The real competition was to see whether the total number of hours ridden by Australians last week would be higher than the Rest of the World combined. An ambitious goal for us Aussies, perhaps, but given we’re at the tail end of summer here and it’s been wet, cold and miserable in many parts of the northern hemisphere, we figured it would be a fair contest.

But in the end, we’re sad to say, the Rest of the World won. Comfortably. Of the 54,229 hours that were ridden as part of the challenge, only 16,060 of those came from Australia. The chart below tells the story.

And it wasn’t just that the Rest of the World had more riders — 4,155 to 1,976 — they also put in longer hours on the bike. The average Australian contributed 4 hours and 8 minutes to the country’s total while the average Rest of the World-er rode for 5 hours and 11 minutes.

So what about the CyclingTips team? Well, here in Melbourne it seemed like it hadn’t rained for ages before last week. But of course when we went to knock out some mid-week kilometres, the heavens opened and, well, that was that. So what we’re trying to say, because, you know, we try to be honest when we can, is that Wade and myself might possibly, maybe, just ever so slightly failed to lodge 15 hours each.

We’re consoling ourselves with the knowledge that even if we’d ridden for every single hour of last week (168 hours each, for those of you playing at home) it wouldn’t have made a dent in the Rest of the World’s lead. In fact, with the number of Australians that took part in the competition (1,976), every single one of us would need to have ridden for more than 19 hours for Australia to have won.

So we needed more riders, and we needed everyone to do more hours on the bike.

Except, perhaps, for the sizeable bunch who managed well in excess of 15 hours. In fact there were some ridiculous numbers posted, not just from Australia but from the Rest of the World too: 55 hours, 45 hours, 40 hours, 35 hours … how do you guys find the time?!*

On a more serious note, it was great to see so many people flocking to Instagram/Twitter and posting some photos from their week on the bike. You can see a bunch of those images in the gallery below.

So, thanks to everyone that took part in the challenge, congratulations to everyone that made it to 15 hours (and beyond) and well done to the Rest of the World for winning the challenge. And to all the Australian riders — myself and Wade included — it’s time to lift our game.

Have a great weekend!

* UPDATE: The rider who initially accrued the most hours appears to have been deleted from the leaderboard. As such, we’ve removed the two paragraphs of this post that mentioned him.