Festive 500 2014 Roundup

The fifth annual Festive 500 was billed as a “blockbuster”, and it certainly lived up to such fanfare: a snowflake-studded journey of self-sufficiency, immovable optimism, thousands of heavy legs and an all-conquering Yuletide spirit. Almost 50,000 brave people took to the streets, roads, trails and pathways (and some to the turbo trainer) to see if it could be done once again. We’ve seen some amazing things this season, with more rides and wonderful tales than ever before. You still have time to submit a story – whatever form it takes – until the end of January. Prizes will be announced in February.

Of course there were hundreds, if not thousands of great stories and efforts, and it’s difficult for us to choose which to publish. Below are just a handful that caught our eye:

Hhaaggeenn dazzle

Some excellent iPhone (?..) photography here from a snow-dusted-somewhere in North America/ Germany (?).inclement

Eight Days in Yorkshire

A fine example of postcard-art/ illustration here. Nice also that Mr. Baston took in part of the Tour de France route that departed from Leeds back in balmy July.



Club Life

Our Cycle Clubs around the world each hosted Festive 500 rides. From Sydney to Manchester, the riding was good and the coffee in-between was tasty.


Photography by Johan Björklund

Head over to The Radavist website to see a full selection but the light and landscapes from Johan in Sweden here really capture the essence of what we’re talking about. Braving the elements, riding lots and discovering the kind of beauty you can only find during winter.


 Melaka & Back

Jeff Paine, Lawrence Loh and Dave Kolpak rode a distance of 525km in less than 24 hours from Singapore to a place in neighboring Malaysia called Melaka. Melaka & Back in One Crack as they named it was all done in the name of supporting the cause “A New Vision” – a charity that performs cataract surgeries across Indonesia, giving the blind poor the gift of sight.

Incidentally Jeff Paine also completed Festive 500 2013 in one go. Unfortunately he had quite a serious accident while riding in Thailand, but he’s clearly back in the saddle.



 Top Pick

Sera Pickering Pick filmed her entire journey as she attempted the biggest riding challenge of her life so far. Doing something like the Festive 500 by yourself really isn’t that easy, so the fact that Sera also managed to document it with a beautiful video edit (with just a little help from her old man David’s drone) is rather impressive. She threw in a nice frosty soundtrack (including some of her brother’s music) to capture the winter solstice feel of her riding too.



Salzburg 500 

A superb digital composition created to document the Festive 500. Called the Salzburg 500, the challenge was taken up by Austrian riders John Braynard and Boban Trajkovski (aka the Salzburg Savage). Great photography, gifs, writing, humour and more. We’ll let the website do the talking.


Hiromasa Matsuoka managed to more than quadruple the required distance over the festive period. Quite how he achieved 2292km – regardless of whether he has anything else ‘better’ to do – is beyond many of us. His legs must hate him (but they’ll probably thank him later).

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Of course there were hundreds, if not thousands of great stories and efforts, and it’s difficult for us to choose which to publish. Once again, congratulations to all who completed the 2014 Festive 500, and also those souls gave it a crack but didn’t quite make it (there’s always this year). Prizes will be announced in February.

All finishers of the Festive 500 may claim a limited edition roundel to mark their achievement. Riders must include a link to their Festive 500 stories or rides as proof of completion – this could be a Strava profile URL, Twitter and Instagram posts, or even photos of a training log.

Claim your roundel »