The Century Challenge in 2017

Posted on Updated on

While it’s been fun watching the achievements of riders pushing themselves through 2016, it’s also been very challenging.  Counting the rides during the week is fine, and it’s been great fun checking out some amazing ride locations;  watching the race for the first 300 mile triple ton ride, and being part of the race to be first to the ton of tons.

Here at YCC towers come the weekend it gets hectic, add in going away on your own multiday trips and it becomes somewhat a burden. Returning home tired and hungry and having to prioritise Strava mining for tons over recovery sleep and reacquainting myself with the family has proved pretty difficult. Even Sunday nights away have been spent trying to find Internet access just to check the previous weeks club table before it disappears for good on Strava.

One time consuming aspect has also been that riders like to put up multi-day trips and long Audax rides as one file.  Don’t get me wrong they look great, but come on, is it the same ride when you have 8 hrs sleep in your own bed.
With the centuries only counting in a calendar day rule, most rides had to be verified by manually trolling through them in analysis mode, taking into account their start time and periods stopped.

We want the show to go on for 2017, the Strava API allows automatic collection of data from group members and it’s being tested in use right now.  An example from the test page (shown above) will display the latest rides above 100 miles. Riders will be able to see the latest big rides; BUT there are restrictions, as Strava only allows group admin to retrieve the last 200 rides from its records.

At the moment the group members rack up about 80 rides a day but at peak periods over the weekend if you load your ride late Sunday, or Monday it will be missed. This occurs because Strava timestamps each one with the ride start time. To get round this there will be a link to each riders recorded centuries. A section of Kajsa’s January 2016 rides are shown here

If any rider notices an unrecorded century ride there will be the option to manually  make sure it is recorded. This is done by putting the Strava ride number in the add box shown. The ride number is the unique reference Strava gives to every ride; this is available in your browser URL address box.
This takes the form
The ONLY part we will require you to put in the box is the final number, in this example its 783530675

Anyone who joins the challenge late will be required to get up to speed by adding their historical rides themselves using the above method.

So is that over 783 million rides already in the Strava bank, wow! Wonder what the earliest ride number is that we can reference. This was the 100 millionth in 2013, The earliest one I quickly found was this one 299 from 2008

Summary Table – this is not the finished product but shows a Centuries total column – which will link to the list of recorded rides.

To make this as automatic a process as possible some things will change come January 1st.

2017 Century Challenge Rules (work in progress)

  1. UK riders only (we are still considering making this worldwide we have 1 month to decide.)
  2. Competitors must join the Yearly Century Challenge (YCC) club on strava
  3. If your rides are private then YCC admin will request to follow you for ride validation purposes.
  4. The counting starts on January 1st 2017 at 00:00
  5. Rides must be human powered only, and in the great outdoors, no virtual rides or indoor track rides
  6. Rides no longer have to be within a calendar day. Starting at 10pm and finishing the next day counts as a century this year.
  7. One point for every 100 mile ride. 100 miles = 1 point, 200 miles =2 points etc.
  8. We appreciate riders like to upload multi-day rides as one file. This is allowed as long as it is not abused to falsify or simulate a long distance ride/trip
  9. Two separate ride files on one day that total over 100 miles will qualify, it will be up to the rider to email the organisers to bring attention to this as the logging software will miss it. (It would be better to join the rides together before uploading, or just don’t reset your device until the end of your second ride.
  10. Much of this relies on rider honour, any suspect admissions will be discounted; Repeat offenders will be removed from the YCC group.
  11. If rides are updated late or during peak summer periods they will be missed, more so if we go world wide. In 2017 it will be the riders responsibility to add their missing rides themselves, a list of collected rides and a self upload form will be provided. To an upload a ride you input your Strava ride number. (found at the end of the ride URL)
  12. Riders joining after the start date of Jan 1st will be responsible for adding their previous rides manually to the counting database, or must provide a list of Strava ride links by email to the YCC admin
  13. In all maters arising the final decision rests with the YCC admin, who reserves the right to alter or amend the rules as may be necessary.

