Couch to Route Hero, Week 8 Done

Couch to Route Hero, Week 8 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!


After taking a rest week it sure was amazing to get back into the challenge! Even more amazing were the messages you all have been sending me as I ride or after I post about a ride. I hope you’re all messaging others in the community to spur them on too, because it’s so motivating to receive encouragement from others! Like I keep saying, “We’re stronger together!”

The Week Lined Up

Because I rode 1 route during my rest week I only added 4 new badges this week, But that brings me to a total of 52 badges! There’s only 15 more, which I can’t believe! (We won’t discuss the fact that I have many very difficult routes left!)

I rode 84.82 miles, with 9,807’ of climb which took me 8 hours and 21 minutes. 

Routes completed: 

Lots of people headed up the mountain in Innsbruck, which was fun! I got 944th out of 951 people. I guess staying in Zone 2 isn’t the way to beat everyone else up the climb!

Tour of Fire & Ice

Tour of Fire & Ice starts in the volcano and ends at the top of the Alpe. It’s not too horribly bad compared to some rides, although I am getting a little tired of that Alpe! I believe with the routes I have left I’ll only have to go up it 2 more times… of course those are both 5+ bidon routes. (I should NOT have researched that info!) 

When the wheel at the top of the Alpe spun I thought SURELY it was time for me to get the Meilenstein Wheels. Alas, I got another helmet (and 250XP for getting a helmet a second time)!

I also noticed some people were climbing the Alpe on mountain bikes. Come to find out, they were working on their Absa Cape Epic Mission. Heavens! I’m slow up the Alpe even with my sweet Specialized Tarmac Pro with Enve SES 3.4 wheels. I can’t imagine how slow I’d be if I was climbing with a mountain bike. Kudos to them!

London’s Surrey Hills

I actually didn’t mind Surrey Hills too much. You just have to know ahead of time that the lead-in is a trip up Fox Hill (which happens to be my favorite hill in London). Just count your climbs as you ride. A total of five. No big deal! 

If lead-ins throw you off, here’s my one tip: pay special attention when you first click on the route in Zwift. It’ll animate on the map what direction you’ll go. The blue parts are the lead-in, with the white being the rest of the route. 

Next Week 

This will be a big week for me as both The Mega Pretzel and Four Horsemen are scheduled. Honestly though, with all this Coronavirus talk all over the world I may have to throw in extra rest days in the last 3 weeks of this challenge. I don’t want to deplete my immune system just so I can write an article about it. I’ll take it one ride at a time and watch what happens with the virus in our part of the world and go from there!

How about you?

What did you ride this week? What are your plans for next week? And has the Coronavirus affected your riding in any way?

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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Viktor
Viktor (@viktor_icarus)
1 year ago

Hey Monica! I tried doing the Tour of Ice and Fire the other day and found myself doing endless laps around the volcano instead thanks to Zwift having a mind of its own that day. Did you have any issues at all doing this ride? And does anyone know why this happens?

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

I didn’t have any problems and have no idea why that would happen. My only guess is that maybe you accidentally clicked on Volcano Circuit, which is right below Tour of Fire & Ice when selecting routes.

Dan Aponik
Dan Aponik
1 year ago

You also have to be very careful about NOT accidentally taking a manual turn during a Route Badge ride. I made this mistake the other day while trying to use the Camera angles to take a pic of a KOM jersey I just got. I was using the arrow keys to move the camera when I was approaching an intersection and for some reason, it did a manual turn and I ended up going the wrong way and not getting the badge. Fortunately, it was one of the shorter routes so I didn’t beat myself up too bad.

Viktor Johnsson
Viktor Johnsson (@viktor_icarus)
1 year ago

Not only did I double and triple check, but it was also the pre-selected route the next time I opened the program indicating that it was in fact the one I had picked the previous ride. I was also doing the volcano in a counter-clockwise direction, so it would have been the Volcano Circuit CCW in that case, but there also wasn’t any lead-in. All in all, very confusing.

