How to ride the Rapha Festive 500 on FulGaz: The 2022 Edition

Back again for 2022, this is my third edition of How to Complete the Festive 500 on FulGaz. Updated with some brand-new rides for 2022, this guide will give you everything you need to plan out your challenge and get you successfully across the line.

For those new to this, the Rapha Festive 500 challenges you to ride 500km in the eight days from Christmas Eve until New Years Eve. It sounds easy on paper. Five hundred kilometres is only around 60km a day (~38 miles/day) but miss a day or pull up short on another and that missed distance soon adds up! You can complete the distance outdoors as the challenge originally intended, or virtually on the trainer (or a combination of both).

You’ll want to lay out a solid game plan. Lucky for you, I’ve done all the hard work for you! Well, apart from the actual riding, you’ll still need to turn those pedals on your own. Unlike last year’s full 8-day schedule, this year I’ve planned out seven days of riding. That gives you one rest day to slot in where you please. Feel free to spread the rides over all eight days if that works better for you.

Below is my complete game plan to get you through a virtual Festive 500 using real roads from across the globe all beautifully curated in full 4K quality and available for your riding pleasure on FulGaz. Download the app, sign up for a 14-day free trial and get pedalling. Use the code 21VIP when registering a new FulGaz account to unlock a 30-day trial.

Day 1: 5 Boro Bike Ride & Central Park (Today: 71km, Total: 71km)

We’re going to kick off this year’s challenge with a ride through all five of New York’s boroughs on fully closed roads. That’s something you very rarely get the chance to do in real life. Filmed on the morning of the actual TD 5 Boro event, you’ll spin the legs through Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, before finishing on Staten Island. This ride is a real treat!

We’ll then finish off with a single sightseeing lap around Central Park. Fancy a little extra distance on day one? Pop your Ride Mode onto Laps and crank out a couple more laps of the park. Don’t go crazy and destroy your legs though, remember this is a long distance challenge.

Day 2: Owyhee Dam (Today: 54km, Total: 125km)

An easier day today as a Christmas present from me to you. We don’t want to burn out early with a lot of distance still to come. Owyhee Dam in Oregon, USA is one of the most remote places in the Western USA and a popular spot with fisherman. Enjoy some stunning scenery as you traverse the edge of the dam and surrounding canyon.

Day 3: Al Qudra – Up stick and loop (Today: 60km, Total: 185km)

This one made an appearance in the 2021 addition and is back for 2022. Why? It’s flat, it’s fast, it’s efficient! Work off those Christmas calories with a blast in the desert of Dubai! This is a mid-length ride that is mostly flat and follows a fantastically smooth purpose built bike track. Give the legs a test today, but don’t go too hard at any point. At no stage during today’s ride should you be in the red.

Day 4: Complete Cape Town Cycle Tour (Today: 107km, Total: 292km)

A tough one today, so pack plenty of snacks. Today we ride the complete Cape Town Cycle Tour. This ride was filmed during the 2021 event, so you’ll have plenty of other cyclists around you to offer motivation and keep those pedals turning over. There’s a bit more elevation gain than I’d usually put into a Festive 500 challenge (a smidge over 1000 metres total) but nobody said this would be easy! Immerse yourself in the event’s atmosphere and the distance will soon fly by.

Day 5: Ironman 70.3 Melbourne Beach Road (Today: 90km, Total: 382km)

You can’t have a Festive 500 without including some of Melbourne’s Beach Road! This year, we’re riding the Ironman 70.3 bike course, which is essentially fast and furious laps up and down the Beach Road. This one was filmed the morning of the event. Over the second half you can spy the top Ironman athletes flying down the course on the other side. Get aero, settle in, and crank out some sunny Beach Road miles (or kilometres, whatever).

Alternative: Not an Ironman, Avatar, or car-filmed ride fan? Try Waterford Greenway instead. A beautiful 90km trail following anold railway line in the south of Ireland. A very scenic ride.

Day 6: Central Scotland Figure of Eight (Today: 70km, Total: 452km)

The sun shines on us today, can it really be Scotland? There’s a couple of hills today to keep things interesting, but on the whole this is a flat to rolling ride. Go easy on the climbs as we don’t want to burn too many matches. You’ll likely be feeling the fatigue of the previous five days, but after this ride, there’s only one more left. Enjoy some picturesque countryside and quaint Scottish towns to take your mind off the effort.

Day 7: Canberra Loop (Today: 51km, Total: 503km)

The final ride! Can you believe you’re about to roll over the 500km mark? Well done you! Today treat this 50km loop as a recovery ride. Simply spin the legs over and release all the stresses of the past six days. This loop takes you on a trip around Australia’s capital. You’ll spy well-built bike paths, relaxing weekend markets, and of course Parliament House. Rolling back into the car park at Dickson College completes the ride, and completes your 2022 Festive 500.

Now you can kick back, relax, and end the year on a fitness high!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. John Hallas says:

    The Canberra and Melbourne rides look good and are new to me, which is good.
    I really cannot recommend the NY ride. It sounds great but in reality is pretty soulless.
    I opened up with Buntingford Fondo last year and I may repeat that one.
    Great post though.
    Enjoy the holiday period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The 5 Boro ride is certainly a divisive one. On one hand it’s not the most exciting ride (a fair chunk of highway) but on the other hand you get to experience New York on closed roads.


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