Friday, 17 March 2017

Are You Up To A Challenge?

Over on the righthand side of the blog is a link titled "Challenges", which takes you to a brief potted history of some of the "organised" schemes I've signed up over the years in an effort to get myself out on my bike a little bit more than maybe I normally would without some kind of "incentive" (if that's the right term). 

I don't know about you, but I don't actually respond very well to the concept of a "challenge". I mean, I like to have goals, but as soon as I sign up to what someone else has defined as a "challenge", I swear my sub-conscious is quickly at work to invent ways not to do it!  (I like how G.E. of EndlessVeloLove explored the whole idea of goals and resolutions in a January 2017 post -- my own experience feels very different from hers because she and I define the words "resolution" and "goals" in almost opposite ways -- but oddly enough, the end result is often the same!)

A classic example for me is the #30daysofbiking challenge that runs the full month of April. When I'm not riding my bike much, then, as much as I like the idea of "pledging" to cycle, even just a short distance, every single day, no way is that going to happen. And if I'm cycling quite a lot, then to be honest, I want a day off now and then! (And the various chronic physical difficulties I deal with often have my sports massage therapist and personal trainer reminding me that recovery is essential, that muscles can only grow stronger if they're given a chance to rest.)

The exception for me has been Chasing Mailbox's spring and autumn challenges, Errandonneuring and Coffeeneuring respectively, which have at their heart the fundamental concept of, well, fun. Keeping it fun is what it's all about. I mean, if cycling didn't make me feel like a happy go-lucky kid again, I wouldn't be doing it. 

So here it is, spring once again and today saw the announcement of this year's Errandonnee Challenge

© M.G. / Chasing Mailboxes 2017

Am I in?  You bet!

But a few weeks ago, a Facebook friend also reminded me of the #30daysofbiking challenge and, you know what, I may actually have another go at that this year. 

Why? What makes this year different?  

Well, primarily I think it's the fact that I have been cycling very nearly every day since Christmas, more than I have ever cycled on a regular basis, and I'm significantly fitter and stronger than perhaps any other time in my life --- not to mention, for this time of the year!

Morning commute, Xmas/New Year 2016

And I actually think I can do it, without waking up very many mornings at all saying to my bike "sorry, lovely friend, but I need a break from you today". 

If you're thinking of giving Errandonneuring a go this year, check out the lively and fun Facebook group. (And the FB Coffeeneurs group is just about my favourite place on the internet, year round.)

So how about you? Does the idea of a 'challenge' motivate you or bring out the rebel ("you can't make me!") in you? 


  1. I have done the 30 days for the last few years. It makes me smile when 11pm on a rainy Saturday night I do a quick lap of Dunstable for no other reason than the challenge. So much better than the couch option.

    This year I did Coffeeneuring which I did off the back of your posts and loved it. So please keep posting.

    1. Hey - do we know each other in real life too? Let's do a coffeeneuring meet up next autumn! :) And, yeah, you are so right about the couch option.

  2. Looking forward to reading about your errandonneuring adventures this time around. This year is quickly flying by (and they seem to move quicker each year), so it remains to be seen if I'll participate this year.

    As for me, a challenge can be presented and well received, causing me to take it on with enthusiasm, but sometimes that just doesn't work. I definitely like to be able to modify as I move through a challenge, so having loose rules that allow for adaptability seem to suit me best. Though I will admit that sometimes I need stricter guidelines to keep me from completely going astray. :)

    1. Somehow all my errandonneuring rides fall in the 'personal care' (i.e. medical) category this year! So the real challenge may lie in how inventive I can be in re-categorising them. ;)

  3. I always look forward to your challenges. They help me to challenge myself with the extra push. So here we go. Thanks.


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