Festive 500 (this year we’ll really do it!)


Mark has tried to complete the Rapha Festive 500 challenge for the last two Christmases but this year he’s managed to persuade Boo to join in and thinks that this time it will be achievable.

Essentially the challenge is to ride 500km (311 miles doesn’t have quite the same ring to it) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

You would think that this is a simple challenge, especially for the tandem riding duo; after all they rode over 200km in just three days this summer when riding the Coast2Coast.

But there are a few issues to consider, which would explain why this is a challenge and why Mark has not managed it for the last two years.

  • It is winter; this means the weather and light can make visibility and riding conditions difficult.
  • It is Christmas; this means there are a lot of social commitments and Mark has yet to persuade his parents to meet him on a bike ride (and even he admits cycling to Shropshire and back in one day is beyond him, especially if he is supposed to eat the meal his mother would like to cook)
  • It is flu season; another reason to be antisocial in order to avoid anyone inclined towards generously sharing their bugs. Flu and cycling do not make good partners.
  • Family birthdays; we have a number of family birthdays during the Festive 500 (including our Support Vehicle’s birthday) and these seem to require afternoon tea in favour of a 40 mile bike ride. Hopefully some form of compromise will be possible.

Watch this space to see if this year they really do manage to complete the Festive 500 challenge.


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