Happy New Year. A Rapha Wrap Up. (Part 1)

So 2011 has come to an end, and for me, it ended with a flurry of activity on the bike. As you can see from the graphic above, I decided to have a crack at the Rapha Festive 500, Ride to Redemption. The idea was to ride 500kms in the days from December 23rd to December 31st. Nine days to grind out 500kms, and over the Christmas period.

I had a quiet start to December, not riding until the 7th, so I wasn’t exactly primed such a challenge, but hey, that’s what a challenge is all about. I am going to briefly describe each of the 9 days of my Rapha Festive 500. There are more details of the challenge at the Festive 500 web site.

Day 1 – December 23rd. 62.3kms 12.4%
This was my last day at work, so a commute was in order. Normally, it is a 55km round trip, but I thought I would give myself a bit of a flying start knowing there maybe be a break at some time in the next nine days, so I took a side trip on the way home, crossing the Shoalhaven and looping around Bomaderry.

The Shoalhaven River

The ride to work.


And the long way home.


Day 2 – December 24th. 65.8kms Total 128.1kms 25.6%

A ride with Sam and Lewy today. Some regulars to the blog might remember the video I made with Lewy. He is a fountain of knowledge.

Lewy and the finger.

Always pointing things out is our Lewy. I don’t know whether to call him the Tour Guide or not. It was a new route and had some nice little climbs.

Lewy getting some riding advice.

We stopped for coffee in Nowra and then headed home. With about 10kms to go, my stomach was playing up, so I left Sam behind and made it in the door by a matter of seconds.


Day 3 – December 25th. 53.7kms Total 181.8kms 36.2%

Christmas day and I was out on the road at 5:45am. I wanted to knock over a lazy 50kms before the day started. It was a beautiful morning, and as I got to the floodplains it was covered in a deep fog. It looked fantastic.

Early morning fog on Christmas Day.

Early morning fog on Christmas Day.


I even took a self portrait to mark the occasion. It was a terrific ride and I was home before any of the festivities started.

Me and My GoPro

Me and My GoPro



Day 4 – December 26th. 65.1kms Total 246.9 49%

Boxing day was an exciting time. The first real group ride for the Culburra Beach Cycle Club. All 4 members. Lewy, decided the best warm up for a 140km MTB ride the following day was to meet us at Culburra Beach. We did the same loop around Bomaderry as Day 2. I didn’t take the GoPro camera this ride, so no action shots. Another stop in Nowra for coffee. C.B.C.C. new boy Michael decided a full breakky was in order. It must help him keep up that heady cadence. Never off the big ring and red lining at 45RPM, he has calves like an Adonis! After he had finished off the full continental breakfast, we headed off. When lewy was due to turn off, Sam decided it was time for a forensic check of his gears.

C.B.C.C. Pitstop.

We waved Lewy off and headed back to the seaside. With Mick on my wheel, I pointed at a nasty broken bottle, only to hear about 2 seconds later something that sounded a lot like a tire being punctured. I turned around to see Sam staring at a deflated front tyre. Bugger. A few minutes to fix that and we were off again and the ride ended with out further incident.


Day 5 – December 27th. 83.1kms Total 330 66%

An early start for me for Day 5. Lewy was off on a 140km MTB ride with a few blokes, one of which, Shane Black, I know of from an internet forum. So I decided to meet them at the starting point and then ride back towards home to meet with Sam and Michael, who were leaving Culburra Beach later. About 15kms into the ride a bloke blew past me and asked if I was heading into town. Well, yes I was, so I caught up. Big mistake. He was a machine. We averaged 32kph for the next 10kms until I could hold on no more. I was stuffed.

I met Lewy and Shane and had a quick chat and wished them well on their epic ride. I then retraced my ride in and met up with Sam and Michael on Jindy Andy lane. After that it was a nice pace all day and I got home with another 80 odd kms in the bank.


That’s it for part one, part two in the next few days.

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One Response to Happy New Year. A Rapha Wrap Up. (Part 1)

  1. Lewy says:

    We are a fit looking bunch. No one will believe that most of us rode between 550 and 400kms last week:-)

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