Finnish company Suunto makes wrist based multi-sport activity monitors as well as activity sensors, some of which can upload data to its Movescount database. You can also download the Movescount app on your mobile to record your activity.
Between February 15 and 21, Suunto held a World Vertical Week, when activities recorded by participants in diverse sports in different countries were aggregated to see who climbed the most vertical. There’s more detail on Suunto’s website.
Chomping through the data, Suunto came up with average climbs for road cyclists in different countries – and Colombia came out on top with an average ascent of 481m. Those Colombians are clearly busy with other sports too, as they also recorded the top average ascent for runners at 193m.
The second best result for road cyclists came from South Africa with 409m. Of course riders in countries with warmer climates are likely to have an advantage at this time of year, although Europe took third to fifth places with Andorra at 403m, Slovenia at 396m and Spain at 391m.
Road cyclists’ achievements were overshadowed somewhat by participants in other sports though, with top vertical metres going not surprisingly to ski tourers at 858m – a sport where going up is a necessary prerequisite to being able to ski down again. Mountaineers also did well at 696m.
And which countries had the most vertically ambitious athletes across all activities? Well, having mountains seems to help, as first was Switzerland at 333m, followed by Austria as 316m and Slovenia at 301m.
Of course cyclists can always make the excuse that they’re too busy on their Garmins to use Suunto’s app – or are on their turbos waiting for the weather to warm up.