Everyone suffers from a dip in motivation in the winter months - In the road cycling world we are now very much into the off season. Making sure you are laying down a good base, and building strength over Winter though, is critical to upping the tempo in the spring and hitting the race season in good shape.
...and then comes the Christmas break!
A bit of time off from work, and a great opportunity to get a few training rides in...but family, friends and festivities can weaken the resolve to go out into the cold. This is how the Rapha Festive 500 was born, now with around 15k riders competing in it each year.
A few years back the lovely people at Rapha laid down a challenge; to ride 500km in the 8 days between Christmas Eve & NYE. Recorded by Strava and ratified by Rapha.
This sounds easy...but factor in family commitments, days out, bad weather and it soon becomes a much more daunting task. The challenge equates to about 20 hours of riding. Last year it was really cold, icy roads that made it hard to get out and log the miles. This year will be my third Rapha 500. Already the proud owner of 2 finishers ‘roundals’, I’m hoping for a third. I got through it and got a great sense of achievement when I hit 500km.
Rapha put up a pretty good prize list, not for the most kms or the fastest average, but for the best record of the journey - through photos, videos, etc. The focus is riding, getting out there and recording the process...it’s about the journey and the experience of doing something a bit different whilst other people are watching Christmas telly and eating mince pies.
So as always at this time of year, I’m looking forward to a break, a family Christmas and 500km.