Rapha's Festive 500 Christmas riding challenge returns for its ninth edition this year with its aim to inspire people to get out in the elements over the festive period and ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Riding on the turbo doesn't count! Most participants record their efforts on Strava but for those that want to take a more traditional approach to the challenge, you can pick up a brevet card from your local clubhouse to log the distance.
The idea originated in 2009 when Rapha's lead designer at the time Graeme Raeburn decided to ride 1000km over the festive period in an attempt to 'train like a pro'. The distance was halved to a more achievable 500km when it was launched to the public in 2010 in a year where only 84 people took part. In 2016 the total number of participants across the globe was 82,000 with yet more last year and expected further numbers this year.
'Thousands of people from all over the globe take up their bikes and attempt to complete what has become a rite of passage for those in the know' - Rapha.
If you need more than just a sense of achievement, pride in your pursuit and giving yourself a fitness a boost then Strava will issue you with digital badges for every 100km milestone that's achieved. If you complete the whole distance then you can either claim a woven roundel or new for this year in the spirit of the season Rapha will make a donation to World Bicycle Relief.
Follow Rapha on social media and use the hashtag #Festive500 to be in with a shout of winning a daily award for the best posts. Once the challenge draws to a close you can share your stories for the Festive 500 awards which Categories include: Best Story, Most Adventurous Ride, Most Epic Fail, and Best Group Entry. There are some top prizes on offer, a special edition Canyon Ultimate featuring Festive 500 decals, a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bundle and a full set of Rapha's new bike bags. They have also launched an expanded collection of products inspired by road patterns and surfaces encountered during the challenge.
Head over to Rapha to see more info, register for the challenge and view the Festive 500 collection