The Rapha Festive 500 is back for another year! This time around there’s something different about the annual Strava challenge. For the first time in it’s history, virtual rides will count towards the challenge total. Yes you heard that right. You can now cycle your 500km without actually cycling anywhere.
UPDATE: There’s also no woven Rapha badge being posted out to finishers, this year it’s a digital badge for your Strava page only… #notcool
Rapha have partnered with Zwift for this one and they’ll be hosting a number of big virtual group rides so you can cruise through the challenge at an unrealistic 40km/hr average around a Volcano in the comfort of your home. That said, rides across ALL virtual platforms (FulGaz, Rouvy, etc) will count towards your Strava challenge total.
Now most years I’d shout an absolute NO to including virtual distance in the Rapha Festive 500. This is one challenge whose entire soul is built around getting outside and challenging yourself and taking on the elements for eight days between Christmas and New Years. It’s about the journey. For 2020 though, I am willing to make an exception (see I have a heart). It’s certainly been a year unlike any other and for many people around the globe, cycling outside isn’t even possible due to Covid-19 lockdown laws. For that reason, I think it’s a good move on Rapha’s part.
You can read my tips on completing the Festive 500 here. It’s all about forward planning, pacing yourself and knowing when you can knock out those big rides. If you’re allowed to in your location, sharing the miles with a bunch of friends also helps to keep you motivated.
I completed it once back in England when everything aligned with favourable weather and free time. I fell short another year after an unfortunate incident with an inattentive driver. I’d certainly like to complete it here in Tasmania so I can say I’ve nailed the challenge in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. We’ll see what time I can spare.
It’s no secret I am a big fan of indoor cycling platforms, but you can rest assured that if I give the 2020 Rapha Festive 500 a go it will be 100% outside.
Will you be giving the 2020 Rapha Festive 500 a crack?