GT:15 Bonus Challenges
(For full details of the Winter AVC GT:15 challenge, please download the 'AVC GT:15 - Winter Road Book')
If the GT:15 Stages have sparked your interest but you’re wondering whether you’ll get the chance to ride more than 6.8 miles in one go, welcome to the Bonus Challenges.
The Bonus Challenge Tables below give an outline of the Bonus Challenges. They fall into 2 categories...
The Tables list challenge name; a brief description; the points on offer; the Edition or Editions in which the challenge features; the number of claims that can be made for each Bonus; and whether the challenge is social (fine to ride it in a group or alone) or solo (must be ridden alone).
(challenges that remain unchanged throughout GT:15)
|Bonus||Description||Points||Winter||Spring||Summer||Number of Claims &
Social or Solo
|Club Run||For every Sunday club run or AVC30 ridden.||1||Yes||Yes||Yes|| Infinite
|Ride a Ton||100 mile ride bonus.||10||Yes||Yes||Yes||Infinite(& can be claimed in conjunction with other bonuses)
|100 Climbs||Ride any climbs from “100 Climbs” (Book 1) get bonus points.||3 per climb||Yes||Yes||Yes||100 max (only 1 claim per climb)
|Foreign Miles||Ride abroad, get points.||1 per 20 miles||Yes||Yes||Yes|| Infinite
|100-hour Challenge||Riders nominate a start date and time and then have 100 hours (four days and four hours) to ride as many miles as they can.||150m = 5
200m = 7
250m = 9
300m = 11
350m = 15
400m = 20
|Yes||Yes||Yes||1 per Edition
Social or Solo
|The Cake Challenge||How many cake stops can you make in one ride? 4 cafes minimum. 6 maximum.||4 cafes = 6
5 cafes = 8
6 cafes = 10
|Yes||Yes||Yes|| 1 per Edition
The Club Run is at the heart of Cycling Club life, the bedrock on which all else stands. As such, each and every Club Run (or AVC30) ride earns 1 point. To receive this point you must ride at least two-thirds of the Run with the group, no showing up and peeling off after 5 miles to get back to bed.
Ride a Ton
If you ride 100 miles in a day you’ve had a good day. Even if it was a miserable, painful slog, it was still a good day. You passed a mark that us amateur cyclists don’t pass that often and if you find yourself heading home with 80-odd miles on the clock and this bonus encourages you to go a little further to get up to the Ton then good on ya, the points are yours. Some have said that we should have a bonus for riding a sportive; well this counts as that bonus too because if you’re riding a sportive of less than 100 miles it’s just a training ride with a lot of other people. So, 10 points every time you ride 100 miles.
There’s a little book that came out a few years back called “100 Greatest Cycling Climbs”. I’m sure you all know it and most of you probably own it already but if you don’t, stick it on your Christmas list sharpish. We will be awarding 3 points for every one of the 100 Climbs you conquer over the course of the GT:15, so put the Alps and the Pyrenees out of your mind for a week or two and concentrate on some of the classic hills we’ve got in this country. You can only claim each climb once but be not sad of heart, that amounts to 400 points on offer here. Don’t buy “Another 100...” or the Tour de France book, they won’t count, it’s the original you want. Log your ascents on Strava and email James to claim points.
Whilst we obviously love the roads of Bedfordshire with all our hearts, you can’t deny that there’s also some pretty good tarmac elsewhere in the world. Well don’t just sit there nodding, get out there and ride it! You’ll receive a point for every 20 miles you ride overseas. Log the rides on Strava and email James on your return to claim them.
Heading into an intensive period of training or got a week’s holiday to take and you don’t know what to do with it? Email James and nominate a start time (for instance, 9am on Monday morning) and James will start the stopwatch at that time. You’ll then have 100 hours (which would be until 1pm on Friday afternoon in this example) to ride as many miles as you can and get those rides uploaded onto Strava. At the end of the 100 hours James will add together your logged mileage and you’ll get points according to your distance ridden...
The Cake Challenge
We all love a bit of cake and you can take the Ullrich Method to the extreme with this challenge. Create your own route visiting four, five or six of these local cafes, in any order, in a single ride. You must stop and have a drink and some kind of cake or flapjack or suchlike to eat. Post a photo of you enjoying the delights of each cake stop on the AVC Facebook page when you get home (and make sure you have the Strava file to back them up) to claim the points. The six cafes are...
