Since 2010, every winter Rapha has been laying down the end of year Festive 500 cycling challenge… can you rack up 500km riding outside in the eight days between Christmas & New Year’s Day? For all of us in the Northern Hemisphere it’s a tough challenge, balancing time with family & friends over the holidays and a lot of cold & dark weather. More riders join in every year, and for its tenth anniversary Rapha is hoping to see 100,000 cyclists put themselves to the test…
Rapha Festive 500: 10th edition, build fitness this holidays, win gear!
In the first nine years, over 400,000 cumulative cyclists have tested their mettle against the elements, with just 95,000 completing the challenge – an attempt to balance out Christmas cookies and other holiday excess. I’ve attempted it three times when my travel schedule allowed, only succeeding once back in a wet 2011 when I manage to stay motivated. Maybe it’s time for another go at it this year?
These crazy folks will do it as one brevet ride out of Seattle.
Rapha says riding with others is the best way to keep in the cycling spirit, so they are again organizing #Festive500 rides from their global network of Clubhouses open to anyone who wants to join, and RCC members will be using their club app to plan rides in even more locales. I guess I will do the same if I expect to rack up the kilometers.
If you join in on the Strava challenge and complete the 500km, you will get a virtual badge in your trophy case, plus you can have Rapha send you a real patch to stitch on a jacket or bag with pride. Apparently, it might also be the last year to actually earn a proper embroidered patch!
Win those #Festive500 Awards prizes – a Canyon Grail, a Leica camera & more!
As in years past, there will also Spirit of the Festive 500 Awards handed out as well, after all is said and done. People have submitted poems, photo albums, hand-drawn maps in the past. Apparently Rapha even occasionally has fresh baked #Festive500 goods show up in their HQ. Entries open via the Festive 500 site from Dec 24-Jan 21, and Rapha will reward the “most inventive” the next week with a number of great prizes, including a carbon Canyon Grail gravel bike with a custom #Festive500 paint job, a modern classic Leica camera, a Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex Jacket, and a Pro Team Transfer clothing collection across a number of categories.
Buy that #Festive500 gear to stay motivated too.
If you need a little consumerism to get you motivated to crank out the kilometers, Rapha has you covered there too. They say their #Festive500 collection is designed specifically to include the “essentials to help any rider encounter a broad range of weather conditions en route” to their goal. To me in a cold & wet climate there’s a bunch of extraneous warm weather gear – a $30/25€ cotton cap, light $14/17.5€ Pro Team socks, a $30/25€ cotton musette bag, $40/35€ cotton t-shirts or RCC-exclusive $150/135€ midweight Festive 500 jerseys for either women or men.
But a $15/12€ Ass Saver fender, a $50/40€ insulated winter cap, and a $40/35€ snood (aka a Buff by another name) all with this season’s Festive 500 graphics seem like good options to make it through cold & wet weather.