Skip to main content

Winter Challenge Intro

 How hard-core are you

How hard-core are you? Can you ride your bike outdoors (a minimum of 5 miles) one day in January and one day in February? How about 5 miles a day outside once a week? What about riding outside 5 miles every day from January 1st through the end of February? What about riding more than 5 miles in a day in the dead of winter? Too hard? Others have done it! Can you ride your bike on an indoor trainer every day in January and February? Go for it!  

The 23nd Annual Winter Challenge

Janesville Velo Club members are challenged to ride their bicycles as much as they can in January and February and ask others to sponsor their efforts to raise funds that will be used to improve local cycling opportunities. Sound simple? Read the rules, submit your entry, and accept this Challenge!


Prize - The winner’s only prize will be the respect of the other participants.


At the end of the challenge, participants who have placed in the top 10 in any of the Outdoor/Indoor Points categories will be awarded points that correlate to their final place in that category (see Days Miles Funds’ table). The points participants earn in each Outdoor or Indoor Challenge category will be added together to determine each participant’s Total Points for the Outdoor or Indoor Challenge competitions. 

More Total points = Higher place in the Final Standings


Participating riders must be current Janesville Velo Club members and accept the terms of the Janesville Velo Club Waiver and Release of Liability. A $100 minimum donation (or soliciting $100 in pledges) towards the fundraiser is suggested.



Help us raise funds by encouraging your friends & family to make pledges on the number of days or miles you ride during the 2-month challenge period.

Not up to the challenge of winter riding or soliciting pledges but want to support our cause? Please consider donating. The JVC is a 501c3 non-profit organization that uses the funds raised to support bicycling-related advocacy efforts and also improve cycling opportunities in southern Wisconsin.      

         Crazy Ed

Event History

In 2001, Michael's Cycles store manager Bob Schlegel challenged a store customer (Ed Zoellick) to see who would ride the most through the upcoming winter. Bob and Ed (a.k.a. “Crazy Ed”) devised this prize-less challenge as a way to add some fun to the difficult winter riding season. Interest in the challenge quickly grew from 13 die-hard cyclists pedaling a cumulative 11,589 miles in 2002 to 31 participants racking up over 35,500 miles in the first 3 months of 2006.

Crazy Ed participated in 18 consecutive Challenges (2002 – 2019), cumulatively racking up 42,531.2 miles and 1637 days of January-February-March riding in the process. His most impressive Challenge was when he rode 5,578.7 miles(!) and every day in the first three months of 2006 and set a mark that will never be broken. Although he retired from Challenge riding at the end of the 2019 Challenge, he is still firmly on top of the Challenge’s all-time leaderboard and is still years ahead of his nearest challenger!

We are forever grateful to Ed not only for helping track rider information for many years, but also for the enthusiasm he brought to local winter riding!  

In 2020, the Challenge’s name changed from the ‘Frozen Fools Challenge’ to the ‘Winter Challenge’ as the challenge period also changed from ending on April Fool’s Day to instead the ending on the last day of February. 

As of the end of the 2023 Challenge, only about 150 different riders have contributed to the over 416,000 total cumulative miles ridden during the history of the Challenge!