Something has happened to Christmas. Not commercialism, nor loss of its true meaning (that happened in the 4th Century AD when the Christians hijacked various Pagans’ Winter Solstice festivals). No Christmas has changed because of the rapha.cc/feature/festive-500 on www.strava.com/.
Everyone is cycling. Every day between Christmas and New Year. Trying to rack up a cold, wintry 500 km.
Christmas used to be incarceration by family, with no escape as friends were similarly imprisoned, seemingly for the full 12 days of Christmas. This year, everyday there’s been rides with organised or available for the riding with good mates (or with someone you vaguely know on the cycle club’s WhatsApp). Even on Christmas Day (if you wanted/needed one).
Only Daley Thompson used to train on Christmas Day!
Winter cycling kit has been tested to the extreme. Motivation is equally tested by an increase in punctures from dirty winter roads.
Starting with Hurricane Barbara, the weather systems have thrown everything at festive cyclists: rain, wind, sub-zero temperatures, deep fog and stunning early morning sunrises (it may be Christmas but seasonal goodwill does not extend far enough to grant cycle-passes outside of the statutory hours of 7-11am).
It would’ve been great to stop for a photo but the riding has been fat, fast and suburban (to keep clear of rural ice roads), no time to stop for snaps. The energy burn has been high too, as fast as the turkey and spuds are shovelled in they’re burnt off the next morning (that’s the theory, par is probably the best that can be hoped for).
Best Christmas ever!
(and I didn’t even sign up for the Festive 500).
(Photos courtesy of @kieranhc)