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 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 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, 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!


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