Sunday, 28 August 2016

Strava Fondos - 2016

What is a fondo?

According to Wikipedia, a fondo is "a type of long-distance road bicycle race, in which riders are individually chip timed and have the right of way at all intersections". So essentially it is a sportive, according to this definition. The first one was held in 1970 in Italy and nowadays in Italy, they are held every weekend between February and October.

June's fondo

So what has Strava got to do with it?

As we all know, Strava is an activity tracking service, focused mainly on cycling and running. With these types of activities, there is always a challenge element attached, whether it is trying to beat a personal best up a massive climb or just getting out one or two times a week. The challenge part is purely personal. Of course, you do not have to challenge yourself, but I think it is healthy to set goals and try to achieve them.

With that being said, Strava has a specific challenge section, where you can join challenges as you see fit. Some are vary from month to month, according to whatever large event is taking place (think Tour de France, Olympics, marathons etc) and there are regular monthly distance challenges for cycling and running.

There is a monthly challenge series for fondos. This blog post from Strava introduced their fondo challenge "as a way to promote adventure, exploration and camaraderie on the bike". Of course these aren't mass, organised bicycle rides like a sportive, so strays from the original meaning of fondo somewhat.

My challenge

It was fairly simple this year: just complete each month's fondo. This would mean at least one big ride a month; a way for me to keep a relatively high monthly mileage and using my road bike.

So far I have completed all of them. What I should have done is write a short blog post about each one and I would have kept up my blogging efforts at the same time. But hey, life, whatever.

I needed to plan August's ride, so I decided to see where I hadn't been on previous fondos. I like to go somewhere new. So I spent a couple of hours playing around with GPX files from Strava and Google Maps to produce this little beauty:

This map will be updated with the rest of my fondos as the the year progresses. Wish me luck!

Have you been participating in the Strava fondo challenge, or any other challenges you have set yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

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