The #Festive500 Awards

See 2017's winning entries and honourable mentions.

Together, we cycled 500 times around the world for the #Festive500. Eight days. 83,000 riders. 20 million kilometres.

The #Festive500 isn’t about the numbers though, no matter how impressive they are. It’s about the spirit of getting on your bike at a busy time of year and taking to the road, often in adverse weather conditions. It’s about getting creative with the challenge and telling your stories, kilometre after kilometre.

And so to our awards from 2017’s #Festive500. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry, and congratulations to our worthy winners.

Grand prize

‘Biscuits, cakes, chocolate figurines… Everything's made to be gifted to someone, to raise a smile on their face, be they friends, family or people you hardly know…’

Each year, Gavin spends the run up to Christmas in his kitchen, crafting all manner of culinary delights for close friends and distant relatives alike. This baking frenzy usually leaves him in need of a rest but this year, pockets filled with delicious treats to sustain him in the saddle, Gavin took on the #Festive500. With his work in the kitchen never finished, riding the requisite distance was only half the challenge and had to be included around cooking for guests. With handmade cards to tell the tale of his ride and samples of the delicious food that kept him riding each day, Gavin’s entry quite literally took the biscuit.

As industrious in the kitchen as he is on his bike, Gavin Osborn wins a Rapha Travel trip and Leica D-Lux camera.

Second place

Whether taking part in the #Festive500 or not, one of the joys of riding through winter is seeing another side to the landscape and weather of your home. Whilst images of freezing snowscapes and sulking storm clouds often encapsulate the defiant spirit of winter riding, Gary Dumbill took a different approach with his animated film. Eight strikingly distinct scenes portrayed the highs and lows of Gary’s challenge. From dark memories of the hunger knock to the elation of completing the challenge, the film is an honest tale of hard-earned miles and a deserving prize winner.

Congratulations on a charming film. Gary wins a 3T Exploro Team road bike.

Third place

Life is a game for Pablo Martínez, who submitted the year’s most imaginative entry. Having covered the kilometres on roads in and around Madrid, Pablo decided to celebrate his ride by creating the very first #Festive500 board game. In a nod to the challenges and setbacks that we all encounter on our way to completing the #Festive500, players of the game encounter strong winds and rain that threaten to derail their chances as they race across the board.

Thanks for the board game, Pablo. Have fun with your new Wahoo Bolt GPS Bundle.

Bib-Short

A finisher in spirit

Attempting to go the distance on his home roads around Lake Kasumigaura just north of Tokyo, Satoshi Takiazawa was going well and looked set to finish his #Festive500 challenge until disaster struck on New Year’s Eve. With only 25 km left to ride, he lost traction on a slippery drain cover and came crashing down, breaking his femur in the process. After successful surgery, Satoshi contacted us to thank us for the ride. Whilst not a finisher this year, he has proven himself to be tough as nails and we fully expect to see him finish next year.

Satoshi wins a Wahoo Kickr Snap turbo trainer to help him get back out on the road as soon as possible.

Honourable mentions

At a time of year when it is easy for attention to be drawn away from the bike, we never fail to be amazed by the number of people inspired to ride the #Festive500. Whether riding through winter gales or summer heat, offsetting holiday feasts or clocking base miles for the season ahead, we salute your efforts. With so many of you joining the ride, there were entertaining entries aplenty. Here’s the best of the rest...

Toshiki

A potential cycling prodigy of the future and perhaps our youngest entrant, nine-year-old Bertie rode with a purpose and delivered mince pies to the homeless on Christmas Day. Notching up an impressive fifty miles, Bertie can certainly consider himself a finisher.

Congratulations to all riders who took on the challenge of riding the entire distance at once. Starting at the dead of night in chilly conditions, Sascha Fetsch made steady progress until he too took a tumble on muddy ground, sustaining cuts on his right side. Despite significant pain, Sascha showed great perseverance to complete a lovely looking route along the River Rhine. Rounding the final corner to his house, he was greeted by his family bearing a #Festive500 banner and cried tears of joy at a job well done. Mind over matter.

HonorableMention1
HonorableMention4
Untitled-1

With family in mind, the festive period is above all a time to be spent with loved ones. Without the understanding and assistance of those close to us, many of us would find it harder to enjoy our riding. Martin Orrill’s patient wife drove him fifty miles from home so that he could enjoy a tailwind back. Meanwhile Simon Hoffmann and his pregnant partner were expecting a baby. Keeping to roads close to their home, the final day of Simon’s challenge coincided with the birth of his daughter Charlotte and his 30th birthday. Thank you to friends and family for your support.

The route of the Bordeaux – Paris race provided the inspiration for Romain Pastor’s ride. Joined by a few friends from the RCC, they covered 670 kilometres en route to Paris over three days and enjoyed largely dry roads and beautiful sunrises. Perhaps Romain’s greatest challenge was getting enough sleep – his room mate might have snored a bit.

F500-Riders
HonorableMention2
HonorableMention3-1024×683

As ever, we received some cartographic masterpieces this year. Tom Stanley left cryptic clues as to what he was up to over the holidays. Riding in the rolling hills of Kent, each day’s carefully planned route formed a number or letter. After completing his ride, Tom had not only ridden the #Festive500 but spelled it out too. Meanwhile Win Assakul’s annotated map gave us a charming insight into the lie of the land and the sights to be seen from his local Somerset roads.

For others, the #Festive500 is put into sharp perspective by other challenges in their lives. Whether recovering from a period of poor health or the loss of a loved one, riding a bike can be hugely cathartic, giving you time to reflect and clear your head. This year saw a number of riders submit inspiring entries describing how the #Festive500 helped them return to fitness. Kudos to you all.

P1160631
P1160808-4
P1160967

A final mention goes to a string of amazing digital entries. Watch Simone Dovigo and friends navigate a route connecting two lighthouses, checkout Arne Fehmel’s blog documents rides around Berlin or browse a rich #Festive500 colour palette, created Toshiki Sato.

Whether you were successful this year; bad weather and ill fortune got the better of you; or you’ve always thought about attempting but never dared, make the #Festive500 your end of year challenge for 2018. You won’t regret it.

This year in numbers

Total participants

83,130

Total km ridden

19,994,519

Age of youngest finisher

12 years old

Countries took part

159

#Festive500 finishers

19,120 (23% of participants)

Average km ridden

284

Age of eldest finisher

76 years old

Nation with most km logged

Australia