For any more info, Mail: Any offers in prizes or support will be greatly received, does your company want to sponsor this challenge? Any comments or questions appreciated below too.



◾Bikepacking Luggage Comparison

Posted on Updated on

Any excuse to use the best photograph I ever took again

Gone are the days when you either made your own luggage or waited for the post from Revelate Designs over in Alaska to see how much duty you had to pay to the customs leeches. New manufacturers seems to appear daily and it can be a tough decision to decide what best suits your needs.

Tim Moss has put together this brilliant list of all the kit he has found, including a huge filterable spread sheet containing sizes and weights check out Comparison of Bikepacking Bags

While on the subject here’s a extensive review of top tube bags and Stem mounted bags you should find a review of almost every product on their site.

◾ YCC October Round Up

Posted on Updated on

The shorter days and cooler evenings of October have not stopped the pursuit of big miles. Paul Buckley cracked the triple ton in fine style with this ride while Pete R produced a commendable 245 miles the same weekend. Ivo M meanwhile went for an adventure in warmer climes on the Silk route,  his album of pictures is here if anyone has a thirst to do similar.


With many of the top runners already having received a Year book prize, the battle is hotting up, with an attainable total giving more riders a chance . Jeff Ellingham was looking favourite on 9 going into the final weekend, then Steve G. drew level and held the placing with the tiebreak of an epic 249 mile day in his favour. Just as we were readying the congratulations email JJ Denis returned from his epic self styled London-Edinburgh-London ride. His 1000 mile monster battling the cold nights into November grabbed him 6 tons to leap into prime spot on 11, congratulations and very well deserved. Go give the guy some Kudos.

1013 miles in 4 days outstanding. LEL loop JJ style
1013 miles in 4 days outstanding. LEL loop JJ style

October top tonnage
21 Kajsa Tylén
13 Pete R
12 Mike Kelly
12 Paul Buckley
11 James Juneyt Dennis
11 Ricki Goode
9 Steve Gee
9 Jeff Ellingham





This month we crowned another three Centurions.  A local Northants battle saw Rich Karmann narrowly pip Ricki Goode to the magic “ton of tons.” Pete R. completed on the final weekend and celebrating in style. Fellow riders joined him and enjoyed a party with much deserved celebration cake and beers. That’s 8 centurions with Mike Kelly homing in on 96, and that looks like it for 2016 unless something special happens.

Centurion Pete enjoys the spoils
Centurion Pete enjoys the spoils

Total to end October (full details Sheet)
149 Steve Abraham
134 Kajsa Tylén
113 Phill Cloke
112 Jack Peterson
109 Steve Gee
102 Richard Karmann
102 Ricki Goode
100 Pete R
95 Mike Kelly
77 Mike Lane

58 riders so far have reached what for many is their target of 20 centuries, how many more of you are on the cusp and will get there with two months remaining.

Kajsa is so famous she now rides in disguise
Kajsa is so famous she now rides in disguise

In October Kajsa Tylén passed 27,000 miles for the year so far, and is looking to have a stronger resolve than ever to complete a ton a day. We’re positive she will smash her 31,069 mile target to claim the Years mileage record, but will she overhaul Steve Abraham in the YCC table; will Steve let her 😉

Another notable mention goes to Andy Lawrence who completed the tough annual bearbones 200K off road challenge in Wales in 18 hrs

Finally good luck to Jasmijn Muller in her attempt at the 24hr world TT champs this weekend in Calafornia after a difficult year; have a great ride.

Don’t forget if you want to win one of the final two copies of “The Year” book then you have a great chance in Nov’ and Dec’ as obviously the totals will drop off and many riders have already won one and therefore are not counted.

Night rides at this time of year can bring calmer and clearer conditions. Pic Martian Cioana
Night rides at this time of year can bring calmer and clearer conditions. Pic Martian Cioana

◾Race to The Rock story

Posted on

Fancy 2,300 off-road self-supported Australian outback kilometres from Adelaide in the south to Ayers Rock / Uluru for 2017.

