Give thanks and pedal

Cycling events for the Thanksgiving holiday

Generally, American tradition dictates that Thanksgiving is a day of family, food, and football. There are a few alternatives for cyclists, however, including Rapha’s Turkey Take Off, and a Thanksgiving junior ride orchestrated by Garmin-Cervelo pro, Tom Danielson.


Rapha’s Turkey Takeoff

Rapha estimate the average American packs in 4,500 calories over the course of this mostly sedentary holiday. To offset this gastronomic splurge, Rapha have set up the Turkey Takeoff, a ride challenge run through Strava.

“We are encouraging riders to reverse the effect of a long weekend of Thanksgiving eating,” said Rapha’s North American GM, Slate Olson in an email to BikeRadar. “The average person consumes 4,500 calories in their big Thursday afternoon meal. If they head back for seconds, then they’ll consume the caloric-goal that we’ve set for the ‘Turkey Takeoff’.”

Rapha have partnered with training and tracking site, Strava, and have challenged all cyclists to ride off 9,000 calories, starting today 23 November through Sunday, 27 November. Those 9,000 calories are roughly equivalent to 250 miles. 

Rapha is offering an official Turkey Takeoff badge to those riders who register for, and complete the 9,000-calorie challenge. The challenge is open to riders worldwide and free to participate in for Strava members (free basic membership is available).

Rapha’s turkey takeoff badge:
Rapha’s official Turkey Takeoff badge

From Rapha: To receive the official Turkey Takeoff badge, please create a Rapha account and email your home address to along with any interesting written, photographed or digital documentation. Rapha will blog the best submissions.

Tommy D’s Thanksgiving ride for juniors

Along similar, but more regional lines, Garmin-Cervelo pro, Tom Danielson and his wife Stephanie, invite junior cyclists and their parents to meet at his Boulder, Colorado home for a group ride event that they hope to make part of their family’s annual Thanksgiving tradition.

Danielson’s Thanksgiving ride—held on Thanksgiving day, 24 November from 10am to 12pm—will offer four different courses for juniors so that they all get an opportunity to ride with Danielson at their own speed. Danielson will even offer a kick-bike and training wheel course across his lawn and driveway for those just learning to ride.

Danielson plans to make his thanksgiving junior ride an annual tradition:
Tommy D's Thanksgiving ride

The Danielson’s will host a junior Thanksgiving ride from their home in Boulder, CO


Danielson expects over 100 aspiring junior cyclists to attend, and asks that juniors register for the event here. The ride is open to junior cyclists aged 2 to 18 years old.