Events: Routing the 2018 Rapha Festive 500
(2018) Unless the Festive 500 has a theme holding it together, I have questioned myself to get out the door each day to accomplish the forty-some daily miles needed to succeed. As a matter of fact, the Festive 500 was partial genesis to this page’s purpose all those years ago. Be it historical or otherwise, the Rapha out-of-season challenge needs a regular mission to enhance the likelihood of going the distance.
Several years ago when I started this page I wrote a group of articles for a couple of reasons. The first reason was the addition of content on my fledgling page. That winter there was hardly anything to talk about. At the same time I had stumbled on the Rapha Festive 500, an a off-season challenge where riders must accomplish 500 outdoor kilometers between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Rapha not only awarded a token patch finishers, but it also considered media submissions to win any number of gifts, the ultimate being a Moots road bike. Since I was without a cycling computer or a smart phone that year I had to log all my rides in a web log format to prove I accomplished the distance. It was tedious in both the outdoor effort as well as the indoor writing. In the end I managed to explore some of the haunts of the famous Doan Brother gang who occupied this area during the Revolutionary War.
The two successive Festive campaigns were utter failures. Two years ago the effort started with gusto but fizzled out on account of longer necessary rides. Last year’s effort could hardly be called that. The snow and deep freeze prevented me from participating in a single outdoor ride. It was over before it started.
This year’s forecast is looking more favorable, as are the days on the calendar. The Monday-to-Monday challenge will feel more like going to work, a mindset necessary to roll the 300-plus miles.
This past week during our ride with Mike, our old ridekick, he asked what plan was floated to hold the Festive 500 effort together. I’ve had ideas over the years, many of which were not smart to attempt such as the all-night Festive 500. I’m sure the creakybottombracket.com HR department would shutter at the idea of an all darkness Festive attempt. Another idea thrown out there was an all canal 500. Jokingly it was dismissed as an attempt that would see fewer than 100 feet of climbing in one week.
It took a map inspection to ignite the flame of inspiration. I suggested rides focused on the prodigious reservoirs. With approximately five reservoirs in the area, I recommended to Mike we hit each one without doubling up. Some are nearby; others are quite the hike. Undoubtedly they will add up to 500 kilometers. The main concern will be whether I have a total of 500 kilometers in the legs after such a rough autumn.
There is one indisputable fact about the Rapha Festive 500: It gets cyclists thinking about a means to an end. During a week of hectic planning and heavy lifting, a forty-mile-day-average could be just what is needed to blow off some steam. Or it is exactly what is needed to maintain the fitness outdoors when the trainer buzzes in the ear. Who knows? Maybe this year our submission will win creakybottombracket.com a Rapha prize. After all, there is an award for ‘Epic Fail.’ Either way it’s not worth doing if you can’t do it right.