Up for early morning short 30km ride to get myself going and open the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge account for 2011. Early Xmas lunch was had at the Hyatt on the West Lake, ate plenty of juicy lamb chops and lots of toffee ice-cream. Certainly gave me the need to burn it all off with my afternoon 104km ride that ended in the dark… those interested, can check out my Strava files. My first day of the Rapha Challenge in 2010 started with the epic Moganshan Ride, which I hope to do sometime next week. I’ll be headed down to Guangzhou this weekend to attend China’s first ever 29″ mountain bike event.
While the riding today was not as epic as my first day last year, it was still a good day. Like 2010, Hangzhou kicked off with a glorious sunny day but quite chilly – 3-4 degrees in the morning and then dropping to 2 degrees by the time I completed the afternoon ride. Riding here in China has its challenges and one has to be on the alert at all times, its like a constant dodgers game! Despite already having almost two years of living here this time, I still can’t shake the frustration that wells up in me when I see the insane things that happen in front of me and yet, I live to see another day. Well its not that bad, you just have to be alert and be ready for evasive action.
Today’s ride saw me exploring unchartered territory and had me lost for a while before I found familiar ground. The joys of cycling in China is that you can discover something new on your bike everyday and contrary to what you might think, China has some great places to ride your road bike.
Checking out the Rapha Facebook page, a few comments caught my attention. Especially the one about the ‘bloody Aussies’ by Rapha. ‘Looks like those bloody Aussies have taken advantage of their time difference, with John Breed already clocking a fairly epic 244km. Crikey, as they would say…’ When I saw that 244km, I thought wow that was an insane ride – check out his Suffer Score of 369. Thats certainly a monster score, take a look at his Strava file and also a selection of photos on Flickr.
Another one on the Facebook page from David Green ‘First ride of my 500km (or at least attempt at 500km!!) today. 33 (miles) done no coffee stop and it absolutely p*ssed down. Running down my tights into my shoe covers and into my shoes. Feet getting cold towards the end. Now post shower and feeling overly warm. Also greeted by wife’s home made oatmeal cookies – great recovery food!! New gear cables worked well too – rear derailleur cable snapped before setting off yesterday but thankfully Speeds in Bromsgrove got me sorted. Christmas Eve and Boxing Day routes planned (with coffee and cake!), just hope the weather is drier than today.’
Andrew Wright from the UK all decked out in Rapha Condor gear has put together a cool looking website to chronicle his experiences during the Rapha Festive. He also put in some good miles for his first day. Can check out his site at Carbonmade.
Last year when I was doing this challenge, clocking up the miles and shooting lots of photographs for my website, I had connected with Stefan Rohner who lives and rides in Spain. He was truly an awesome long distance rider and does it all year round. The Rapha Festive 500 is just a packet of peanuts for him. I had read his website and found his content and photos to be inspirational. If you are wanting to see some fantastic looking photos, check it out at Stefan Rohner.
I think many of you will be documenting your rides in some form or another for submission to Rapha in the hope of winning some cool prizes. I predict that some fantastic images will emerge as a result and we will all be looking forward to checking them out. You can also visit Cyclingtipsblog as Wade Wallace has put together a really cool looking What You Missed This Morning Christmas Competition. His competition has some rad prizes for the top five photographs. So, get cracking with your creativity for Rapha and Cyclingtipsblog. Cyclingtime is also offering a mystery prize for the best photo submitted, contact the editor for more details.
Some photos from today’s riding. Can click on them for larger viewing.