Wednesday, 30 December 2015

#festive500 2015

Festive 500, 2015

This year I had decided that I would not participate in the festive 500 and I sold my trusty cyclocross.

I still needed a bike to get me to work and I got a great deal on a steel singlespeed that had been stood around the shop for 4 years. I fit slightly heavier gears 32-16 and I found that I could reach 24km/h spinningly on the flat and just about make it over the steepest hills on my daily commute.

The reason why I wasn`t going to do the 500km`s during the festive season this year is because I wanted to dedicate more time to my 2.5 kids, wife and 2 dogs but my wife, it seems, had taken it for granted that I would be out pushing the miles and burry myself on Strava and intagram anyway and encouraged me to do it this year too..... So it was decided that I would do it on my dedicated singlespeed winter bike because its just not possible to ride in our conditions on a road bike.

I have read a lot of reasons why people do the festive500 and the usual suspects are, base miles, getting out in the elements, a challenge, etc. but for me the way I view the festive500 has changed.

For me, the festive500 is the closest I`ll ever get to winning the tour de france. 

Well, that's a bold statement I hear you mutter and to a point I agree but just bare with me while I explain. 

I`m a middle aged bloke that doesn`t compete anymore and just enjoys riding my bike, be it a moutainbike, road bike or whatever... I love to get out and ride for no reason than the riding itself. No goals, no pressure, no hunting for extra watts, or lower BMI, just riding for riding's sake.

Now, the reason why I compare the challenge to the tour de france is the overwhelming support and encouragement I have recived over the last five sucsesfull attempts. Every time I stop , take off my gloves in freezing weather and take a picture, I know that someone else, be it from Japan, Germany,Australia or the USA will be encouraged to keep going and also write supportive comments on both instagram,facebook and Strava. Just the fact that I , a normal bloke with a bike can help motivate others to get out and ride more is mind blowing. 

 Going back to the plot, how many middle aged blokes in lycra get so much attention for simply just riding their bike? I have even made friends with the guys and girls that I have "digitally" met under the festive500 and even virtually met some people just to go for a ride.

This year I have had visitors to my house, complete strangers that have become riding partners and I also travelled to Germany to an obscure and literally unknown radmarathon in the black Forest to do what I love doing the most.....getting out in the elements and simply riding a bike.

As you may have guessed, I completed this years Festive 500 on my singlespeed 29`er and I realy encourage other to give it a go. It`s not about how tough you are (the tough guys are doing over a 1000km`s ) , for me its about the global cycling community, all pulling together and cheering each other on. I think the guys a Rapha created something more that they originally expected.

Chapeau! And see you next year.

For more photo`s , go over to my Instagram account

To see my riding stats go to Stava

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