The popular Rapha Festive 500 will be returning soon, the now annual challenge to ride 500km over the Christmas period, and this year there are prizes to be won including a Ricky Feather frame with a unique Rapha Continental paint scheme. That’s enough motivation right there to get you out the front door and battle the elements and tick off the mileage, if it were needed.
So miles mean prizes, and there are more, including a load of Rapha clothing, a very fine Race Notes leather-bound book, and the Great Road Climbs book by Graeme Fife. What do you have to do to stand a chance to win one of these prizes we hear you ask? Rapha simply wants to hear your stories as you embark on the challenge, and the best-told stories will stand a chance of winning a prize. There are three categories - Most Inclement, Best Story, Prix de la Combativité, Best Photography, and a Grand Prize for Creativity.
Of course you need to actually ride 500km as well - the idea is that you ride 500km (311 miles) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and post evidence of your efforts. That’s eight riding days, so you’ll need to average 62.5km (about 39 miles) per day.
This is your chance to get creative. Document your 500km with photos, share them on the internet, print them out and post them to Rapha, scribble illustrations after every ride. Write a poem. Film it, send postcards, anything you want to do to record the Festive 500 is encouraged and welcomed. Remember, it’s meant to be a bit of fun. You can view the full details of the challenge and all the prizes here http://pages.rapha.cc/festive-500-2014
The Rapha Festive 500 has been running since 2010, and it’s gone on to become hugely popular in the years since. It helps to have a focus, a goal, to motivate you to head outdoors when maybe it’s a bit colder or damper than you’d like. And following the riding of others doing the Festive 500 through Strava, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a surefire way to inspire you to drag yourself off the sofa, put down the tin of assorted biscuits, and get out on your bike.
The Festive 500 was inspired by Rapha’s clothing designer Graeme Raeburn who decided to ride 1000km in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So if you think 500km is too easy, when not try doubling it? We dare you...
The Festive 500 runs from 24th to 31st December, and the best way to track your mileage is through Strava, and there’s a special badge for it here. They’re also encouraging participants to share with others using the #Festive500 hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
Everyone has their own approach. Some prefer to tick off steady miles everyday, and i’ve heard stories of some people just heading out on the first day of the challenge and riding 500km non-stop. That’s some feat of endurance. So, how are you going to tackle it?
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.