2014 Rapha Festive 500 - First days

It's now a couple of days since the 2014 Rapha Festive 500 was completed. Last year I did the challenge for the first time ever, and due to only a few hours in the saddle during December I decided to give my legs the gift of trying to complete the Festive 500 again this year. The weather would be completely different from last year and that I was to learn that.

Like last year, I didn't ride on Christmas eve, but the next day I would try my legs in the cold. I'm not that used riding in snow and below - 10 degrees so I knew this would be a challenge, very different from last year.

 These clothes I was to put on every day, many layers thermals and underwear...

These clothes I was to put on every day, many layers thermals and underwear...

Because of the cold one of course must consider proper clothing. More or less on each day I wore 2 pairs of socks, Wintershoes, 2 - 3 pairs of overshoes, legwarmers, 2 pairs of long trousers, bibs, x-country skiing underpants, cool mesh shirt, craft winter thermal layer, Castelli fawesome gilet, long-sleeve jersey, wind/waterproof winter jacket, 3 x neck warmers, 2 x winter hats and a helmet.

 Nothing beautiful or romantic about the Festive this time...

Nothing beautiful or romantic about the Festive this time...

The weather the first day was sunny but it was - 14 degrees. The ride would either be around 40 or 90 km, depending on how I would feel. 

 Beautiful weather

Beautiful weather

 But cold..

But cold..

Web VIRB0718.jpg

I don't know whether it was the cold or the fact that I had missed a bit with nutrition, but I started feeling really sick in just 30 km. And I somehow managed to struggle back home with only 44 km ridden. Now I knew, this would be almost impossible if not completely impossible to do. The next day would be a day off, since we were going to my parents. That again meant I would need to ride 100 km/day the last bit of the challenge...

 

2014 Rapha Festive day 2

But try I did. December 27th would be my second day of the challenge. And it would not be that cold, only - 6 degrees. But I knew I needed to track some 100 km in snow, that was something I had never done before.

 Frozen sea

Frozen sea

 More snow

More snow

 Ponies cheered my way. I bet they were happy they didn't have to do the challenge

Ponies cheered my way. I bet they were happy they didn't have to do the challenge

I didn't know how much snow there would be on the route that day. There was not too much, but there was partly some snow on top of ice, which made it a bit tricky on some sections. 

 Hovimäki

Hovimäki

 My ride

My ride

 My snack

My snack

 My energy drink for the day, mulled wine.

My energy drink for the day, mulled wine.

Of course, since I was really not going fast, it would take me quite a lot of time to complete 100 km. And since the day is really short in Finland during December, it meant I had plenty of riding in dark ahead of me. But I was fortunately well prepared having bought a new cycling light just before Christmas.

 The NiteRiderPro 1200 Race lightening up

The NiteRiderPro 1200 Race lightening up

So on my second day of the challenge I managed to track some 97 km. Pretty pleased with that, especially since I had a really bumpy start with only 44 km and nausea the first day. It took me some 5 hours and 15 minutes to complete the 97 km. Not exactly the training average speeds you are used to do..

Stay tuned, more to come!