The 2021 Annual Lunacy Climbing Challenge


Puzzle game developer
Welcome to the 1st 'Annual Lunacy Climbing Challenge'.

This challenge aims to encourage you to do more climbing on your bike. It is a sister challenge to the distance-based Annual Lunacy Challenge, with 13 qualifying rides needed in each calendar year. (I have chosen this format rather than a monthly challenge because I don't want to encourage riders to risk descending what might be steep, ungritted, narrow roads in wintry conditions.)

The target is to do 13+ 'qualifying loops' between January 1st and December 31st.

  • A qualifying loop is any ride on public roads which accumulates 1,000+ metres of ascent. (If you prefer imperial units, your target is 3,300+ ft).
  • You must end up back at your starting point each time but you are free to start/finish anywhere. Your hilly loops can be included in longer rides so feel free to insert them into your routes for other challenges.
  • A specific climb may only be done once per loop, but you can climb to the same point by multiple routes if available.
  • Try to keep your loops 'challengingly short'. I live in a hilly area and would normally average about 1,000 metres per 50 km ridden so I will aim to make my qualifying loops shorter than 40 km to make them challenging for me rather than merely routine. Decide for yourself what is challenging for you in your area.

This is not a competition so your rides should not be compared to those of other riders. It would be much harder to do 1,000 metres of climbing in Cambridgeshire than in Yorkshire!

If you like the idea of point scoring, award yourself 1 point per qualifying loop (no matter how long or hilly it is!). Only 1 loop counts per day so don't bother doing 2 x 50 km hilly loops in a day trying to score double points. From next year onwards, perhaps try to beat your best points total from earlier years?

Another suggestion which may interest you - calculate the HR (Hilliness Ratio) for each qualifying LOOP (NB do not include any distance ridden before or after the loop!) HR = ascent/distance in metres/km. (Imperialists should calculate ft/mile and divide the result by 5.28.) and please round the results to 1 decimal place - an HR figure stated as e.g. 21.67893 would be very silly! Example #1: 1,017 metres in 37.3 km, HR = 27.3 m/km. Example #2: 3,456 ft in 28.2 miles, 122.6 ft/mile = HR of 23.2 m/km.

This thread is only for the logging of your qualifying loops.


Each time you complete a qualifying loop, post details in this challenge thread
, stating your target HR (if you have one) and how many times you've met it at the top and then listing each ride which meets your target below. The post should ideally include details of the loops completed including how far, a list of points on each loop, the elevation gain, and a link to the loop(s) if you recorded it/them. The idea of these details is to maintain everyone's interest in where people are riding, as well as their progress towards their goal.

Chat about rides, etc. goes in the associated chatzone thread, located [HERE]. Please don't post anything other than lists of your rides in the challenge thread.

Even once you have completed thirteen qualifying loops, you can keep posting new ones where your 'top 13' has changed. Just post your thirteen hilliest (highest HR). At the end of the year, the HR of your thirteenth hilliest loop is your Lunacy Climbing Achievement for the year.

Since the rules state that thirteen qualifying loops must be completed in the calendar year and only one may be counted per day, anyone can join at any point during the year up to (and including) December 19th. It also means that an unavoidable break for illness, injury, childbirth, pressure of work, mojo-loss, freak weather conditions, [insert applicable excuse/reason here] would not bring your challenge to an abrupt finish, unless that happened to be so late in the year that you would not have time to complete the challenge once you started riding again.

The following year, everyone who met their stated target can display the 'Lunacy Climbing Challenge' icon in their signature. Something like this:

Annual Climbing Lunacy 2021 (HR = 24.5), 2022 (HR = 25.1) (If anybody wants to design a better icon, feel free to do so! :okay: )

Those are the guidelines. Stick as closely as you can to them, but this is supposed to be fun so tweak them to suit yourself.

See you in the Chatzone! :hello:
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My first ride of the year. Not an eligible ride yet, but a reasonable HR of 15?

Adapted one of my shorter loops and included several deviations to take in as much climbing as I could in 15 miles.


Kilometre nibbler
20 Feb
Ascent: 1,174m
Distance: 49.0 km
HR: 24.0 m/km

Convoluted ride around the Crystal Palace area
Hills: Hengrave Rd, Dunoon Rd, Tyson Rd, Benson Rd, Westwood Ave (S), Liphook Cres, Canonbie Rd (S), Canonbie Rd (N), Horniman Dr, Westwood Ave (N), Sydenham Rise, Wells Park Rd, Longton Grove, Westwood Hill, Anerley Hill, Fountain Drive, College Rd, Farquar Rd, Gypsy Hill, Belvedere Rd, Auckland Rise, Howden Rd, Grange Rd, Canham Rd, Spa/Beulah Hill, S Norwood Hill, Fox Hill, Crystal Palace Park Rd, Kirkdale, Honor Oak Rd.
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