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?