Couch to Route Hero, Week 2 Done

Couch to Route Hero, Week 2 Done

Editor’s note: Monica is undertaking the “Couch to Route Hero” challenge of riding all 67 “free-ridable” Zwift routes (and getting all the badges) in 11 weeks. Each week she shares her story of the previous week’s struggles and accomplishments. Follow along on her journey, take the challenge yourself, and be sure to give her a Ride On if you see her on course!


“The whole world knows I’m on this quest, so I have to keep going!” This is definitely an inflated view of real circumstances, but the pressure to continue on this quest is real! I say pressure, but mostly it’s accountability. When no one knows what my goals are I can quit on them. When the “whole world” knows, and others are participating, well… I’m a people pleaser. I have to keep going for my people! That’s you!

I think the theme this week is definitely “accountability.” Because my family also knows I’m doing this quest they make time for me. And I occasionally need their reminders and encouragement to get on my bike (like after the long day and a half of sitting on hard bleachers watching the 13-year-old play in a basketball tourney).

Week 2, In the Books

This week I added 9 route badges to my stash! 16 routes done, 51 to go!

Maybe I shouldn’t have written that number out for another few weeks. 51 seems like a lot.

But, I also added another 70.92 miles, 4,966 feet of climb and 4.5 hours on the bike! Woot! Routes completed this week:

Lady Liberty ride report: the red is the QOM section!

Leveling up

I was riding Park Perimeter Loop in New York City, a route I really like, and I got just enough points during it to make Level 32 and unlock the Newsy Cap! Did you know you get extra XP points each time you earn a route badge? I’ll be level 33 before I know it!

Everything Bagel

Day 9 has a 3 bidon route scheduled. It was my biggest, longest ride so far: Everything Bagel in New York City. With 1800’ of climb I was in PAIN by the end! The last three minutes I was just saying over and over “ouch… ow… ow… ow… ouchie… ugh.” 

I started the ride on the tail end of a migraine. (I really need to figure out this whole “stay hydrated” thing.) Riding with a migraine meant I couldn’t push myself higher than about 140 watts or my head felt like it would explode all over my bike. As I kept riding the meds and caffeine kicked in so I could push a little harder. I was glad for the relief as Eric jumped on his bike and was chasing me up the KOM. I’m happy to say I beat him to the top! This story ends here and I’ll not be answering any questions about how far behind me he started.

My longest ride of the Quest (so far)

After the ride, I noticed I had a total of 166 Ride Ons! You all have NO idea how much these really do spur me on! And for those looking for more Ride Ons for themselves here’s a tip: I find that the more Ride Ons I give during a ride, the more I get. Also, following lots of people means some will follow you back and give you Ride Ons next time you’re on!

So many Ride Ons!

Things I’ll Do Better This Week

I keep saying I’ll add in some core strengthening exercises soon. I’m actually going to do this in the coming week! And I’m also going to drink and drink and drink. Water, that is.

How About You?

If you’re doing this as well, how’s it going? Have you done a 3 bidon route yet? I’d love to hear all about it!

If You’re New

If you’re not familiar with this quest, read about it here, print out your papers and start riding! It’s never too late to start. You start on the day that works for you, and do the routes as often as you feel works for you. That’s what I’m doing! Then check in here each week to add a comment about how your week went and what you accomplished! 

About The Author

Monica Schlange

Monica wears many hats but the two most important to her are: Mom of two teens, and Wife to Zwift Insider editor Eric. A casual cyclist, her resolve is stronger than her legs, which still gets her pretty far! She enjoys trying new things on Zwift that others find intimidating so she can write about the experience and inspire others to push themselves as well.

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Mick Buston
Mick Buston
1 year ago

Great effort Monica. I started around the same time as you but I’m trying to work within parameters related to rehab from chronic illness so 82 – 92 bpm is my hr range and currently at 19 mins max per ride. So far, I’ve had four attempts at Volcano, two gos at Volcano CCW and second attempt at Classique today. Has added such interest to my rides and really enjoying seeing how far I can get towards each goal as my time increases over the weeks and my fitness improves too. Don’t care how long it takes me, each route… Read more »

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mick Buston

Great attitude! I wish you all the best! Keep at it!