(challenges specific to 1 or 2 Editions)
|Bonus||Description||Points||Winter||Spring||Summer||Number of Claims &
Social or Solo
|Pub Cricket||For every pub you pass on a ride you score points dependent on the number of legs the pub name involves. You add up the points and at the end of the ride you have your innings score. Scores go into a league table, top 5 places score points.||1st = 10
2nd = 7
3rd = 5
4th = 4
5th = 3
(but they all count towards the league table)
Social but not Club Runs
|The Twenty||Conquer all the climbs on “The Twenty” list of the hardest local hills in one ride.||10||Yes||No||No||1
|Flying Lap 1||Ride all 7 active Stages in one day.||10||Yes||No||No||1
|Pin A Number On||Ride in a race – TT, RR or Crit – get points.||5 per race
top-10 = 8
top-5 = 10
3rd = 12
2nd = 15
win = 20
|One Way Ticket||Catch a train and ride home. How far dare you go?||1st = 15
2nd = 12
3rd = 10
80+m = 8
50m = 5
(but only highest mileage ride counts)
|Counties Challenge||Visit as many Counties as you can in one ride. Starting and finishing in Ampthill Market Square.||4 counties = 5
5 counties = 8
6 counties = 12
7 counties = 20
|No||Yes||Yes||1 per Edition
|Tour Climb Challenge 1 : Giro / Finestre||As with the 2014 Stelvio Challenge (just runs during the Giro)||10
(15 for a “sea level” climb?)
|Flying Lap 2||Ride all 7 Spring Edition Stages in one day.||10||No||Yes||No||1
|Medio Corsa Verde||Ride the 40 mile Corsa Verde route.||7||No||Yes||No||1
|Corsa Verde : Special Bonus||Ride full Gran CorsaVerde on April 5th or 12th.||14||No||Yes||No||1
|Tour Climb Challenge 2 : TdF / Galibier||As with the 2014 Izoard Challenge (just runs during the Tour)||10
(15 for a “sea level” climb?)
|Tour Climb Challenge 3 : Vuelta||As with the 2014 Vuelta Climbing Challenge||10
(15 for a “sea level” climb?)
|Flying Lap 3||Ride all 7 Summer Edition Stages in one day.||10||No||No||Yes||1
|Gran Corsa Verde||Ride the 60 mile Corsa Verde||10||No||No||Yes||1
This will warm the cockles of your winter training miles, like a bidon of mulled wine. The rules of the game - for every pub you pass on a ride you score points dependent on the number of legs the pub name involves. So – “The Chequers” = 0 points; ”The Prince William” = 2 points; “The White Horse” = 4 points. If, judging purely by pub name, the number of legs is indefinite, i.e. “The Coach and Horses”, you refer to the pub sign for the number of legs, so : 4 horses, 2 coachmen and a 3-legged dog on the sign = 23 points. You add up the points from each pub you pass and at the end of the ride you have your innings score. Scores go into a league table, top 5 places score points. No need to drink in each pub or stop and take photos (too cold for that), you’ll just need to submit your Strava-logged ride to James by email, with a list of scoring pubs passed, in order that he and I can check your score against our joint encyclopaedic knowledge of Bedfordshire pubs. A maximum of 3 innings can be submitted during the duration of the Winter Edition. They all count towards the league table though so you can score multiple points with multiple placings.
The Twenty is the Winter Edition climbing challenge. It involves tackling the twenty toughest local hills in a single ride. It will pummel your legs and test your perseverance in the coldest and darkest days of the year. It will also require planning and a sense of endeavour. The route and order that you choose to take around the twenty hills is optional. We have provided a rough Strava route (80 miles & 6000ft of climbing) which you could use, but it is not necessarily the shortest or best course to take. The only stipulations for The Twenty are that you ride all the hills and that you start and finish in Ampthill Market Square. You’ll bag 10 bonus points for doing The Twenty. The rough Strava route can be found here.
- Galley Lane - 0.5m, 6%, 182ft
- Three Locks - 1.5m, 4%, 280ft
- Bragenham Trench - 0.5m, 4%, 89ft
- Overend Green Lane - 0.4m, 5%, 118ft
- Bow Brickhill - 0.4m, 9%, 193ft
- Woburn Sands Church Road - 0.7m, 5%, 186ft
- Aspley Guise Woburn Lane - 0.3m, 6%, 73ft
- Aspley Guise Church Road - 0.3m, 6%, 97ft
- Ridgmont Station Road - 0.3m, 6%, 101ft
- Eversholt Hill - 0.3m, 6%, 97ft
- Long Lane - 0.8m, 4%, 180ft
- Cranfield Hill - 0.4m, 5%, 102ft
- Lidlington Hill - 0.4m, 7%, 163ft
- Ampthill - 0.4m, 7%, 138ft
- London Lane - 0.3m, 8%, 134ft
- Harlington Hill - 0.3m, 6%, 80ft
- Sundon Hill - 0.5m, 9%, 237ft
- Sharpenhoe Clappers - 0.6m, 7%, 219ft
- Hexton Hill - 0.8m, 6%, 248ft
- Pulloxhill - 0.2m, 8%, 94ft
The Flying Lap
To claim this Bonus you’ll need to ride all seven active Stages in one day. You may claim the Flying Lap once per Edition. There are no set routes or rules other than that your ride must start and finish in Ampthill Market Square and, as an extension of the Stages (and in case you clock a fast time) you’ll need to ride Solo. You’ll need a certain amount of planning and ingenuity to piece it together. Points will be awarded for the completion of the seven segments rather than the distance ridden or time taken. 10 points for each completed Flying Lap.
