Metric Century Challenge 2010-2011: winners announced!

Plus the 2011-2012 forum thread is now open for business... get mile munching!

by roadcc_admin   November 4, 2011  

Winding road (Copyright james denham)

The pumpkin's in the compost and the fireworks are safe in the biscuit tin, so it must be time to look down the big list and see who's won the monthly mile munching compo - the Metric Century Challenge.

If you haven't seen it on the forum, the MCC is a year-long competition that runs from halloween to the next halloween, and the idea is to complete as many metric centuries as possible and at least one in every month. One point for each metric century, and the rouleur with the most points wins. If you complete at least one a month you win a prize that isn't worth the pain of all those early winter morning alarm calls, and there's also prizes for the best score in a month, and the longest single ride.

So, to the gongs. It was a close run thing this year, with three mile-munchers battling it out for top spot. In the end, though, it was peter s 1944 who came out on top of the pile, notching up 84 points to edge out martincashman (81) and Blackhound (78). All three managed over 9,000km of scoring rides, and in fact Blackhound was the distance king, with 9,569km on the meter.

Blackhound also takes the monthly prize, with a frankly astonishing 19 scoring rides in June, including nine in as many days in the middle of the month. Chapeau! He's also notched up the biggest single ride at 301.7km, although Big Dave did point out that it doesn't beat his 356.8km Bath to Colchester epic, even though he didn't write it down. So he wins that one, he says.

Six riders managed to complete a century in every month of the year, and those riders are:

stuke
fringe
peter s 1944
Martin Thomas
abudhabiChris
peajaybee

Congratulations to all of you - you'll each receive a shiny pair or road.cc socks for your troubles. Blackhound gets some too, and winner peter s 1944 gets a lovely road.cc merino jersey like this one. Well done him. martincashman gets some socks as well, even though he didn't complete a ride in December. Because we're kind, and 81 points is a lot of points.

The 2011-2012 competition is now open! If you want to join in, all you have to do is post your totals on the forum thread. It's a gentleman's competition and you're only cheating yourself, so be honest now. 95km isn't a metric century, and nor is four hours on the turbo... Rides completed between halloween and now do count though. Good luck!

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

This has been a great incentive to keep going through the bad weather and moments of low motivation. I only got a road bike in August 2010 after dabbling in a bit of mountain biking since April of that year, prior to that I had been steadfastly exercise free from the age of 12 to 32. I loved the road bike from the start but wasn't sure what my goal was until I saw this challenge.

The original goal was to try for the 1 point a month, I'd only done the century once before the challenge started so figured this would help keep me motivated... but somewhere along the way it became an obsession filled with suffering but ultimately rewarding and not just in terms of socks.

As I said I was only initially interested in completing the once a month minimum (which I consequently failed at). The hardest day was my December century, only my 4th ever, when I seriously bonked at 60km and nearly froze on a miserable lonely 40km crawl to home) and that was it, as the ice and snow set in making it too dangerous to go out. I was in Australia for the whole of January so 3 months in and I'd failed already.

While in Oz though I decided that when I got home I was going to devote as much time as I could to cycling and see how fit I could get and this is where the Metric century obsession really took off... at first I wanted to try and do 1 century a week but soon started doing 2 to make up for the lost weeks, then some weeks it was 3.

The point became an addiction, I cycled mostly on my own but occasionally I'd join a group for a shorter recovery spin but if we'd done 60 to 70km, sure it wasn't that far to complete the 100km, was it? Infact, it still irks me that I missed 1 point by 1.5km... if I'd only gone round the block 1 time...!

From doing the constant long distance, I learned a lot about suffering, nutrition, pacing and gained lots of endurance, the price for these lessons was a lot of bonking mistakes and lonely square peddling. I cycled through cramp and sore joints, once my left knee started to hurt after 20km but I refused to turn back and lose the point, I ended up cycling about 70km with 1 leg. The time on the bike thought me about position and setup, a lot more that the 30 to 50km rides I'd been mostly doing up until the start of the challenge ever would.

