Rapha Festive 500 Challenge - Completed!

What is the #Festive500? Every year, Rapha challenges everyone to ride 500km between December 24th and December 31st. The idea is that instead of eating cookies, you push yourself to embrace the very un-pleasant elements of the Northern Hemisphere and ride 310 miles (https://www.rapha.cc/gb/en/stories/festive-500)

Rapha 50, 2017 in Michigan

In the past, my Festive 500 attempts have been "Festive 50s". I am always in Michigan visiting family and it is almost always really really really cold. Check out this shot of me above from 2017 when I did a "Festive 50".

Lots of Rivers/Streams to cross 

I highly encourage you all to think about doing this if you are able. My family usually bans me from participating, but this year, we had unusually nice weather in Michigan, so we made it a 'team' effort to get the miles in. I'd ride with my dad, then with my mom, and then solo for a bit (my lazy brother ate cookies for me). I keep a gravel single speed at my parent's house in South Haven, MI.

Finish at sunset at the beach

Warm day! 

It was... not easy though. Rain. Mud. Snow. Wind. Cold. Sun. Everything in a week, on a one speed bike, which pretty much averaged 13.3 mph no matter what I did. Plus, my #1 priority was spending time with the family I rarely get to see. But we achieved it together, and when I got back to Seattle on the 31st, I finished out a gravel 100k in steady rain with my BFF Erika to complete the challenge. Woo!

Ride with mom (I know she isn't wearing a helmet, I don't condone it either)
Super Aero Dad 

My favorite part about this experience was the amount of exploring I did in Western Michigan. I always bike a bit when I go see my parents, but rarely do I get to do 50+ mile rides. These longer rides gave me the chance to find new places, like a Nature Preserve in the middle of nowhere. My little explorer heart was so full after finding so many cool new routes and places in "flat, farmland Michigan".

There were cold days... 

Where does this go... ?!?! 
Finishing up with Erika on our gravel coffee loop! 

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