Pin a Number On
Be it in a Crit, a Time Trial or a Road Race, if you pin a number on you get 5 points and the respect of your team-mates. There are extra points for finishing in the top 10 or higher. Photo on Facebook please. You can claim this Bonus up to three times in the course of the Spring and Summer Editions.
One Way Ticket
This challenge begins with a little train ride but whilst the train takes the strain be sure to count the miles as they flash by, you’ll be riding every one of them on the return to your starting station. To plan this ride – pick two stations, for example Flitwick and Bedford; use this website... http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google- maps-distance-calculator.htm ...to calculate the “as the crow flies” distance between the two; go to Flitwick (by any mode of transport, this is not part of the challenge), buy a one-way ticket to Bedford and hop aboard; from Bedford station cycle back to Flitwick station (by any route); share photos of your train ticket, your mid-point (Bedford) and your final destination (Flitwick); challenge complete. The points will be calculated on that “as the crow flies” distance. Now the 9 miles from Bedford to Flitwick is nothing special - and you’ll have to do at least 50 miles to score points - but the real challenge here comes in calculating how far you dare take that train, in the knowledge that you’ve got to ride back. You can take more than one train and start from any station you want. If you’ve got the legs you could take connections to anywhere but you have to complete the whole challenge (train and ride) within 24 hours. The challenge is a social one so you have the option of taking along your friends or riding alone. Once your plan is in place contact James to confirm the details before you set off.
You can ride the challenge as many times as you want but only your furthest adventure will count at the end of the Summer Edition. The 3 longest distances will score 15, 12 and 10 points and if you don’t make the top 3 you can score 5 points for 50 miles and 8 points for 80+ miles.
The Counties Challenge
Some like short fast rides, others prefer it long and slow. This is for the latter. Your ride must start and finish at Market Place in Ampthill and the challenge is to visit 4 or more counties in one day. Bedfordshire counts as the first of course and all counties are eligible but the obvious ones are Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire (other options being Oxfordshire, Essex and - maybe? - Warwickshire). To claim the points you must upload to the AVC Facebook page a photo of the County sign or a town/village sign in each County visited.
To avoid confusion, we’ll use the list of Ceremonial Counties as detailed here. So the Unitary Authority of Milton Keynes is part of Buckinghamshire, and Luton, Bedford and Central Beds are just Bedfordshire.
4 Counties = 5 points; 5 Counties = 8 points; 6 Counties = 12 points; 7 Counties = 20 points.
Tour Climb Challenges
This one is for the hard-core climbers among you (or maybe those planning on riding the Etape or similar, or maybe just the insane). It's inspired by the www.everesting.com website. We're not going to conquer Everest but we are going to honour the highest mountain passes in the 3 Grand Tours.
In 2015 those 3 climbs are...
During the Spring Edition :
- Giro d'Italia (Dates TBC)
- Colle delle Finestre (stats TBC)
During the Summer Edition
- Tour de France (Dates TBC)
- Col du Galibier (stats TBC)
- Vuelta Espana (Dates TBC) : TBC
The aim of the challenge is, in a single ride, to do hill reps equivalent to (or greater than) the Height Gain of each of these Tour climbs. As in 2014, this is a Height Gain figure based on routes used in the Tours and the ascent from the valley floor, but for extra Bonus points this year you also have the option of doing the entire Height Gain from sea level. The climbs will only be active during the duration of the Grand Tours they feature in. To take part you must...
- Decide which climb you want to do reps on (this must be a single climb, long hilly rides of multiple climbs won't count). The idea is to climb-descend-climb-descend, etc. so as little flat road as possible. See Martin T's ride here for the way to do it... http://app.strava.com/activities/130657438
- Email James in advance to confirm and agree the height of your chosen climb and the number of reps you'll need to do. The best way to do this is by agreeing on an existing Strava segment for the hill.
- Ride it.
- Post the ride on Strava. (James won't pay too much attention to the altitude details on Strava as they're always different depending on device, etc. but will count your completed reps - whole reps only - and check that number against the amount agreed in advance. You must ride back down to start each rep, no motorised assistance).
- Get the Bonus Points.
As an example, for conquering the Stelvio (1808m = 5931 feet) in 2014 some options were...
