feel bad about it has been a step forward for me. It wasn't making me happy, it was making me miserable and stressed.

posted by MKultra [210 posts]
1st April 2014 - 16:33

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Built a homemade single speed from all the old bits I had in my garage.

Old aluminium frame resprayed
Pair of carbon forks
A 15yr plus use seat post
Pair of clinchers I forgot I had
Sora crank
Adhoc cassette
Charge bullet end bars and stem
Single speed brake lever
Sora front brake

I wanted to try a nil cost build, use only what you have available. Only thing I did was get the spray paint from Halfords.

So I have a nip to the shops or cafe bike. Have to say I am fairly chuffed with myself.

image.jpg

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

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posted by Cyclist [144 posts]
17th April 2014 - 13:12

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Oh, I've been doing a bit of a thing about this on my blog.

Here you go.

http://www.claudandi.co.uk/category/12-new-things/

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posted by Claud And I [16 posts]
19th June 2014 - 17:31

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Perhaps this is the year I will finally wrap my own handlebar tape, or tighten a spoke. Still some time left.

No physical challenges call to me, though I have lately been conducting an experiment to see how little sleep I can survive on

posted by Sam Walker [53 posts]
21st August 2014 - 6:46

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Claud And I wrote:
To belittle my own win would be an insult to them and their fast legs, so I’m going to remain proud of me and mine.

Big Grin

posted by truffy [200 posts]
21st August 2014 - 8:15

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