Edward Redfoot
Edward Redfoot (@rothfusz)
1 year ago

I am enjoying reading about your journey. I started checking off the route badges when they first came out. Down to the last 14 now. The hardest ones of course. Not sure I would attempt to do those 14 in 11 weeks let alone all the routes. Maybe I will shoot for that next year but there is likely to be more routes so might have to increase the weeks by 1 or 2. Best of luck and keep on riding on.

Jim Mattson
Jim Mattson
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Redfoot

Keep it up, Edward! The scary thing about this list is that around 50% of your time in the saddle is spent on the 12 longest routes!

Mike Kauspedas
Trusted Member
Mike Kauspedas (@mike)
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Redfoot

I’ve got all the 1 bidons done. Need new bibs and maybe a saddle before I start tackling the 4 bidons lol.

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Edward Redfoot

Thanks for writing! I have to keep my head down and just look at the current week at hand or I’ll get overwhelmed about what’s to come!

Tom Smulders
Tom Smulders
1 year ago

My wife (just gave birth to our second son) and I doing the quest. She picks the 1 or 2 bidon routes, I am doing the 2+ routes. Nice to tick off the routes on the sheets you made. Good luck Monica!

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Smulders

Awesome! Congrats on your new baby! And for making riding a priority. That gets harder with little ones around!!!

Bryan Culliford
Bryan Culliford (@bculliford)
1 year ago

I started a week behind you (day 7 as writing) due to being out of the country, but trying to catch you up by taking less rest days (insane idea which wont last). Also trying to incorporate the Tour De Zwift races/events too, trying to save those routes for the tour days so they count double. It will mean adding a route for Bologna which is not on the list, but then you don’t get an achievement for it… I’m dreading my first 3 bidon route which will likely be on Saturday for me, only done one before and it… Read more »

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago

Wow! That’s a lot of riding, Bryan! How’s it going?

Sheri McCready
Sheri McCready
1 year ago

Hi Monica, your journey has me so motivated to get it done too. I am redoing some of the routes I already had badges for to keep it real. I am counting Tour de Zwift for route badges, which is really nice to kill two birds with one stone. I love hunting badges on days when there aren’t any group rides I want to do. Thanks for the inspiration!!
Sheri

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sheri McCready

That’s awesome, Sheri! I did similarly in that I re-rode 3 that I already had badges for. Thankfully they were some of the 1 bidon ones!

Vid
Vid
1 year ago

Ride On!

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Vid

You too, Vid!

Jim Spencer
Jim Spencer
1 year ago

I’m also enjoying riding the routes and checking them off the list as I go. Rode TdZ Stage 3 Long Distance route yesterday and was able to check off the Watopia Big Loop route. I don’t ride everyday so there’s no way I’ll complete the list as quickly as you and will probably be riding back outside before able to complete this winter season.

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Spencer

Do what works for you! Riding is a good thing either way!

Mark Eidem
Mark Eidem
1 year ago

Way to go Monica! Keep it going!

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Eidem

Thanks, Mark! Another week in the books!

Ossett Mark
Ossett Mark
1 year ago

Well Done Monica, you’re smashing it. I had the aim of riding all routes by the time I head off on holiday in April. I had a lot of the badges to start with, but this has spurred me on and given me great information. So far since start of the the year of done 21 routes, but I’m now heading into some of the more challenging ones… I’ll be heading into 3 bidon territory next week and I’m not looking forward to it!

Keep it up and I look forward to reading the next installment.

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ossett Mark

Thanks! This helps me to press on too! Week 3 should be posted today and includes my thoughts on my first 4 Bidon Route! Mercy! Haha!

