2013 Festive 500 Begins

The Festive 500 is one of those annual events you do just to see where you are and what kind of season you have ahead of you. I have been participating in this challenge since its inception in 2010. The challenge itself is simple in concept, ride 500km in eight days between Dec 23rd and Dec 31st. Complete the challenge and you receive a patch bearing its name.


If you take a pragmatic approach, the challenge appears in a word…doable. Forty miles a day is an effort most recreational cyclists can afford. However, need I remind you, we are talking December and most of the country and a fair bit of the cycling world is held hostage by sub freezing temperatures blanketed by snow. Climbing a 5% incline is tough in June….try it with icicles hanging from your beard.

Even in Miami, Mother Nature seems to conspire with Aeolus and kicks up a headwind so strong it wears down even the the most stubborn among us. Throw in familiar obligations, friendly gatherings and plenty of opportunities to overindulge and the Festive 500 begins to seem all but impossible.

Even so, each year thousands of cyclists of all shapes, sizes and age attempt to complete the arduous task. Many not only complete the challenge but blow it away, others put on display their creative genius with dramatic stories and artful photos, then still others do it in such hardman style it serves as inspiration to all but the least initiated of human existence. If you want to read some stories of challenges past hit the Rapha blog site for some tales of suffering, defeat and achievement.

This year I have chosen to relax for 5 days in Jamaica sans velo. This leaves me with only 3 days to complete the challenge.

Yeah, your math is correct……107 per day.

There is some shoulder time around flight days that might allow me to catch up miles I may miss in the first three.

 All I want for Christmas is the legs to see me through the 2013 Festive 500.

 And a patch to prove it…..

 And a T-shirt too.