Strava segment snipers rejoice,
the bane of coaches everywhere is back!
/ O P E R A T I O N / S E G M E N T E D / R E A L I T Y /
the bane of coaches everywhere is back!
/ O P E R A T I O N / S E G M E N T E D / R E A L I T Y /
Season 3 is on, and runs until November 5th!
Sign-up is now live, please see below!
Inspired by the COVID ‘KOMpetition’ series (chapeau Dirtious J Dirt for the OG in 2020, and Dan Blackwell in 2021!), the Victoria Segment Challenge is a fun grassroots series for riders of any level to challenge themselves, compete with friends, and find new roads and routes! It’s basically individual time trials, done on your own schedule.
Simply put, every week we feature two segments, and riders can go ride them as fast or slow as they want. The main goal for the GRAVEL EDITION is to (hopefully!) check out some new trails! Most segments will be NON-TIMED, however every other week we’ll have one TIMED segment, and if you’re feeling competitive, give it a go! I collect results and scores, and there ought to be a few draw prizes! Works if your Strava account is free or paid, all are welcome!
Season 1 & 2 were on the road, but Season 3 takes us to the gravel/trails!
A Little History
- Season 1 – our first season ran 12 weeks, February 27th thru May 22nd, 2023! Here’s a the write-up for the season!
- Season 2 – our second season of 9 weeks, ran June 19th thru August 20th, 2023! Here’s our Season 2 Final Report!
Safety is a huge priority of course, and all efforts are made to select quiet roads/trails that are low traffic, but please do not take any unnecessary risks, this is just for run!
Victoria Segment Challenge – GRAVEL EDITION – Rules & Sign-Up
A few rules to try to keep things fun for all:
- There’s a full week to complete segments, ride any time you wish, as many times as you wish, if a TIMED segment your fastest result will be the one that counts.
- There will be a few TIMED SEGMENTS – these will be ‘competitive’ and the times tracked, typically one every two weeks. The remainder will be NON-TIMED SEGMENTS, and will not feature a time, and all will receive the same number of points (50pts).
- Make sure your ride(s) is ‘public’ on Strava so I can see it in the segment list.
- The hard cut-off is 6pm Sunday each week when I pull the results from the segments, if you upload after that, tough luck!
- The TIMED SEGMENTS are to be SOLO efforts! You are not allowed help! Cannot draft another rider during any portion of a segment. Any riders found to be cheating will be removed from the competition. (It’s fine being side-by-side with a friend however, since there is no drafting benefit.)
- The NON-TIMED SEGMENTS can be ridden any old way you want!
- Bikes: since they are on trails, anything goes! Road bikes may work for some segments, but you’re better off on a gravel or cyclocross bike, but MTBs (hardtails or full-suspension) are fine as well!
- Do not edit your Strava ride files. Do not crop your ride files to the segments. There must be a ‘substantial’ amount of time and distance before and after each segment, so it’s part of a ‘ride’, and not an edited/cropped file of only the segment. This is supposed to be a fun cycling challenge, not a hack-a-thon.
- Safety safety safety – please follow the rules of the road!
There are Female and Open categories, and you can select A, B or C. A typically are pretty fit folk, C’s are definitely on the more casual end of the spectrum, or just planning to ride the segments as a fun destination or goal each week!
- A’s should know who you are! For Open A, if your 1hr FTP has been over 4w/kg, this is for you. For Female A, above 3.6w/kg. Strava-wise, you probably have a collection of KOMs, and fairly regularly find yourself in the T10 for segments when going full-out.
- Open C’s should be below 3w/kg, Female C’s under 2.6w/kg for 1hr FTP.
- B’s should find themselves in-between these.
- If unfamiliar, or unsure, just add a note. I will move riders around if necessary. Riders can upgrade during the ‘season’, but will lose half their points.
And yes, it’s totally free! (Although if you wish to chip in, scroll down to the bottom.)
The segments will be a rich variety of trails – there will be climbs, and some flatter or faster trails. Some will be short, and some may end up rather long efforts! Most will be within 20-60mins riding distance from the Switch Bridge. The segments themselves will normally be nearby each other as well, so reasonable to do in one ride (but not always!)
To join the Victoria Segment Challenge:
- please fill out this quick sign-up form (it’s hosted by Google Docs)
- and then join our ‘About The Ride’ Strava group. (This makes it easy for me to sort our riders out on each segment.)
Sorry, but failure to complete these two steps will likely result in omission from weekly results.
Weekly Updates: Each week on Sunday evening (or possibly Monday since I’m racing a lot of Sunday’s through the fall) I’ll send out an email and post in the Strava group an update with the weekly results and upcoming segments! Sign-up for emails is at the bottom of the page. Note: the upcoming segments WILL be updated each Sunday night for sure, so check in the evening if you tend to ride them on Mondays.
Season 3 Archives – if you missed a week, you can check them all out here!
Any questions? Hopefully most questions are answered, but feel free to send a note!
And for those keen on past segments, check the blog posts for previous Season Reports, there’s an archive of all the segments there!
This Week's Segments
Week #8 – Oct 30th – Nov 5th – Meet Us in Thetis
This is it, the final week! And we also have our final TIMED/challenge segment, and it’s the longest segment we’ve featured in the Segment Challenge so far – be sure to pack your climbing legs on this ride!!
Segment 8A Name: Banjo’s and Motocross
Deets: 3.41km, 90m elevation gain.
This is an existing segment, QOM, KOM & LL are irrelevant!
