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.

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

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.