26 December 2013

Festive 500; Annual 14000

Recently over on MOB's blog I saw mention of the Rapha/Strava "Festive 500" challenge -- ride 500 kms over the 8 days between December 24 and 31.

TCC also had thread about this challenge.  I signed up, and was happy to see that after uploading my trip to Yugawara and back, I was ranked #21 out of 353 Japan-based participants.  Of course, the ranking will fade quickly, but still I hope to complete this challenge.

The ride to Yugawara and back also pushed me over 14,000 kms cycling for the year, based on my mileage log.  Time to start thinking about cycling goals for 2014 ...



Well, I completed the Festive 500.  I ended up at 509 kms, ranked 4407 out of 26565 (as of the evening of January 1, Tokyo time), and 158 out of 688 on the "leaderboard" in Japan.  If only I had switched on my GPS timer when I left home for the office on December 26, I could have moved way up in the rankings for a top 130 finish in Japan.

On the morning of December 31, despite requests from my spouse to help with year-end window cleaning and shopping, I played hookey in the morning, rode to Tsukui-ko and back, to get the last 84 kms I needed. Except that it turned out I had needed almost 88 kms.  So after the housecleaning was done that afternoon, I turned on the GPS once more and made a quick spin over to C Speed and then a loop through my neighborhood.

It was exhausting to record in-town rides on my GPS and upload them to Strava, something I do NOT plan to make a habit.  And silly to be riding toward a fairly mindless goal of just getting in a few more kilometers on the last day of the challenge, as opposed to actually training, or riding socially, or because I wanted to ride somewhere.

So I will not join any more of these challenges.  Except ...

I happen to see a "Gran Fondo" challenge for January (repeated for each subsequent month).  The challenge is to ride at least ONE ride of 130 kms during the month.  Piece of cake.  In 2013 I did so in each month except December ... and this challenge will not require me to record my commutes.

The Gran Fondo prize?  A "digital finishers badge" and the chance to pay $109 for a special jersey ... with a different color potentially earned each month.  What a privilege!

Further update:

Well, I completed the January, February and March "Gran Fondo" challenges, but have yet to purchase a jersey.  For April, I looked forward to blowing away the challenge, riding a 24 hour Fleche and other long events.  At the end of the Fleche, I uploaded the data expecting to move way up the leaderboard ...  to around 25th place out of 45000 participants!   But nothing.  I had failed to "reset" the Garmin after 23 hrs and 58 minutes of Fleche, and kept the same data recording as continuous ride between the Fleche finish and the post-ride party at the Kamakura Prince.  So Strava must not recognize it as a ride of less than 24 hours.  Ouch. 

At least I am 10748 out of 57751 participants in the Spring Classics challenge ... and should move way up after this weekend's 300km Brevet, and my SFC 76 km commute on Wednesdays.


CM said...

Are you doing a ride over the holidays? Perhaps I could join?
Thinking of going somewhere,
but can't decide.
Do you know Yanagisawa Pass?
would it be snow covered now?

Manfred von Holstein said...

Yes, not passable on a road bike. Car with chains will work. Would stay much lower.

CM said...


CM said...

How about Takasaki? Any mountains on the way there?

David L. said...

Hi CM: Not sure how to get in touch with you, but for a holiday ride you might try the Ekiden ride -- see thread over at TCC. I may do it with my sons ... or if I cannot get them to join them may go elsewhere with Jerome.

As for Takasaki, you can get there via the flatlands or via Chichibu and various lower passes/hills, or take Tom's routes through the mountains.

David L. said...

... I have updated my report on the Festive 500.