On a recent club ride one of the group was raving about Veloviewer Explorer, a new cycling challenge that is linked to Strava and doesn’t involve climbing or going as fast or as far as you can to get on the leaderboard.
Stay with me, its difficult to explain but great fun. The challenge is based on a map grid and requires you to complete as many grid squares (tiles) as you can based on squares you pass through on your rides, the squares are based around the standard OpenStreetMap map tile size of 256px x 256px image, you can record them by cycling or walking.
Your visited squares are recorded and you can see on the map how many you have visited, (they are shaded on the map) there is also a challenge to see a maximum size of completed squares of tiles that can you tick off. You’ll see your maximum tile square shown in your activity stats and outlined with a blue square on the “Activities” map and this is where it gets interesting as you see odd squares that have not been visited and these could increase the size of your maximum square. I have several of these unvisited squares in our local area and it now involves cycling roads I have not previously used to “bag” these. Yet another challenge is the maximum square size you can complete in one ride.
As you expand your boundaries you can now plan new rides to take in many new squares so you are being encouraged to explore and ride new roads instead of riding the same old routes.
If you think this lacks a competitive edge, think again there is also a leader board for all time and yearly statistics for the really motivated or you can just use it to see how you shape up against friends or Strava club mates. This is a great personal challenge activity that above all encourages you to get outside and ride and has certainly added a bit of variety and interest to my cycling, it also sharpens up your route planning skills. I might even have to get the mountain bike out and the walking boots to complete a few squares with no roads.
You can find Veloviewer at http://veloviewer.com , click on “Activites” for your explorer map. There is a free version but for a very reasonable £10 per year you gain access to a lot more features.