Rapha Festive 500 2012

#Rapha500 Festive Challenge Round-up

Firstly, thanks to Dave for telling me that this was happening, otherwise I wouldn’t have known.  It’s been loads of fun and provided lots of challenges beyond turning the pedals.  Looking for photos, particularly interesting shots or shots that tell the story of the ride, has been very satisfying.  Making new ‘virtual reality friends’ via the Strava website and Twitter has been great.  So, thanks Rapha for providing a great week a-wheel at a grim time of year in the UK and I’m very much looking forward to receiving my badge.  Grand Total 919km

All the ride photos can be found on http://www.flickr.com/photos/swift_swallow/sets/72157628538061435/

Day7 31/12/2011 #Rapha500

The grand finale of the challenge and the last day of the old year to garnish the mile-eater diary.  The idea of riding on New Years Eve was very appealing.  Also, rounding the Rapha5oo up to 900km seemed like a very nice number to end on.  So, despite grey skies (again!!!) and the usual pesky wind, I went out for my final ride of the year.  Visiting New Years Green Lane seemed like an appropriate thing to do, so I did.  Having arrived home with 57km in the bag, some grocery shopping needed to be done.  The Brompton and a further 10km beckoned, giving a fun finish to the riding as I dashed back from Sainbugs on a pink Bromie with its front bag loaded with groceries. Ride distance 67km – grand total 919km

Day6 30/12/2011 #Rapha500

A ride to the beech(es) seemed like a grand idea and, if I started turning the pedals early, I could avoid getting wet as the BBC weather forecast had rain scheduled for 15:00.  Unfortunately, the weather failed to read the forecast and decided to commence raining just as I was heading over to Burnham Beeches, about an hour into my ride.  I kept going, deciding that getting wet was just going have to be part of the day’s joys.  The sky was well and truly oversubscribed in grey rain bearing clouds.  However, that produced some beautiful moody skies and interesting refections on the Thames at Maidenhead.  Ride distance 107km – grand total 852km

Day5 29/12/2011 #Rapha500

The mile-eater gods were still calling and I figured a bigger offering might be in order, so headed for one of my favourite local rides into the Chiltern Hills.  Despite the accumulation of kms in the legs and a substantial headwind with on-and-off rain for the first half of the ride, my legs were both willing and able.  The ride took me past some local sights, including the Liberty family home (Liberty & Co store, Regents Street, London) and Chequers, the PM’s country retreat. Ride distance 114km – grand total 745km

Day4 28/12/2011 #Rapha500

The mile-eater gods were calling, so I persuaded my trusty winter stead that another spin was in order.  A pleasant undulating ride through favourite lanes seemed like just the ticket, so a pleasant morning a-wheel was had in the lanes of Buckinghamshire.  The pesky headwind, an unwanted, but now familiar riding partner, was happy to accompany me for a good part of the ride. Ride distance 73km – grand total 631km

Day3 27/12/2011 #Rapha500

Finally the weather gods had chosen to be kind and had left the wind alone, so provided a helpful backwind for the Holiday 200kn DIY ride home.  A scenic ride (take that as euphemism for hills) was enjoyed, but with slate grey skies again.  The highlight of the ride was a spot of steam train spotting on the GWR railway (http://www.gwsr.com/) just after Gotherington.  The CTC recommended Edwards Cafe provided it’s usual excellent service and food to fortify us for the final push home through the roads of Oxfordshire, up Stoken Church and onto the roads of Buckinghamshire and into Middlesex.  Ride distance 203km – grand total 558km

Day3 26/12/2011 #Rapha500

Following  a hearty breakfast, the peloton assembled at Munsely Acre for the Boxing Day spin to the Boat pub with the promise of good ale and cider in store.  The peloton of 8 riders, ably led by Bob “Eccles” Addison took a beautiful route of lanes to and back from the Boat.  During the ride, the pssst fairy delivered two late Christmas presents to Eccels and Derek Jelley.  Ride distance 70km – grand total 355km

Day3 25/12/2011 #Rapha500

Despite asking Santa for a goodly tailwind for Christmas, a powerful headwind with a touch of drizzle blew in our faces until just after Gloucester which was roughly 30km from the arrivee and a kindly backwind installed itself.  Perhaps not a perfect day for the Crimbo 200km DIY, but a serious improvement on the snowy conditions of 2009 and 201o.  A warm welcome, a pint of “energy drink” and an excellent Christmas dinner awaited us at the Munsely Acre Guest house, hosted by Mark and Anne Brazier, where we were staying with the Marlboro AC Christmas holiday group.  Ride distance 203km – grand total 285km

Day2 24/12/2011 #Rapha500

Twas the night before Christmas and as a well known store says “every little helps” so sneaked out for a crafty 10km to raid Sainsbugs.  Bike with panniers was perfect as no parking issues and quick get-a-way as Pinner was at a grinder with cars.

Fettling bikes and packing baby panniers for tomorrow’s spin to downtown Munsley.  Weather looks promising providing it keeps to the BBC weather predictions. Ride distance 10km – grand total 82km

Day1 23/12/2011 #Rapha500

The weather (rain scheduled for high noon) dictated an early start and a race to get home before the rain, so the pedles started turning just after 9am. Despite a slate grey sky and the usual pesky nagging headwind, a great morning a-wheel was had around the lanes of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

At close of play, 72km in the bag (and on the trusty Garmin). The days bonus was that the rain doesn’t read the BBC weather forecast, so didn’t show up until about 12:30, so meant only 30 minutes of getting wet. Downside was that the normal weekday quite roads were infested with motorists on pre Christmas missions, which on too many occasions involved involved closer contact that I would have liked.

Christmas list to Santa updated with a request for a tail wind between home and Ledbury for the next ride scheduled for Christmas Day. Ride distance 72km – grand total 72km

One response to “Rapha Festive 500 2012

  1. Carsten Dahl Nielsen

    Nice to hear. Hope you continue above the 500 km… Your tours motivated Dorte to get out with me on the tandem: We did 63 km yesterday and 83 km today. We should have done 115 km but had to go home after several punctures on our Supereme tyres, which have served ous well for a year. We use one of our Ibis Touche tandems here in the winter time.

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