The Spirit of the #Festive500

Whether you plan to ride with clubmates or alone, to take on the #Festive500 is to join a global community of riders. Your inspiration for this year’s challenge could come from anywhere, as our diverse selection of the best previous entries to the #Festive500 Awards show.

14 December 2018
The Spirit of the #Festive500


Ever since the inception of the #Festive500 nearly ten years ago, riders around the world have been commemorating their experiences in all manners of ways. From photo albums to poems, hand-drawn maps to freshly baked pastries, each year we select the most inventive and reward their creators with cycling prizes to keep them riding until the next year.


Win Assakul rode last year’s #Festive500 on roads in and around London. An architect by trade, he chose to sketch out his exploits on this beautifully hand drawn map.

“My favourite thing has to be the winter sunrise. Starting out in the pitch black. spinning through the freezing cold and having the sun slowly creep over the hills to warm your bones was a glorious feeling.”



As industrious in the kitchen as he is on the bike, Gavin Osborn commemorated his #Festive500 with a selection of delicious baked goods. What he didn’t eat to keep him going on the bike, he sent to us.

“While riding, the less robust biscuits did tend to disintegrate having been stuffed into a Camelbak but, with a different taste every day, my nutrition never got dull.”


While riding through metropolitan Tokyo, Toshiki Sato had two objectives. Not only did he ride 500km, he also chased the short-lived winter light in order to create photographs to match each pantone in the #Festive500 colour palette from 2017. His dual direction saw him criss-cross the city from the ocean to the mountains, quiet river banks to bustling city streets and create an arresting alternative photo gallery.

“Before I started, I thought the pink hues would be the most elusive but, as it turns out, it was purples that I struggled to find in the Tokyo cityscape.”



In 2016, Ruth Cousins submitted a series of seven beautifully hand painted postcards inspired by her #Festive500 rides, addressed to her deceased father. A heart touching entry from Ruth earned her the grand prize in that year’s #Festive500’ Awards.

“The #Festive500 has completely changed my life. It sounds corny but it has inspired me to be fearless."


From dark memories of hunger knock to the elation of completing the challenge, Gary Dumbill’s animated film is an honest tale of hard-earned miles that saw him scoop second prize in last year’s Spirit of the #Festive500 Awards.

“I've normally got my head down grinding out a good average speed, but with the conditions being a bit sketchy I slowed down and lifted my head up. It turns out the English countryside is actually very pretty, which gave me the idea for an animation.”


Last year’s most playful entry was submitted by Pablo Martínez. Having covered the kilometres on roads in and around Madrid, Pablo decided to celebrate his ride by creating the very first #Festive500 board game.

“The game takes inspiration from the constant ups and downs, emotional and physical, on my rides in the mountains near my home.”


A veteran of several previous editions of the #Festive500, Katherine Moore took the challenge to the next level last year and rode entirely off-road. Images of her mud-spattered and occasionally snow-bound rides perfectly encapsulate what the #Festive500 is all about.

“Riding in the snow is so fun. You can hammer the trails safe in the knowledge that you’ll always have a soft landing.”



After hearing about the challenge from a friend, Simonas first rode the #Festive500 in 2016, taking on an adventurous route from Nice through the snowy Southern Alps. Needless to say, he took some breathtaking photographs en route.

“Riding in the Alps meant dealing with less-than-ideal weather conditions, but it is the #Festive500 after all. Weather plays a part.”







Arne has also ridden more than one #Festive500 and last year celebrated riding his third in succession. His beautiful photo gallery not only shows the places he rode through, but also tracks his progression from a novice cyclist to a hardened winter veteran.

“I started out simply riding to work but, since riding the #Festive500, cycling has come to mean so much more to me.”


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