I'm hoping I can find someone that might be interested in undertaking a little challenge with me. After being a runner all my life I grudgingly bought a bike at the behest of a friend who swore I'd like it once I tried it. As much as I hate admitting he was right, he was right. The problem I found, though, was that after a couple of months I was riding a lot of the same routes and they felt stale and some of the excitement started to go out of my riding. My friend once again came to the rescue and suggested a challenge for the two of us to try.
He challenged me to ride every inch of paved, public road in the entire county, and he is doing the same in the county where he lives. We've been at it for about five months and have now begun our winter hiatus. As daunting as it seemed at first, it's now clear that we can, in fact, accomplish our goal, even if it takes a while. (We're estimating 2 more years.)
In the course of our first few months at it we've made a couple of realizations and codified a few rules. Our first realization was how many great roads we were missing by not venturing from the 'beaten path'. We've both made numerous discoveries on our rides, many within just a few miles of where we've lived our whole lives. Nature preserves and parks, scenic views, waterfalls and, in my case, the greatest penny candy store on Earth. Second, even the awful roads we've been forced to ride hold their own strange appeal. Both our counties include some urban areas and even riding the dingiest alley or most unpleasant cobblestone street is rewarding in its way. Finally, as I'm sure any experienced rider can attest, we've learned that the view is always worth the climb, and we've found views aplenty, to be sure.
So now we want some people to join us! We've truly enjoyed getting to know our counties better and better and are constantly snapping pictures of views and interesting things along the way to share with one another. We certainly never lack for good routes when other friends want to go for a ride or a run with us. We'd like to share our home counties with some other people as well, and get to know theirs too, and we think it would be cool to know there were others out there covering every road somewhere else.
Here are the rules we came up with to frame the challenge:
1. Only paved, public roads need to be ridden, with the exception (obviously) of Interstates or other highways where cyclists are not permitted.
2. You may choose 3 points to begin and end your rides. All rides must begin and end at one of those 3 points. (Home will likely be one of them.)
3. We chose to purchase paper maps and use those as our 'bible'. If a road appears on that map it must be ridden, provided it meets the conditions of rule #1. We found the most recent, most detailed maps we could.
We get more and more excited about this the more of it we do and are already looking forward to choosing another county when we're done with these. So we hope someone will be interested in joining us!
No responses to this highly innovative idea!? I'm new to biking and I might be up for it. Any cyclists here from the Ann Arbor area?
I am definitely interested. I've been an avid cyclist for years, but recently got out of the practice. Now I'm about to train for my first big ride in the Shawangunks. I'm new to this sort of software too. I am in the Kingston area, NY.
Very interesting idea. If I didnt live in a county that was 4700 square miles and several of the roads were hazardous to drive on, not to mention to ride on, id try it.