Rapha Festive 500
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The Rapha Festive 500 is done.  We've clocked up the k's and hopefully so have you!  La Velocita's Aaron Mulkearns reports on the experience of getting through this awesome Strava challenge.

Report and photography: Aaron Mulkearns

Christmas and New Year are periods that for decades, even centuries, have held many traditions. For cyclists, like the team at La Velocita, there is one new tradition that is starting to stand out more than others. The Rapha Festive 500.

Like we said, we drank beer, we drank wine, we ate plenty of turkey and ham, and as we said we would do, we rode over 500kms. What a festive period La Velocita had, however we won't lie it was tough. 

In the end 530km's were covered... during that 530kms there were highs and lows, days we felt good, days we felt dusty... we created new memories, like the great day in the saddle with the Great Ocean Road Cycling Crew, heading from Aireys Inlet to Cape Patton, clocking up 100 odd kilometres.

Melbourne's famous Beach Road saw some big hitters riding it out, mates like the @thebunchcyclist @_pjones_ @lucasschirato @ajdebono @paul1.03 @wesleynagtzaam all vying for their Festive 500 patches as well and all pulling together to take the load off each other which was great.

Then there were the solo days. There were some good days in the saddle, but not day 4. The chosen location for that ride was from Essendon out to Oaklands Junction/Clarkefield return (back of Tullamarine Airport). Those of you who have ridden it will know, but for those who haven't it has some short but super sharp climbs. Squeezing 75km was tough that day, that feeling of pedalling squares all day, legs feeling heavy from the first kilometre and never improving...

Legs well and truly cooked!

Our final ride, with 2 days in the bank until New Year's Eve, just under 50km was needed, our local morning Bunch NPR got us over the challenge mark. What a feeling!

Below is a list of the rides taken to gather the 500km we needed to comlete the task.

Totals - 531km, 3,296m vertical, average ride length 75km, average speed 33km/h

  • 24 Dec - 136km 440m 34km/h average - Melbourne - Beach Road
  • 25 Dec - 60km 205m 32.5km/h average - Melbourne - Beach Road
  • 26 Dec- 72km 573m 32km/h average - Essendon - Tullamarine Airport
  • 27 Dec - 106km 939m 33km/h average - Great Ocean Road
  • 28 Dec - 75km 535m 32.5km/h average - Essendon - Oaklands Junction and Wildwood
  • 30 Dec - 55km 364m 32.5km/average - Essendon - NPR Bunch Ride
  • 31 Dec - 27km 240m 33.5km/h average - Essendon - NPR Bunch Ride

All finishers of the Festive 500 can 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.

We achieved it, what a great feeling it is, to share the story of what you did with other cyclists, friends and family, a huge personal sense of achievement and self gratification is gained. WE CAN'T WAIT FOR NEXT YEAR...!

We were only a small part in this great worldwide challenge, there were 48,601 participants in the Rapha Festive 500 and a total of over 10 million km covered!

Check out the Rapha Festive 500 Strava page for the final stats.