The Best of Festive 500 2012

We’ve been overwhelmed with the latest edition of the Festive 500. At the last count it was estimated that almost 17,000 people took part and over 4,500 riders completed the challenge. This amounts to a collective kilometre count somewhere in the region of 4.4 million. If you did complete the full 500 and you haven’t done so already, make sure you register for a roundel on the page here »

The closing date is the 28th January.

Before we announce our winners, runners-up, honourable mentions and King and Queen of the Kilometres, we’d like to share some of the fine images, drawings, words, films and even postal entries people have crafted whilst in search of 500 Christmas kilometres.

5th Floor Elevations

The 5th Floor is a blog some may be familiar with. They’ve posted a number of tales and some great photography documenting various people’s endeavours…

“The weather was terrible almost every day. I would purposely try to not look out the window in the mornings, put my kit on, prepare for the worst and just face the weather.”

Wiggo the Poet

No relation to Bradley (we don’t think) but Mr. Tim Wiggins has done a good job reporting in poetic fashion on his exploits down on the Isle of Wight.

“Darkness deepens. Senses strained. Lungs burning. Head down, you attempt to hold your line
The ferocious crosswinds buffet you like a lone rag doll in the wilderness
Lights pick out landslides; mud turning grip to grease,
You tighten your hold on the bars.
Count down the miles.”

See Tim’s blog »

Festive Francisco

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This film was put together by the Rapha Cycle Club San Francisco’s very own Scott Limanek. The Cycle Club hosted 500 rides in the beautiful Bay area over the week, and it looks like it got a little competitive.

Put Your Feet Up

I think we’ve seen Dan Mather in action before at the Festive 500 and although he failed to fetch the full 500 this year, he did create a fetching photographic diary on tumblr.

Toilet Paper

Here at Rapha we love maps, and illustrations, and WC Studio accompanied details of how they completed the 500 over five days with some hand drawn reliefs of Chicago and its environs. Quite excellent.

Blagg Artist

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Derek Blagg has created a simple yet amusing snapshot of him and buddies Mark Longman, Jason Williams and brother Joe clowning about on bikes (and cross trainers). Classic.

The Prodigy

Last year, Tim Cox and his son, Rupert completed the Festive 500 together over in sunny California. Rupert was 12 years old, hats off. This year, a kid going by the name of ‘Minipipps’ completed the 500 with his dad, Richard, in the Chesire region. The main point that should be emphasised here is that Minipipps is seven years old. Seven! Unbelievable stuff which puts many people to shame but may also highlight the benefits of having a motivating coach (dad) and support vehicle (mum).

Fail Mail

More hand drawn maps, these ones entitled ‘Festive Failure 2012’. Kindly sent into us by Mr. Simon Pack, his covering letter reads:

“The predictable outcome of a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas with family & friends is a non-heroic 312 km.”

Speed Sketches

More hand drawings this time from our friends at Ten Speed Hero. It’s worth having a dig around their website for some great stories and visuals.

Border Terrier

Some excellent smartphone photos and interesting write-ups of each stage from wheels-pedals-person. Their rides in the chilly northeast of England were also accompanied by Strava maps; and they even got a shout-out on national radio.

“The ride down there was a real slog, into a headwind with icy rain in my face all the way. It was one of the few moments during this challenge that I’ve wondered what I was doing and wondering why Dr No on the telly and a sofa wasn’t a better option…”

Visit the wheels-pedals-person blog »

That Sucked

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Amusing use of ‘time lapse’ photography and a monologue of heavy breathing… “well that sucked”… and some rather random edits towards the end (which I guess could be down to tiredness).

Priority Mail

One bloke sent his film in by post… Top marks for effort to B. Strathmann

Send Me a Postcard

Keith Nicolas also likes to put pencil to paper… If he’d sent it to us in the post he may have been a contender. (Instead he just took a photo. Fair enough, it is 2013).


@keitsuji in Osaka posted this delightful image on twitter/ instagram.

European Theatre

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Another filmic force to be reckoned with from Randy Patton. Not sure if he’s related to the famous general George of the same family name, but he knows how to organise a festive film. Nice work.

Ibiza Vistas

Stefan Rohner put in a mammoth amount of kilometres in the 2011 challenge, documenting things along the way. For 2012 he also captured a big number of kms. But it seems this year he spent even more time capturing gorgeous landscapes in his homeland of Ibiza. I’m not sure he managed as much mileage this time around but his photos certainly go the distance.

See Stefan’s flickr set »

There were and are so many great things out there and it would be impossible to include them all here. Next week we’ll feature further stories, films and images from the Festive 500 2012 and, of course, announce our winners.

Thank you to everyone who took part, happy riding in 2013.