Sally Gentille
Sally Gentille
1 year ago

Great job Monica! i’m just starting with Zwift and I love the list…it demystified this awesome virtual world and has pointed me in the right direction. I’m doing an FTP Builder training program and each day I pick a new route from the list to try for my workout. I don’t think I’ll make them all in anything like 11 weeks, but I’ll get there. Thanks for the inspiration!

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Sally Gentille

Awesome, Sally! So glad this has helped you! Happy to be on the quest with others, no matter the pace!

Amaury
Amaury
1 year ago

You wrote :

LEVELING UP
I was riding Park Perimeter Loop in New York City, a route I really like, and I got just enough points during it to make Level 32 and unlock the Newsy Cap! Did you know you get extra XP points each time you finish a route? I’ll be level 33 before I know it!

I am missing something ?? I was wondering that you can earn xp only the 1st time you complete a route ?

Edward Redfoot
Edward Redfoot (@rothfusz)
1 year ago
Reply to  Amaury

You get extra XP the first time when you get the badge. After that you just get the normal XP for the distance you ride.

Monica
Monica
1 year ago
Reply to  Amaury

You’re right, it was a poorly worded sentence. You get extra XP points every time you get a route badge!

Reno Bamboo
Reno Bamboo
1 year ago
Reply to  Monica

Thanks for the Rout pages nice to have something to go off of. Almost done with 1Bidon. I’m also trying to fit in Tour de Zwift the short rout only. Thanks for giving me something to Pedal for.

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Reno Bamboo

So glad, Reno!

L. Elmore
L. Elmore (@linkelmore)
1 year ago

Monica, I’m doing the same challenge, thanks to you. One thing to note: I did the Watopia Big Loop this week as part of the Tour de Zwift (#3). I chose the long group ride specifically because I needed that route at it was offered as part of the tour. I did the event, saw the route banner achievement at the end of my ride, and saved as normal. Later, however, I noticed that it didn’t show up as checked off on the Veloviewer checklist. I did a comparison and noticed that because I started in the pens as part… Read more »

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  L. Elmore

Oh, wow! Thanks for the heads up! I didn’t know that!

Oliver Radermacher
Oliver Radermacher
1 year ago

Wow, that’s encouraging. Keep going. I also like the NY courses although they are a bit undulated. And staying well hydrated is something I tell to my wife, she also Zwift’s and runs like me (and swims), all the time 🙂 . Looking forward to your next column

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago

Thanks, Oliver! Your wife and I need all the water we can get!

Mike Kauspedas
Trusted Member
Mike Kauspedas (@mike)
1 year ago

Nice job, it was fun spotting you when we were both doing the same route, lutscher. that route sucked. Not looking forward to achterbahn. Thanks again to Eric for putting this together. Ride on, don’t give up, we’re watching!

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Kauspedas

Haha! Not giving up just yet. Your name might be in some of the screenshots on the next article. Not sure which ones Eric will use when he posts it. Should be up today! You and Adam made that ride so much more entertaining! Thanks!

Lizel
Lizel
1 year ago

Hi, I am with you on this quest and enjoying it. My first bidon 3 was the London triple loop and I have to agree by the last climb I was at snail pace and in spinning gear but kept going until the completed badge came up😁 I do see we have another bidon 3 and then a bidon 4 planned for the end of this week. At least I still have a few days before I tackle those.

Monica Schlange
Top Member
Monica Schlange (@mmisc)
1 year ago
Reply to  Lizel

I’m writing about week 3 today! How did it go for you? Be sure to tell me! I like knowing I’m not alone in this and week 3 was tough!

Andrew Harris
Andrew Harris (@andrew274)
1 year ago

Well I’ve just planned the routes for my Week 2 and my 3 Bidon route matches yours, Everything Bagel. Any tips for tackling my first 3 Bidon Route?

Daniel King
Daniel King
10 months ago

I found electrolyte tablets in my bidon really helped with my migraines.

Keep up the good work.

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