Join me in the annual #Festive500 challenge!

Over the past 4 years, the holidays have become a time for me to focus on riding my bike, thanks to Rapha and Strava’s #Festive500 challenge. I first learned about the challenge in 2016, which coincided with the first year of my parents living in Oregon, making it easy for me to bring my bike home with me for Christmas for the first time.

The challenge is to bike 500 kilometers between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and was created by a lead designer at Rapha, Graeme Raeburn. “Graeme created the #Festive500 to experience the life of a professional cyclist but has since watched it become many things to many people. ‘It is not a mile-chasing thing but rather a journey. It’s about getting out there, enjoying being on your bike, and riding with or visiting other people.’ His original ethos endures today.” You can read more about the origins here.

For me personally, the challenge pushed me to bike in weather I wouldn’t have otherwise and pushed me to bike further than I may have. I felt really proud of the 317 km I biked in the 2016 #Festive500. In 2017, I tried again with the goal of surpassing 317 km. I got to 329 km and felt great about that, especially in worse weather conditions (as seen in the banner photo for this blog post).

In 2018, I had left my corporate career behind for Bicycle Adventures and the world of adventure travel. I had the privilege of guiding our Hawaii Big Island tour with long-time guide Brad Gordon. I thought for sure I’d get more miles while on a bike tour in sunny Hawaii, versus my two prior years in Oregon. Unfortunately, there’s a lot to learn as a first-time guide on a tour and I only managed to get 150 km in toward the challenge.

2019 was a great year on the bike for me. I biked over 5000 miles total and so many of those miles were with dear friends. I had the opportunity to guide in Hawaii again, this time with James Kelly and I went in with a plan! I made sure to do all of my tour prep before Christmas Eve so I could get as many miles as possible before our tour started on December 27th. I found so many new roads that way and even incorporated one of those rides into the tour! And by the end of the 8 days, I had 425 km to show for my efforts! It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to completing the #Festive500!

Now it’s 2020. What the year. Like many of you, cycling has been an outlet for me: a way to get fresh air and feel like the world is normal for a couple of hours at a time. And that’s what I’m hoping the #Festive500 will do for me this year. I’m also spending the winter in Cocoa, Florida where the conditions will be quite favorable for riding.

In a year where holiday traditions likely need to be tossed out the window, I’d like to challenge you to join me in biking 500 kilometers between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. If you’re already on Strava, make sure to join the challenge. Please also join and utilize our Bicycle Adventures Club Page on Strava to follow each other and give kudos and words of encouragement!

If you’d rather not join Strava, I’d still love to hear if you get out and ride or see your ride photos. Email me at [email protected].

If you are on Instagram, make sure to tag @bikeadventures in any photos you post. And follow along with my #Festive500 progress on my Instagram page: @camillebikes

And of course, #pedalhappy



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