- Lidlington Hill (196 feet) = 31 reps
- Hexton Hill (248 feet) = 24 reps
- Ivinghoe Beacon, from Ivinghoe village (360 feet) = 17 reps
- Box Hill, Surrey (411 feet) = 15 reps
- Holme Moss, Peak District (and this year's Tour) (1120 feet) = 6 reps
- Passo dello Stelvio itself = 1 rep
So it's going to require firstly some planning and then a lot of reps but you get to choose a climb that suits you best. Steady gradient and long. Short and steep. It's up to you.
The points available are 10 points for duplicating the Height Gain from the Tours or 15 points for climbing the entire Height Gain from sea level. You may only claim the points for each Mountain once.
The Corsa Verde is a single-ride challenge for those of you who like to mix it up with a bit of dirt, gravel, sand, dust, mud, sweat, tears and the odd cobble. It’s an homage to races like Paris-Roubaix, Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Tro Bro Leon and Strade Bianchi, it requires grit, determination, good bike-handling and endurance, along with a spirit of adventure. I’ve ridden the route on a steel framed CX bike with 27mm medium tread tyres and canti brakes during the summer of 2014 but the choice of steed lies entirely in the hands of the cyclist – tough tyred winter road bike, CX bike or hard tail MTB may be the best bets. Wet conditions will probably require a sturdier approach and a bit more rubber down below but don’t forget that for every 1 mile off-road there are 2 on-road, so you might want to leave your bouncy castle of a full-susser at home.
For the Spring Edition the challenge will be the Medio Corsa Verde, a 40 mile route including 12 miles off-road. For the Summer Edition the challenge will be the full Gran Corsa Verde, all the roads and tracks of the Medio but with another loop added for 60 miles total, 20 miles of which are off-road.
The ride is a social one and each route may be ridden just once. The Bonus for the Medio Corsa Verde will be 7 points and for the Gran Corsa Verde 10 points. There will also be a Special Bonus of 14 points for anyone who rides the full Gran Corsa Verde on the days of either the 2015 Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Sunday April 5th) or Paris-Roubaix (Sunday April 12th). Claiming the Special Bonus doesn’t affect your right to also claim for the Medio during the Spring Edition, although they must be separate rides.
The list of off-road secteurs looks like this, below. The stars refer to the quality and difficulty of the secteur, 1 star being in good condition, 5 stars being both a bad surface and difficult terrain…
Corsa Verde Secteurs
- Secteur #20 Ridgway (0.6m) * (Flitwick)
- Secteur #19 Deadman’s Hill (1.1m) *** (Maulden)
- Secteur #18 The Slade (0.6m) ** (Clophill)
- Secteur #17 Penseroso (0.8m) * (Campton)
- Secteur #16 Cain Hill (0.9m) ** (Upper Gravenhurst)
- Not in Medio Corsa:
- Secteur #15 Whitehall (1.0m) *** (Higham Gobion)
- Secteur #14 Bartonberg (1.4m) ***** (Barton le Clay)
- Secteur #13 Hoo Bit (1.8m) *** (Little Offley)
- Secteur #12 Cloudshill (0.9m) *** (Great Offley)
- Secteur #11 Wardswood (1.6m) ** (Lilley)
- Secteur #10 Un Petit Pavé (0.2m) * (Streatley)
- Secteur #9 Swedish Cottages (1.3m) ** (Sharpenhoe)
- Secteur #8 Poorshills (0.9m) *** (Harlington)
- Secteur #7 Washers Wood (0.6m) ** (Eversholt, Lower Rads End)
- Secteur #6 A River Runs Through It (0.6m) **** (Eversholt, Church End)
- Secteur #5 Beckerings (1.6m) *** (Berry End)
- Secteur #4 Fox Covert (1.8m) ** (Steppingley)
- Secteur #3 Jackdaw Hill (1.3m) *** (Millbrook)
- Secteur #2 Bury Ware (0.4m) * (Lidlington)
- Secteur #1 Moneypot (1.3m) **** (Steppingley)
The ride is a social one and each route may be ridden just once. The Bonus for the Medio Corsa Verde will be 7 points and for the Gran Corsa Verde 10 points. There will also be a Special Bonus of 14 points for anyone who rides the full Gran Corsa Verde on the days of either the 2015 Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Sunday April 5th) or Paris-Roubaix (Sunday April 12th). Claiming the Special Bonus doesn’t affect your right to also claim for the Medio during the Spring Edition, although this must be a separate ride.
Medio Corsa Verde
Gran Corsa Verde
Further Bonus Challenges
We may well add further Bonus challenges to the Spring and Summer Editions of the GT:15. Full details of those two Editions will be finalised and circulated at least two weeks prior to their start dates.