The Cycling Century Competition (Started Jan 1st 2016)

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Here is the current Leaderboard

In 1911 the weekly magazine Cycling (now cycling weekly) began a competition for the highest number of 100 mile (160Km) rides or “centuries” in a single year. This (Article on RCUK) shows a certificate awarded to one rider and further tells the story.

The century or “ton” (or multiples of ) had to be completed during one calendar day. Come midnight your mileage was reset to zero, even if the rider had reached 195 miles. Century rides tables were then produced as the year progressed.

The response to the competition in 1911 staggered the magazine as riders had to apply for and fill checking cards to provide proof of passage of their rides. 650 took part and 162 achieved 20 centuries during the year to gain a certificate.

The battle that ensued and the subsequent 332 centuries accrued by Marcel Planes sparked the beginning of the world cycle endurance mileage record. He covered 34,366 miles (55,307 km).
This record has been back in the spotlight once again in 2015, Steve Abraham can be credited with sparking it back into life; but it’s Kurt Searvogal that has currently just broken the record of 75,065 ridden by Tommy Godwin in 1939, increasing this to 76,076 miles in 365 days.

The logistics of the administration led to the 1911 century competition only being run for one year. We have re-established this competition using modern technology and the Strava ride tracking application, to create a new endurance buzz.

With the blessing of Cycling Weekly it’s underway and riders were out from midnight on Jan 1st grabbing the centuries. So why not join us, in this new journey. Challenge yourself and your club mates for 2016, why not form a three man team to inspire each other:

  • Join the Yearly Century Challenge (YCC) club on strava
  • Late joining throughout 2016 is possible, but we might require you provide links to ride files.
  • If your rides are private then YCC admin will request to follow you for ride validation otherwise we could miss multiple daily ride totals.
  • The counting starts on January 1st 2016 at 00:00
  • Upload your rides ( within 7 days after they are ridden please) to be checked
  • 100 miles in one day =1 century, 200 = 2, and an epic 300 =3 and major kudos
  • Rides must be human powered only, and in the great outdoors
  • No virtual rides or indoor track rides
  • Multiple rides are OK, a century in one day counts despite how long you rest (work) for
  • Monthly league tables will be produced and some monthly prizes available.
  • Much of this relies on rider honour, any suspect admissions will be discounted; we are aware that files can be falsified.
  • Initially to get this off the ground this will be a UK based riders only challenge. If riders in other countries would like to be involved then please set up your own century groups and we can compare. Better still lobby Strava to have them provide a global century achievement.
  • 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.

As the original 1911 challenge; certificates will be awarded to UK riders who score at least 20 centuries, with a yearly roll of honour collated for all who reach 50 and 100.  Who knows we might even be able to award a medal (not 24 carat as the original) to the overall UK winner.

Strava have been approached to see if they would create this as one of their automatic challenges, as yet they have only replied as under consideration. 😦 Vote for it here please

Inspiration for this has come from reading the superb book “The Year” by Dave Barter the definitive source of the Year mileage record so far. The Author Dave Barter and Vertebrate Publishing have very kindly offered to reward each highest monthly total with a copy of The Year book. There have also been rumours of riders pledging of going for a Ton of Tons for 2016!

Click to purchase "THE YEAR" book here

Note: Remember this is for fun it will not be over burdened with a huge list of rules, and yes it will be easier for some locations compared to others, that’s life, I’d like to be in the South too.

We have been tracking the rides of three of the largest Strava clubs for a few months; AudaxUK, GCN and Veloviewer. Experience has been gained on checking for century rides and as this covers several thousand riders it’s believed that admin can handle the tracking of your rides. In this first year riders can retrospectively join the challenge, but it will give admin a headache bulk checking rides. You may be asked to provide an email list of your century rides with Strava links to reduce the burden on admin, and you cannot retrospectively claim any prizes.

If you want to know what it takes to go for the year record, Kurt has done 600 centuries in the pursuit of his record, but then he did average over 208 miles per day.
Kajsa Tylen Yearinthesaddle is one Lady to watch and could have an impressive total in 2016, while Steve Abraham will be riding long into mid 2016 and would be expected to top the tables if all goes well. Those of us in employment will consider 2nd place as the spot to aim for.

For any more info, Mail: BlueDotRiders@gmail.com. Offers of any prize support or interest greatly received.

Remember to get involved, join the Yearly Century Challenge (YCC) club on strava and please spread the word among your cycling community.


  • Will rides outside of the UK count? Yes as long as the rider is based in the UK normally and can provide a UK postal address if any prizes or certificates are awarded.
  • What if my recording device fails or my ride file is corrupted? We will do everything possible to include your hard earned century, providing additional proof will obviously help.
  • Could the same rider win more than one copy of the book? No. The highest placed rider who has not won a copy before will receive that months reward.
  • If I am on a two week tour and there is a delay on uploading rides until I return will I miss out? No, but it might be advisable to email us on your return in case we miss them. Rides will be checked over a two week history period. Monthly totals will be delayed by a week, unfortunately you may miss out on a monthly prize if your rides are uploaded too late.
  • I don’t use Strava can I still take part? Unfortunately this makes it difficult for us to track you. If you would like to use homemade checking cards just as they did in 1911 or send us copies of, or links to, completed Audax verification then that could work.
  • 200 mile rides are much harder than 100, can the points be weighted to give more for a 200? Good point but as with the original concept, this is more to encourage all year round riding, rather than what many class as Ultra endurance rides.
  • Why does YCC admin need to follow me on Strava? For some riders we will we need to check multiple rides or the start/finish time of rides. This cannot be done if you do not accept our request to follow you on Strava. This process will be private and in no way effect your data security.