This would be the second Festive 500 for me. Last year was terrible due to the very wet weather. What would this year bring?
My plan was to ride shorter rides twice a day where necessary to minimise the amount of time I was out. This was the plan but like a lot of plans things have to change.
Day one - 34.5 miles
Christmas Eve would be a day spent with the family before the big day when they would do their own thing. I got up early to do a short ride before my son arrived when the plan was to do a longer ride. Both rides today would be on the CX bike but with road tyres fitted. The second ride didn't go exactly to plan as the ride with my son was a little shorter than planned. Still, the weather was excellent and it was great to get the challenge started.
Day two - 32.5 miles
The title for this Strava ride was Grim. I was on the road bike but the weather was a bit damp, the roads wet and there was some wind especially on the exposed sections during the last 8 miles. I found this ride very tough but character building.
Day three - 28.7 miles
Woke up with a bit of a head cold but managed to get out on the bike. This would be the only ride of the day as I didn't want to do too much and make myself ill and risk not completing the challenge.
Day four - 47.6 miles
Today would consist of two rides. The first was basically riding around the village for just over an hour. This was monotonous but got another 20 miles in the bank so served a purpose.
The second ride was a little more interesting and consisted of riding a local loop and was rewarded with a beautiful sky near the end of the ride. Still got the head cold.
Day five -43.7 miles
Another two ride day with the first being early and had the benefit of the sunrise and the second seeing the sunset. Both rides were amazing and enjoyable
Day Six - 54.8 miles
Another two ride day. Needs must as I had some miles to make up to get back on target. Tomorrow would be difficult as I would be out for most of the day.
The first ride was the most enjoyable as it was mainly off road and the sun was shining on a beautiful winter's morning
Day eight - 62.1 miles
The final day had arrived. To complete the challenge I needed to ride around 56 miles. The plan was to ride a loop that included a few hills and take it steady. The weather for the first couple of hours was very foggy in places and the roads were wet. The average speed was slow but I wasn't interested in speed just 56 miles. As I neared home after a little over 4 hours in the saddle I had climbed 1,000 metres and I had ridden more than 56 miles which meant I had completed the Festive 500. I arrived home having ridden just over 59 miles and I said to my wife that I wanted to ride another 3 so that I could then complete the 100km ride to tick off another Strava challenge. So off I rode for another couple of miles and I arrived home for the second time only when the Garmin showed 62.1 miles.
Challenges complete :-)