Kari
Kari
1 year ago

Awesome progress! So glad you posted the tip about the lead-ins showing on the animation map. I’ve been zwifting for 5 years and never realized that. 👍

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

Yay! Glad to help!

Thomas Chew
Thomas Chew
1 year ago

Hi Monica! Good to see you are back on the bike and giving it your all! Last night I did The Four Horseman. That was time consuming, took me 4 hours and fourteen minutes. I kept the entire ride in zone 2. My opinion, the worse part is the jungle section after the Alpe. If all goes well tonight, will take on the PRL half. Once completed, all that I have left is three (3) 5+ bidons, The Mega Pretzel, The Uber Pretzel and the PRL Full. I’m going to do the PRL Full on the 28th with all of… Read more »

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

THIS IS SO AWESOME, THOMAS! I appreciate the info about The Four Horsemen so I can not worry so much about the Alpe! I can’t even believe I’ve done this either! So thankful to do this with you and others!!!

Mily
Mily
1 year ago

Hi Monica! I also need those two route badges. Please post when you plan on tackling these two routes so I can join you in the sufferfest!!😎

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

Mily, I did The Mega Pretzel on Monday. Will do The Four Horsemen on Saturday, probably around 10am pst.

chrisb200sx
chrisb200sx
1 year ago

Good luck, yikes, two serious rides in one week!
I went up AdZ on the Scott Spark and it wasn’t that much slower, took about 20% longer than my best but I wasn’t pushing my best power.
Smashed PRL Half on Tuesday, squeezed in under 2 hours as I paced it nicely, probably could have kept going at that effort level for a while longer. Zwift route choice says 1009m but it was around 870m. 69km was accurate though.
4 badges left to do, all the gnarly ones, Yay!

Snappy Little
Snappy Little
1 year ago

It was fun chatting while you were doing Surrey Hills and I was doing PRL full! I got it done and then did the Uber Sunday. Same average watts the Uber only took 30 minutes less and I dislike the Alpe so it wasn’t near as fun. My advice is if you survive the Uber then the PRL is way more enjoyable even though it is 27 miles longer. You’re making good progress but I think I’m gonna beat ya, only 5 routes left!

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

Yes, that was so fun chatting with you! I felt a little bad when I was done with my shorter route, like I was ditching a friend out on course! Thanks for the info about the PRL Full being better. I’ve heard the same from others! Race you to the finish line! (haha, you’re gonna win as I still have 12 left!)

Jim Mattson
Jim Mattson
1 year ago

Way to go, Monica!

I think your chiropractor might have something to say about your plans for next week. The Mega Pretzel *and* the Four Horsemen? 🤔

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

LOL. He said “Don’t tell me what you’re about to do. I’ll just assume we’re on damage control for the next three weeks. See you Monday!”

Dan Aponik
Dan Aponik
1 year ago

I was one of those guys doing the Alpe on the MTB last week to get some climbing in for the Cape challenge. I compared average wattages to my rides with the faster road bikes. Took me 8 minutes longer on the MTB. I’ve also done the Innsbruck climb this week on the MTB, which also took me 4 minutes longer than when I did it on my Tron. Since most of the rides are falling on Zone 2 or Stead State effort training days, I’m not going to worry so much about the slower times since I”m not going… Read more »

R R
R R (@karel-grootte)
1 year ago

Great week ahead of you Monica! Due to the Corona crisis at work I unfortunately miss my riding days, so I’m way behind schedule. But now that we are supposed to work at home, I maybe can make up some days. But definitely not riding in the “red” zone. Like you said, keep fit enough that your immune system can do its job!

Glen Small
Glen Small (@glensmall)
1 year ago

You’ve got me inspired and I’m prepping for the London prl full on 28th. I’ve still got to do Surrey hills and a tour of fire and ice, so I guess I’ll be biting those bullets this week 😂. Muir and the mountain this Sunday though, something a little easier.

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