This is my second favourite route through Thetis – it starts on Phelps (use the Phelps Connector to get there from inside Thetis!), and takes you along Phelps to Bellamy all the way to Scafe. They’ve smoothed out most of it now, as well as added some drainage, so it’s a lot more rider-friendly, but there is some chunky rock towards the end, but thanks to frequent riders there are some good pathways cut through it now. Normally when riding I’ll continue along Scafe to the exit on Westoby, but this week you may want to make a left turn for….
Segment 8B Name: Bellamy & Kallie’s to Munn ‘Super Segment’ 🗻
Deets: 4.01km, 194m elevation gain.
This is a new segment, QOM is Holly Henry with a 19:12, KOM is Damian Parlee with a 15:46 & LL is no one!
Surprise!! This is a fantastic climb from Thetis to Munn Rd. It’s not too steep, mostly buff (a few rooty bits on Kallie’s Korner), and quite long!! It’s a new segment, so hasn’t really been ‘tested’, but I’m sure it won’t take long to become a popular gravel ‘test’. This could double as a good training hill for gravel/CX racers. And it’s the final segment for Season3 and 2023 as well, be sure to enjoy the grind!!!
Both are pretty straight-forward to get to, but 8B leaves you in an odd spot near the very top of Munn. You can bomb down Munn and get into Hartland, dip over to Davies to make more of a loop, or simply turn around and enjoy this as an out-and-back, and enjoy a long and fun descent! Nothing wrong with that, and probably makes for a good ride in and of itself. 😁
Happy riding!! 🚵♀️
Extra Tip: Strava for some dumb reason doesn’t let you save Segments as Routes. But here’s a website where you can enter the segment, and download the GPX file so you can ride it as a route: https://www.doogal.co.uk/SegmentExplorer (Thanks Spencer for the tip!!)
Week #1 – Hints
Note: full details will be posted Sunday evening! Hints may change as well.. Now featuring the “CR” (Course Record) time estimate for TIMED SEGEMENTS, scale to your riding ability.
Segment 1A: Check back in the spring!!
Segment 1B: Can’t wait to start up again!
The Scores - how are you doing?!
Below are our results! Note the tabs at the bottom to flip between overall and individual weeks. Please contact me if there are any errors. If a PDF is preferred, simply click here! Here is the full link to the GoogleDoc. (You can view the Notes each week for the Bonus and Curse details, which doesn’t show up in the table below.)
Thanks to our supporters!
A massive thank-you to the businesses below for contributing to our Season 3 draw prizes! Season 3 will be listed soon!
Each week we’ll be giving away some of this awesome swag by random draw!
NOTE: For those who’ve done Season 1 or Season 2, there are some changes for the GRAVEL EDITION!
Scoring is geared towards rewarding the consistent!
For NON-TIMED segments, 50pts will be awarded to each rider who complete each segment.
For the TIMED segments, points will be awarded this way for the A, B & C fields for all who complete the segment that week:
1st – 50pts
2nd – 47pts
3rd – 45pts
4th – 43pts
5th – 41pts
6th – 40pts (and one point spread beyond 6th, to 30pts, which all below this will receive.)
There are a few opportunities to score extra points! Since these are awarded to ‘one’ person each week, the rider may be Open or Female, A, B or C. Some are random, some you can actually go for.
- New QOM/KOM – (TIMED SEGMENTS ONLY) if a new QOM or KOM is set on the segment, that rider gets an extra 5pts.
- Time Bonus – (TIMED SEGMENTS ONLY) a time will be secretly pre-selected for each segment, any who happen to ride that exact time will be awarded 5pts.
- The Early Bird – the earliest locked-in effort for the ‘A’ segment will get 5pts. (Eg: someone might preview the segment on Monday, and be the ‘first’, but if they ride it again and their final result tops that one, then the second is what counts – sorry, I just don’t want to have to refresh the segment pages constantly! 😉 )
- The Socialite – tag @AboutTheRideCA on Twitter, FB or IG in a post relating to the competition, and my favourite post each week will get 5pts.
- Birthday Bonus – if you ‘lock in’ one of the weekly segments on your birthday, and let me know, and you’ll get bonus points equal to 1/10th your new age! (Note: you have to email me before 6pm Sunday that week so I know.)
- Bonus Segments – some weeks there may be a bonus challenge, it won’t be scored like the others, but a declared number of points will be awarded to all who simply complete that segment.
But it’s not all roses – there are also a few ways to lose points each segment!
- Yellow Jersey Curse – (TIMED SEGMENTS ONLY) if a rider in the competition holds the QOM/KOM at the start, and they fail to defend it, they lose 5pts.
- Try-Hard Penalty – (TIMED SEGMENTS ONLY) if a rider becomes the Local Legend during the week of the segment, they lose 5pts. (If they go into it already as the LL, then this will be ignored.)
There’s a few surprises to keep you on your toes! (Also note that in fairness Dave the organizer will be omitted from winning most bonuses, but can collect the curses!)
Help Get Word Out!
Ain’t this more fun with more people? Help get word out! Follow our social channels, and share posts, mention what you’re doing on your Strava rides, invite friends to sign up and join you, get your clubs and bike shops to get word out!
Fire over a note on the contact page if you’ve got any questions, ideas, suggestions, etc!
Chip In & Get Tips Back!
I’m organizing this as a labour of love, but it does take up quite a bit of time! If you’d like to chip in a few dollars, you can send an e-transfer to dave \at\ abouttheride.ca – as a thank-you I’ll add you to a secret email list with tips for getting the fastest time on each segment – like here’s my blog post covering the basics for getting PRs. =)
Good luck and have fun!
Newsletter & Email Updates
Sign up to the right for our periodic updates about clinics, events, and other notable activities! (Probably just a few emails a year, and you can unsubscribe with a click any time!)