What is the Festive 500?

For those who are familiar with Strava, Rapha’s Festive 500 challenge needs no introduction. After a decade, it has achieved a cult-like following amongst winter cyclists. But for those who are unfamiliar, it is the annual tradition of attempting to cycle 500 kilometres during the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It is a pushback against the inevitable gluttony and sloth that accompany the festive period.


So What Is the #Festive4000?

Quite simply it is my attempt to do eight times the distance – 4000 kilometres – during the same time frame. This effectively means completing the traditional Festive 500 every single day for eight days straight. I will be keeping track of my distance on Strava’s Festive 500 leaderboard and riding on Zwift. For more info, check out the FAQs at the bottom of the page.


And why!?

Whilst browsing the previous leaderboards on Strava, I noticed that no one had ever broken the 3,000-kilometre mark during the eight days. This led me to wonder what the greatest possible distance that could be covered would be. And then I realised this year was the perfect year to try, for two reasons:

  1. I have no Christmas plans. Whatever the government may say, the pandemic has effectively cancelled Christmas for those of us with elderly relatives, so there is no better year to spend the time cycling instead.
  2. Strava and Rapha have opened up the challenge to virtual riding. Attempting a challenge like this outside in the UK would be foolish in the depths of winter, whereas indoor riding – although far more mentally challenging – comes with fewer risks of becoming an unnecessary burden on the NHS.


But what is motivating you to cycle 4,000 kilometres indoors?

The mental challenge of such a long stint of indoor cycling seems like a fitting end to 2020. The mental health impact of lockdowns has been felt across the world and, although it has paled into insignificance in comparison to the lives lost, it has certainly taken its toll upon all of us. Cycling indoors for 192 hours doesn’t come close to the sacrifices that many people have made to protect the vulnerable in society.

And with this in mind, I will be taking on this challenge to raise money for MIND. A mental health charity based in the UK, they work tirelessly for a better understanding of mental health and better services for those suffering from mental health problems. They have described the current situation as a “mental health emergency”, so it is more important than ever to support their work.

You can visit this page to make a donation.

If you’re unable to donate because funds are tight, I totally understand. Many people are in this position thanks to the pandemic. Instead, I would just ask that you share the donation page on your social media, in the hope that someone else may then donate who wouldn’t have done otherwise.



+ When does it begin?

+ How does virtual riding work?

+ Can we ride with you?

+ Have you trained for this?

+ Do you think you can actually do it?

+ How can we follow your progress?