Eight days, 500km, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve.
The Rapha Festive 500 challenge is back, and to mark its 10th anniversary, Rapha has released a limited-edition range of kit and clothing.
The Festive 500 collection includes a short-sleeved jersey, T-shirt, pair of socks, two caps, a winter collar, musette bag and a custom Ass-Saver mudguard.
As usual, Rapha is encouraging riders to share pictures and stories from their rides using the hashtag #Festive500 on social media, for a chance to win daily prizes from its limited-edition Festive 500 collection.
There’s also the #Festive500 Awards, which riders can enter from 24 December to 21 January, with a number of pretty significant prizes available for riders who can record their riding experiences in imaginative ways.
Rapha says: “From photo albums to poems, hand-drawn maps to freshly baked pastries, each year we select the most inventive and reward their creators with cycling prizes to keep them riding until the next year.”
This year’s prizes include a custom Canyon Grail CF 8.0 SL, a Leica camera and Rapha kit, so if you’re a creative type it could be well worth getting involved. Rapha has put some of the best previous entries on its site if you need some inspiration.
For those who don’t have the inclination (or perhaps just don’t have the time) to take part in the #Festive500 Awards, all riders who complete the challenge will be eligible to receive a stitched roundel in addition to the digital one on Strava.
Rapha says that this year will be the last year that stitched roundels will be available – so, if you’ve not yet got one, this is the last chance to get your hands on one.
Virtual kilometres won’t count
In a move that might divide opinion, Strava has confirmed that virtual or trainer km’s (on Zwift, for example) will still not count towards the challenge goal.
If you want to earn a roundel, you’ll need to complete the challenge outside no matter what the weather’s like in your part of the world (our guide to winter clothing might come in handy if you live in the Northern Hemisphere).
Riders can take part in the challenge by joining and logging rides on Strava (at the time of publishing over 19,000 people have already signed up), or, for those who prefer to record their rides in analogue format, by collecting a brevet card from your local Rapha clubhouse in the week before the challenge starts.