Rapha Festive 500: 500 kilometers, 8 days, 3 continents
During the holiday season Team Sixcycle’s Ollie Davis embarked on what surely must have been one of the most globetrotting Rapha Festive 500 rides that anyone has experienced – an 8 day voyage that started in India, stopped in England and finished on our home stomping grounds of NYC. His story is included below, complete with all of his Sixcycle Training Platform files. To learn more about the Rapha Festive 500 visit this site: http://www.rapha.cc/the-festive-500–2012
Rapha Festive 500 Ride Report from Team Sixcycle’s Ollie Davis
In a bid to ‘to avoid the festive flab and clock those kilometres’, I decided to ride the Rapha Festive 500 over the Christmas break – a challenge to log 500km (310 miles) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Not impossible, but it’s a decent amount of riding, and made a little more tricky by the logistics: I’d be in India on Christmas Eve before heading to the UK, do most of the riding in the UK around where I grew up – before heading to London – and would be ending up back in NYC on New Year’s Eve.
24 Dec, Christmas Eve (10 miles, 418 feet)
Woke up at 4:30am in Bangalore, India, with a few more mosquito bites than when I went to sleep. 10 hour flight to the UK (gin and tonic to ward off malaria) and then a few more hours in the car to get home. My family was thrilled that on making it home I immediately jumped on the bike. I had to do at least a few miles after having been in India for a week, so turned the cranks in the dark down quiet country roads for 10 slow ones.
25 Dec, Christmas Day (47 miles, 3660 feet)
After a slow start on Christmas Eve I was able to do a proper ride today, this time with my Dad helping to drag me around the English countryside. Once the rain had passed in the morning we headed out towards Bath, World Heritage Site and home of the Roman Baths, Georgian architecture and some pigs. Then up ‘Bannerdown’, one of my favourite local climbs (1.2 miles, 7.4% average grade). Another quick circuit up Bannerdown and back home to put a dent in the Christmas cake.
26 Dec, Boxing Day (35 miles, 2200 feet)
Weighed down by food and slightly hungover, set off with my Dad again to get a few miles in before the rain started. Part of the ride took us onto the Fosse Way.
27 Dec (0 miles, 0 feet, a pint or two)
Got up intending to ride, but ended up in the pub instead.
28 Dec (63 miles, 2400 feet)
Had to make up some miles today, so got out into the rain (yes, again) and wind. The countryside looked stunning when the rain stopped and the sun came out for a few brief minutes. One of the best parts of the ride was going through Bradford-on-Avon, home to the amazing Moulton Bicycle Company.
29 Dec (50 miles, 1190 feet)
Ground out 50 miles in the pouring rain over the course of 3 hours. Lovely. Had to wring out every piece of gear once I was back home, bundle the bike and suitcases into the car, and head off to London for ‘Christmas 2′ with another part of the family.
30 Dec (40 miles, 2740 feet)
Last ride in the UK, and left early from South London to get in a few hours before the flight back to NYC. Lacking much in the way of ‘nutrition’ for the ride, my sister thrust a handful of chocolate bars at me as I was leaving. Not really know where I was, I picked ‘south’ and set the Garmin to navigate to Biggin Hill. After 10 miles and some off-road detours through housing estates, London started to fade away and the countryside appeared. I passed through Downe, Charles Darwin’s home for 40 years. Lots of quiet lanes and cyclists out getting a start on their weekend miles. Back in London, I packed up the bike again and it was time to fly back to NYC.
31 Dec, New Year’s Eve (63.9 miles, 3300 feet)
Tired and jet lagged, but it was good to be home in NYC and be able to head out with the team for a long ride. With 60+ miles to do I was happy to get dragged around by stronger legs. Less happy when my Garmin didn’t work for the first half an hour of the ride, stealing 7 miles that I’d have to repeat. After rolling out and back along 9W a few of us made it into the park and after a couple of slow, chilly laps it was all over – done for another year!