challenge · cycling · fitness

Who decides what’s a challenge?

Mary Anderson set herself a challenge, to cycle through her home state of Vermont on her ebike. Her goal: to visit all 251 towns in one go. Since hitting the road on October 6, she has logged 205 towns and 1,317 miles. You can read all about it here.

Here’s Mary:

Mary and her ebike

I found out about her challenge when she shared it with the Cycling Past 50 group we’re both part of on Facebook.

But I was sad to see that immediately someone declared it wasn’t much of a challenge since she’s riding an e-bike. “You’re riding along with a motor? How can that that be a challenge?”


Mary replied telling him she was 64 and recovering from numerous breaks and tears and injuries. But that’s not the point.

Luckily before I could even start typing a Fit is a Feminist Issue regular commentator Kimberly Van Orman was typing, “Where is it written that only “challenging” rides are worthwhile anyway? Who decides what’s sufficiently challenging? Challenging for whom?”

Later in a messenger exchange with me, she continued. “I have an ebike. Vermont is the GREEN MOUNTAIN state. I can assure you that it was still a physical challenge, too.”

Thank you KVO.

We’ve been defending e-bikes on the blog for awhile now. Recently Joy Cameron has been blogging here about her e-bike and bike packing adventures.

But the point is bigger than e-bikes. It’s about you getting to decide what’s a challenge for you!

In local (for me) news, Guelph, Ont., woman to celebrate special birthday with 100 walks for 100 years. I hope no one chirps up in the comments to say it isn’t a challenge because she’s walking rather than running!