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!


I was reminded this week of what my Chiropractor told me years ago: “If you want to stay out of my office I’d suggest not adding more than about 10% to your riding each week.

I have an appointment booked with him this Wednesday.

The Rides Lined Up

5 new badges were added, for a grand total of 47 done. Only 20 left! 

I rode 144.53 miles and climbed 14,826 feet in 13 hours on the bike this week. I’m not a math wizard but I’m pretty sure 8.5 hours on my bike last week and 13 hours on my bike this week is more than the 10% prescribed by my Chiropractor. Oops.

Routes Completed:

The Pretzel

The Pretzel was my first 5+ bidon ride ever. I wanted to really be thorough about my write-up as I’ve been asked again and again how the ride went by people who haven’t ridden it yet. Check out my “The Pretzel” ride story >

The short and sweet version is: I shouldn’t have scheduled it in so closely between two things I already had going that day. I cried at one point. I almost lost a few toes (that may be an exaggeration). And I finished!

The Middle Rides

I think it’s important to note that two of the rides I did midweek had the word “Knickerbocker” in them. If you don’t know what that is, be sure to look it up. But most importantly, say “Knickerbocker” out loud, three times in a row. More fun to say in American English, if you ask me. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/english/knickerbockers

Quatch Quest

Quatch Quest was my second 5+ bidon route of the challenge. Done just 7 days after The Pretzel. My full write-up is here > 

The short and sweet version is: I learned a lot from The Pretzel and while this ride was LOOOONG it was still better than The Pretzel! 

Zwift Glitch?

I noticed something quirky on these longer rides that I hadn’t seen before, probably because these rides had longer breaks than I usually take. The Zwift Companion app displays the amount of time you were logged in for the ride. You have to have a screenshot of the end of your ride or check Strava to see what your actual ride time is.

According to the Companion app my Quatch Quest ride was 4 hours and 45 minutes long. But only 4 hours and 12 minutes of it was riding. Is it just me, or shouldn’t it just display ride time?

The next week in the challenge

I am really frustrated to say that I’m taking a rest week this next week. I wanted to press on, but my body is telling me I need to slow down. I’m beginning to get sick. A sore throat and general fatigue. Everyone tells me it’s a good thing to rest, but it feels like I’m quitting. 

I WILL be back next week to talk about what it was like to rest up, including what I learned, what exercise I still did (if any), and how much I hated watching what I ate since I didn’t have tons of extra calories that I was burning each day. 

How about you?

Please tell me you’ve cried on a ride, what you did during a rest week, and how you’re doing with this challenge!