Since February I've done just over 10500km in total with most of those being century's, that kind of illustrates how obsessive this can become. Great and all as it's been, next year I gotta change it, I want to give racing a try, so I think I'll need to do those shorter high intensity spins and lose the obsession for collecting points. This has been a great base building year though that has seen my solo 100km best go from 26.5kph to 32kph.

Last year I was a guy with a bike, this year I'm a cyclist... I don't think that transformation would have happened or been so complete without this challenge and I got to meet and cycle with the legendary Sean Kelly a few weeks ago, I confidently advised him on mountain bike choice for a local trail he's going to be at, go figure?

To all those taking the challenge for 2011-2012, best wishes and remember obsession is sometimes a good thing.

One thing I'd like to know is about the weather. Has the past year been a typical or bad example of cycling weather, it seems to have been constantly windy and cool, infact I bought my first set of arm warmers and most of my winter gear in June..!

posted by martincashman [20 posts]
4th November 2011 - 19:29

6 Likes

What a difference a year makes... last year I scored something like 52 between the end of March and the end of October - including 17 MCs in May alone. This year I struggled to hit 25 all year. Ho hum.

I agree it's a great motivator. There were several rides that simply wouldn't have happened had it not been for the MCC. So count me in again for 2011/12. My target next year is at least 40.

Well done to the ever-astonishing Peter S and all you other high mileage pedallers.

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [577 posts]
4th November 2011 - 20:01

5 Likes

So any rides 100km or more?

I didn't even notice this on the forum, else i would have gotten my rides down and scored a couple of points here and there, This year, i'll get mine done as normally every 2nd weekend is a big one

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8902 posts]
4th November 2011 - 20:33

7 Likes

I missed December last year because I was ill, the only month I have missed in the 3 years since this bit of fun started.

In June and early July where I scored the big points I was doing the Tour Divide a 2,700 mile (4,300k) unsupported race from Canada to Mexico. It was off road and at altitude so many of my kilometres this year have been loaded, including a 200k in early October in Wales. I also did a tour of Oregon after my Tour Divide efforts.

I echo the fokks above where I often do a little extra to score a point. Thanks Road.CC

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [445 posts]
4th November 2011 - 21:37

8 Likes

Cheers guys.

I was fortunate to not have any months where I was struggling to do a ride but I would certainly have pulled out all the stops to get one in and maintain the run.

The other interesting thing about this is to see that roughly half my riding is done in longer rides. Not sure what it means but I like that sort of thing Nerd

First century for the next year already on the board too Smile

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [536 posts]
5th November 2011 - 10:12

7 Likes

Well done everyone, some serious mileage (kilometrage?) clocked up between you. I'm dreadfully envious of all those rides and hope I can clock a few up myself this year.

martincashman wrote:
One thing I'd like to know is about the weather. Has the past year been a typical or bad example of cycling weather, it seems to have been constantly windy and cool, infact I bought my first set of arm warmers and most of my winter gear in June..!

It's has been variable depending on your location, as is often the case in the UK. However, it has been uncommonly dry in the West Midlands and definitely the summer months have been windy more of the time than most years. We had a particularly long cold spell from December onwards; the club's pre-Christmas cyclo cross was run in temperatures of -14 to -6 deg C! The snow stayed for much longer than usual, and my first commute of 2011 was quite scary after freezing rain made the roads lethal.

Plenty of reading material, including monthly and seasonal summaries, at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2011/

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1981 posts]
5th November 2011 - 12:22

5 Likes

martincashman wrote:
One thing I'd like to know is about the weather. Has the past year been a typical or bad example of cycling weather, it seems to have been constantly windy and cool, infact I bought my first set of arm warmers and most of my winter gear in June..!

Chilly in June, boiling in April and October...the world's on its head (etc)!

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [577 posts]
5th November 2011 - 13:00

4 Likes

Glad to have discovered this challenge. Sadly did that only middle of this year.

Now, hope I can man up and head out at least once a month for the next few. Would really like to do a complete challenge this year.

P.S.: Do 4 hours on the rollers count? I'm finding 30 mins on the rollers harder than my century rides.

~rbx

rbx's picture

posted by rbx [243 posts]
5th November 2011 - 20:39

6 Likes