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Best of the Festive 500 2011
Please note: There will be a public vote to decide our final top three via Facebook on Friday 20th January.
The 2011 edition of the Festive 500 saw nearly 4000 people take to the roads. What started in 2009 as one man’s insane ambition to escape the perils of Christmas sloth (that pioneer being the inimitable Graeme Raeburn, riding 1000 clicks in a week of winter) has now evolved into a global phenomenon. We were truly amazed by the valiance and variety of people’s attempts and the sheer number of riders going for glory. Chapeau.
3,030 took up the challenge using Strava. Of this number, 972 courageously completed the 500km. Amazingly, 22 riders followed Mr. Raeburn’s example and clocked over 1000km – now that really is going above and beyond. In fact, two particular individuals did over 1,400 – that’s nearly three Festive 500s in one.
Unsurprisingly, California residents and a few Aussies nailed a grand of kilometres. You may also note that the man topping the leader board is Rapha Condor Sharp’s Kristian House, riding an abnormal distance in one week even for a professional. So, whilst riding in the more clement atmosphere of Mallorca, we should raise our proverbial hats to Stefan R., also known has Herr Rohner. Only 7km shy of Kristian’s total (and having ridden one less ride than the pro you have to feel for him) and just 83km short of 1,500km, this was a truly epic haul of kilometres. Stefan also managed to take a few pictures along the way (see below) so we must give him due credit. Bravo.
Naturally we have to doff caps to Martin James and John Heaton-Armstrong (no relation to Mellow Johnny) who broke the 1000 barrier here in the UK. And another name which stands out is that of Željko Bates. Undoubtedly Mr Bates is a bit of a psycho as temperatures in Serbia are around or below freezing point this time of year. Браво!
We might also mention Marty McFly of Victoria, Australia and the lanterne rouge of the 1000 km club, presumably he was making use of the flux capacitor on his machine to travel so far. Sharona Guggenheim must also be very proud as, not only does she possess a fantastic name, she was also the only female to make it into the top 21. If anyone rides near Irvine CA, look out for Sharona motoring through, seems she has a real knack for riding big distances. My Sharona!
Notable rides by other women came from Jessica Chong who was only 19kms away from the 1000 mark. Lisa Rodgers, who successfully rode the 2010 Festive 500, rode an amazing 940kms this year in the north of the UK along with Judith Swallow, also in the UK, clocking 919km.
There was also one man who came to our attention late on. A cyclist by the name of Ryan McKay manage to complete the Festive 500 in one day… He literally rode from
Even to total 500km is a remarkable accomplishment at this time of year, if you consider the issues of bad weather, work and family commitments. But such concerns didn’t seem to stop people. It’s fitting that we can all share the ultimate gift of riding our bikes during the festive season, and everyone who attempted the 500 are all the wealthier for it. We can’t wait to see what the next Festive 500 has in store; will someone break the 1500 mark?
Below is our attempt to draw up a shortlist of ten Festive 500 rides that capture the spirit and individuality of what has been a fantastic end to 2011. Next week we’ll give you the opportunity to vote for who you think should win our grand prize of a Trek Madone 6.9 for their Festive 500 attempt.
To receive your roundel – make sure you send your address and a token of evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Festive 500 Top Ten
1. Johnny Crash, an officer in the Merchant Navy, managed to complete the 500 whilst at sea and nursing a recent injury. Cripes.
2. Kristian House: The 2009 National Champ was just going about his business of training for the new season, and happened to clock up nearly 1500 kms at an average speed of 19.5 mph. This sort of thing comes naturally to Kristian… or is he a machine?
3. The Blayleys
It seems the cycling mad Pamela and John Blayley did some of their mileage on a tandem. Which begs the question, did they complete the 500 together or individually? Good work regardless.
4. Stefan Rohner not only gave a pro a run for his money in terms of distance, he also made a lovely collection of photography to prove it.
5. Henrik Öijer’s photography is worth a place in this list alone, but he was also riding in Sweden in temperatures well below freezing.
6. Brian Johnsen rode 365km in one day. Ouch.
7. Tenspeed Hero. Great to see a well read blog taking the time to document the 500.
8. Brian Sacawa's video is certainly an accomplishent, his blog is worth a visit too.
9. Derrick Lewis and the guys at the Rapha Cycle Club SF took rides every day to enjoy the Bay Area’s finest road rides.
10. Sharona Guggenheim is our final entry in the shortlist. 1030 is a massive amount of kilometres and she deserves an equally large dose of respect for that. Visit her blog to see how she did it.
11. Ryan McKay is last but by no means least in the shortlist. Rather than riding the required 500km in a week, he opted to crack it over one day. We salute this most valiant of efforts.
Please check back to our Facebook page on Friday 13th to nominate who you think deserves the Festive 500 crown.
The 1000km category. TOP 21
- Kristian House – Texas: 1424
- Stefan R. – Mallorca: 1417
- Jeff Paine – Singapore: 1221
- Martin James – Kent, UK: 1197
- Željko Bates – Serbia: 1175
- Geoff Parker – Melbourne: 1162
- Jake Arnold – Colorado: 1149
- David Kolpak – Singapore: 1139
- Bill Bove – Florida: 1117
- John Van Seters – Victoria: 1113
- Aylwin Villanueva – California: 1100
- Glynn Matthey – Melbourne: 1082
- Roger Pack – North Carolina: 1065
- Scott Smith – Melbourne: 1055
- Steve Smith – California: 1053
- Greg Springs – North Carolina: 1043
- Nils Tikkanen – California: 1038
- Sharona Guggenheim – California: 1030
- John Heaton-Armstrong – Hampshire, UK: 1017
- John Fell – Louisiana: 1010
- Marty McFly – Victoria: 1007
See the full list here: Strava