The Challenge is about getting people to ride more. We know the competition is effective, because there is always a vigorous debate about counting time on trainers. Trainers have a single purpose based on building/maintaining fitness. Riders use trainers to get a workout when they don't have the gear for the outside conditions or to control the training parameters like you can't on a road. Joyous? These folks would ride anyways. The grey area is people using trainers recovering from injuries/surgeries with the goal of returning to regular riding.
Its not about the quality of the workout, because on a trainer, you can bury yourself nine ways til Sunday. You can pretend/simulate riding Mount Ventoux every day, but you will never earn the admiration from having your Cingles passport stamped:
Some riders complain about conditions being too extreme during the Challenge for safe riding. One must always use their best judgement. Consider the definition of Gear: gear is something that takes away excuses for riding. In general, there is no budget that should be imposed on gear. Don't have good rain gear? Why not? Don't have cold weather gear? Why not?