The challenge has been communicated. The gauntlet thrown down. The glove has been slapped across my cheek, and I am to turn the other, or, presumably show up at dawn and choose my weapon. Well, my weapon is my Marinoni VR2 and I accept the challenge!
What am I blithering on about? Why, the Strava Skratch Challenge of course! This is what I especially love about the online sporting communities that are out there. The ability to compete with complete strangers who all have something in common with you: they want to win and see you lose. Sure, you can’t look them straight in the eye (unless you stare really closely into their online profile pic, which would be weird and somehow pointless) but you can still challenge and intimidate. What are we all fighting for?
Bragging rights. No more, no less. There’s no podium ceremony, let alone trophy, but there is the glory of seeing your name at the top of the list. I know a lot of you know what I am talking about.
The Strava Skratch Challenge is 732 km between September 23 and October 5. I like signing up for this sort of thing because a) it is fun to compete against other cyclists from around the world and b) it gives me that added kick in the arse to get out and ride on those mornings where the allure of a warm bed may be dulling your competitive edge. We can’t have that now, can we?
We are now almost at the end of week one and I am forced to admit that this kind of challenge balanced with a full time job is not easy. It’s a question of time, and with the dawn coming in later and dusk arriving earlier, my bandwidth is limited. That’s not to say that it is impossible, just more challenging. I am not alone here for sure, but there are others who are clearly unemployed (seemingly all from Europe) and they have completed the entire challenge in as few as four rides!
I am currently ranked at 1440 out of 6154 participants, which is actually not too bad. I am only 1/3 of the way through the challenge, however, and for me to stay on track I have to put in a good long ride this weekend. Which brings me to the potentially exciting news that Andy, Sluggo and I may actually get to ride together for the first time since April! I know…weird season it has been.
Anyway, you can certainly expect a full report on that when (and if) it comes to pass. In the meantime, if you’re not a member on Strava, I encourage you to join (you can track your rides using the free iPhone App or your Garmin device). Look me up when you sign up!