Rapha Festive 500 returns for 2020 and adds virtual option with Zwift for the first time

In a year of lockdowns and isolation, Rapha wants to help people around the world take part in the long-standing challenge 

The Rapha Festive 500 challenge returns in 2020, with riders now able to complete event on Zwift for the first time.

First run in 2010, the Festive 500 is a demanding distance challenge that sees cyclists across the world ride 500km over the Christmas period. 

Now in its 11th year, Rapha has decided to partner with online training platform Zwift to allow people to complete all or part of the 500 on the turbo trainer. 

In a year of lockdowns and isolation, Rapha hopes opening the challenge up to the virtual world will allow people across the world to complete the challenge, regardless of coronavirus lockdowns in their country.

With more people than ever cycling this year due to the global pandemic, the online aspect will also open the Festive 500 up to people who are new to cycling this year.

Rapha said: “Every year since 2010, Rapha has laid down a festive riding challenge: to ride 500 kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. 

“The #Festive500 started in the south of England but in the ten years since, it has grown to become a global challenge. Together, we’ve covered over 130 million kilometres and the challenge has become a rite of passage for cyclists around the world. In 2020, the challenge enters its eleventh year, with more ways than ever to go the distance during the festive period.

“This year has been tough for all of us and we hope that with various restrictions around the world, riding a bike, for one, can bring the mental and physical reverie we all need so much to keep our festive spirits up.”

The challenge starts on Christmas Eve, December 24, and runs over eight days until New Year’s Eve, with riders able to complete the 500 by logging their rides on Strava.  

To sign up to the challenge, log in to your Strava account and join the Festive 500 challenge. (opens in new tab)

>>> Fizik Adaptive 00 saddle now available without the green

Rapha will also be holding a ‘Spirit of the Festive 500 Awards’ for anyone, which you can enter on the Festive 500 page. (opens in new tab)

The British kit brand also has a clothing of Festive 500 clothing to help you celebrate the occasion. 

Last month, Rapha decided to forego the usual Black Friday Sales and instead hosted a Black Friday Ride for charity, with cyclists encourage to log as many kilometres as they could in one day, to raise money for World Bicycle Relief. 

The company has revealed that riders taking part collectively racked up 2.6million miles.  

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.