It’s cold where we are in Central Europe, and we’ve sill got a couple more weeks of losing daylight everyday. This time of year it can be harder and harder to stay motivated to ride, so we relish in the fact that other like-minded cyclists are out and using peer pressure to keep everyone riding. While some of our local riding buddies have effectively thrown in the towel for regular outside rides a few of the dedicated group are sticking it out. And it is sometimes even social media campaigns like Rapha’s Braver Than The Elements and Festive 500 that keep us pedaling circles. Braver Than The Elements aims to build on the midsummer success of the Women’s 100 to get those hardcore women out and on the bike on Dec 18. The Festive 500 on the other hand is the latest edition of the Strava-fueled challenge to end 2016 with a band and burn off all of those Christmas cookies and glasses of egg nog in time to start the New Year fresh. If you are ready to stick it out and put in some winter saddle time, spin past the break for details on how to join in, and find others doing the same thing…
Braver Than The Elements is actually a campaign running from the start of December all the way through the end of March. It is just highlighted by a bunch of rides around the globe on Dec 17. The idea is pretty simple, keep women motivated to crank out the kilometers yer round by organizing and supporting group rides through the winter. We all know that we’re more likely to show up for that cold morning ride it we know our friends are out there waiting in the cold for us.
Rapha is running group rides out of their dozen or so Cycling Clubs worldwide and also has their ambassadors setting up rides in even more cities. And for those outside of those locales they are still encouraging women to share rides on their own. The campaign will ultimately end on March 18 with the end of winter and another worldwide group ride with details TBD.
If you ride close to one of Rapha’s Clubhouses, you can collect a ride card, and get stamped for six regular weekend winter rides to earn a free gift. You also can get a physical patch (in Rapha-speak, a roundel) if you participate in at least one of the rides. Details are on the campaign’s webpage.
Festive 500 is a simple concept and one I’ve personally tried to make work several times over the past few years, whenever family commitments will allow. In 8 days from Christmas Eve to the end of the year, ride 500km. The idea is to finish out the year strong putting in the distance that might help you reach your annual goals, but at the same time might just be a good mental and physical reset before starting a new year with a clean slate.
Rapha has again partnered with Strava to include this as one of the regular Challenges, and in fact~21,000 people have already signed up. Just like the BTTE, if you complete this Challenge you are eligible to earn a physical patch, but even more so Rapha has some proper prizes going on for those who stand out and document their experience along the way.
The top prize will go to the social media submission that as they vaguely describe best represents the “Spirit of the Festive 500”. It’s certainly worth trying as that grand prize is a trip to Steamboat Springs, CO and a custom-built a Moots Routt or Routt 45 bike. For the best short film submitted, the filmmaker will earn a slot on Rapha Travel’s Randonnée Alps 2017 trip and the opportunity to create the brands next travel film. The last prize goes to the most epic failure at the attempt to complete the 500. For the best of the non-finishers, they’ll get a Wahoo computer, heart rate monitor, and speed & cadence sensors in hopes of better luck tracking next year.
And if you want to represent while out riding in the cold, wet darkness of the lovely holiday season, Rapha has put together a special Festive 500 kit in short and long sleeve jerseys for men & women, plus a cap, and a special edition sock.