Check out Gunther Desmedt’s story of The Race to the Rock 2016 (check out the rest of his blog too)

◾Japanese Odyssey a picture story

Posted on Updated on

A pictorial account of the 2016 Japanese Odyssey from Carlos Lazer to maybe peak your interest for 2017; as long as you don’t mind the rain 😉

Carlos story of his 15 day trip

Also check this interview out with rider Simon Wile

◾Chris Phillips wins Trans Afrika

Posted on Updated on

Chris Phillips wins the Trans Afrika in 11 days 17 hours and 41 minutes. Described by the organiser as an awesome ride  in some of the toughest weather conditions they have seen. He arrived in Cape town Yesterday after battling several days of high winds during the race.

The winner
Chris happy to see table mountain :Photo Andy Masters

So if you fancy this adventure for 2017 go to TransAfrika and start planning. Kenny Fagan is the next rider due in, The live tracking page is here.

◾ YCC September Round Up

Posted on

59 Tons in one month, what more can you say Steve Abraham is a legend. After a truly epic October where he rode over 200 miles daily, he now officially holds the longest ratified mileage in a Month record at 7104.5 miles.

Steve A's wandering breadcrumb trail for his record months riding
Steve A’s wandering breadcrumb trail for his record months riding

Kajsa herself trying for one century a day, joined the YCC “Ton of Tons” club, Steve A of course cruised in and our fifth member now is Steve Gee. Congratulations to all, One Hundred Centuries by the start of Autumn is very impressive.

It looks like a further four riders have targeted becoming a Centurion for the year, it obviously takes some commitment as only fifteen riders have completed more than fifty in 2016. Mike Kelly is one of those and his relentless charge has earned him “The Year” book prize for this month with 11. If you fancy a copy yourself then the next three months are a good chance to start a charge, it has to go to a new rider each month.

Septembers Top 6:
59 Steve Abraham
25 Kajsa Tylén
12 Pete R
12 Richard Karmann
11 Mike Kelly
10 Steve Gee

Overall Top 10 so far:
145 Steve Abraham
111 Jack Peterson
110 Kajsa Tylén
108 Phill Cloke
100 Steve Gee
96 Richard Karmann
91 Ricki Goode
87 Pete R
83 Mike Kelly
76 Mike Lane

Big Rides and events that caught our eye for September include:

      • Jasmijn Muller in the National 12 hr TT does 265 miles for 3rd, not to shabby, welcome back after a health scare. Gregg Melia puts out 256 miles at the same event.
      • Jas then partnered up with Paul B and Hippy from here to compete in the Revolve 24Hr team race at Brands Hatch circuit where they came 4th and Jas picked up a hatfull of fastest lap prizes.
      • A true distance nutter ride though from Jason Miles, 24 Hr solo champ from the same event, 407 miles and an Everest of climbing on a tough circuit. Ride of the month.
      • Well deserved trophy, Jason Miles wins the world cup, almost.
        Well deserved trophy, Jason Miles wins the world cup, almost.
      • Several riders did the Borders of Belgium 1000km Audax. Rob B, Lindsay C and Dean C.
      • A good YCC turnout at the Flatlanders 600 including James W, Jack P, Shaun H, Jignesh S, Mike L and Folly.
      • Dave Barter our book prize sponsor rode a challenging new off road challenge, read his report at Torino – Nice rally, great tales as always from Dave.
      • The Valleycat event in Wales brought together YCC riders Shell, Rob J, JP and JJ, some challenging riding over road and tough gravel tracks followed by great social evenings, highly recommended adventure. Here’s one of JJ’s rides with some great pictures.
JJ enjoying the "not suitable for motors" fun of valleycat
JJ enjoying the “not suitable for motors” fun of valleycat
  • We also loved Kat Moores pictures of the Bristol girls having fun on the Rapha Womens prestige event out of Londinium.