Since 2010, the Festive 500 has challenged cyclists to ride a total of 500km on the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Once again we invite you to join tens of thousands of riders in testing yourself on the bike over the holidays as part of this growing festive tradition....
So, skip that glass of afternoon sherry and get off the sofa this holiday. The Festive 500 will end your riding year on a high.
Wishing you a very Festive 500.
A Growing Tradition
The Festive 500 was born of an impulsive idea by Rapha product designer Graeme Raeburn to ride 1,000km in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In doing so, he would combine visiting his family with extensive product testing and base miles into one intrepid expedition.
The success of Graeme’s madcap adventuring inspired Rapha to invite friends and customers to match (half of) his feat in 2010, and a total of 94 hardy souls completed the challenge. Since then, the Festive 500 has grown to have 48,000 participants last year, of which 8,398 were successful. Easy it isn’t, but challenges never should be.
(Text duplicated from RAPHA Homepage)
I heard about this Festive 500 before and this year I will definitely try to pass the 500 kilometer challenge. My plan is not only to ride the required kilometers, but also do it in a particular way. After consider some ideas, the favourite plan is fixed.
I will try to follow daily routes, whose synopsis show the shape of a Christmas motive, a Christmas tree. It seems to be unavoidable to repeat some routes, but that doesn't matter as long as I can "ride the tree".
Let's go for it.
Day 1 - Thu 24.12.2015 105, total 105 km
temperature 7°C / wind S 5 Bft
Perfect weather for winter cycling, mild temperature and not to windy. First step of the Xmas tree project: ground and trunk.
Day 2 - Fri 25.12.2015 102, total 207 km
temperature 8°C / wind SW 6 Bft
Increasing wind but still dry weather conditions allows to ride the right side of the tree. I received a message of Anna and Mike - I am in (the Transcontonental Race 2016)...smile. That is an additional incentive to ride.
Day 3 - Sat 26.12.2015 46, total 253 km
temperature 11°C / wind SW 7 Bft / heavy rain
Heavy rain and hard squall. No cycling weather in normal circumstances. But Festive 500 is not normal. So at least some kilometers are done.
Day 4 - Sun 27.12.2015 115, total 368 km
temperature 10°C / wind SW 6 Bft
Hurray. The rain is gone and it seems to be dry for the next days. Due to the good progress I change my personal target from 500 to 777 kilometers. Mission of the day: left side of the tree.
Day 5 - Mon 28.12.2015 134, total 502 km
temperature 3-5 °C, wind SE 4 Bft
A Christmas tree should have a nice top in the form of a star. Therefore I have to ride the trunk again. For accumulate some more kilometers I repeat the ground section. I achieve the mark of 500 km and decide to keep on riding.
Day 6 - Tue 29.12.2015 km 101, total 603
temperature 5°C / wind SE 6-7 Bft
A friend of mine advise me to prolong the ground section of the tree for aesthetic reasons. As an artist painter she knows much more about proportions than me.
Day 7 - Wed 30.12.2015 km 102, total 705
temperature 4°C / wind SE 5-6 Bft
It is getting colder and due to the wind direction I decide to repeat the prolonged ground section.
Day 8 - Thu 31.12.2015 km 72, total 777
temperature 2°C / wind SE 5 Bft / temporary rain
The last day is a hard one. The weather conditions are not really an invitation for cycling. But of course I want to complete the 777 kilometers. And I do so.
Standings Germany : Position 51 of 2.531 German participants
Overall standings worldwide : Position 479 of 61.585 participants (Has to be updated after all of the globe achieved the new year.)
Worldwide all participants cycled 16.322.419 kilometer.
Synopsis of my RAPHA Festive 500 Xmas tree track
Synopsis of all day tracks
(All tracks can be evaluated on the STRAVA website) (Some day tracks were done several times.)
In the Transcontinental Race 2015, which I finished successful, my navigation based completely on paper road maps. 'Old school' as one jounger rider mentioned, when we rode through the night in Belgium. Of course paper maps never fail due to energie blackout or technical failure, but in a personal review I have to admit, that I roughly lost 20 to 30 minutes each day for solving navigation problems.
Therefore Santa Claus brought a nice Garmin GPS device (fortunately one da before Christmas eve)...smile. This little box was a perfect help on the Xmas tree track. Especially I liked the above shown routing message "paradise ahead".