Saturday, March 21, 2009

The UMCA Year-Rounder Challenge

Act now! It’s not too late to join the 2009 UMCA Year-Rounder Challenge. Each year, ultra-cyclists from around the world submit long distance rides (anything over 100 miles will do) as part of a global mileage challenge. AnyUMCA member can participate after paying a $10 fee for medals (sound familiar fellow randonneurs?). Participants also receive bi-weekly email newsletters from program coordinator John Lee Ellis with stories from the road and results.

Participants may submit miles ridden on both "organized" and "personal" rides. “Personal” miles are send in by mail along with a simple form and proof of passage (receipts, etc.), but specific routes and distances need not be approved by UMCA. Any route will do. Ride results from “organized” rides, such as brevets and ultra races, can be submitted on-line. Riders can even apply one indoor “century” (6 hour) ride per month, which is a great help to those of us riding in northern latitudes.

The program awards achievement by in several categories. The Larry Schwartz Award is presented to cyclists who ride at least one century ride per month over the course of 12 months. Make-up miles are transferable for two months only, so March is the last month in the year to begin. Other awards include the Gold Award, given to cyclists who ride more than 3,000 miles during the year and the Platinum Award, for riders who log more than 5,000 annual miles. Now, these are not total yearly miles, but rather miles derived from rides over 100 miles in length.

For me, the Y-R Challenge is another way to stay motivated throughout the year and perhaps pedal a few extra miles from time to time. It also provides me with a link to other cyclists who log, what may be long, lonely miles in far corners of the world. Looking at the riders with the top mileage results is also truly inspiring. In 2008, Canadian randonneur Ken Bonner, for example, logged over 17,000 miles!!! Shellene Foster rode over 11,000, Dan Driscoll over 10, 000. Where do these folks find the time?!?

Last year I participated in the Y-R Challenge for the first time and reached my goal by achieving the Larry Schwartz Award. This year, I’m after “Gold.” With L-E-L this summer and several other long rides planned, it should fall into place nicely. (Knock wood . . . ) So register today while there’s still time!

No comments:

Post a Comment