Rapha Challenge Day Two

This is how the Chinese still dress... 😉

The official count for the Rapha Festive 500 riders has topped 2,250 on Strava.com, brilliant stuff. It really looks like the Rapha fever has caught on and people are being inspired all over the world to take part in this brilliant challenge. Definitely is a stroke of genius that Rapha dreamed up this unique world-wide event; its not a wonder that Rapha has been named as one of the fastest growing innovative companies in the UK.

Today I had a plane to catch so had to shoot out for a quick ride to continue my quest for reaching and surpassing the goal of 500kms. Last year I did 767km, so it would be nice if I could actually go better than 2010. Read my Rapha Challenge Day 2 from 2010 – The official temperature was three degrees with a windchill factor of minus two!  Fortunately this year, the weather was a sunny 12 degrees. I felt quite overdressed with my booties and Mavic winter jacket – I had expected it to be the same as yesterday…

Looking on the Strava leader board, it is looking to be a battle of the continents and so far it appears Australia is leading the way with six Aussies in the top ten. Carlee Taylor from Los Altos, CA is currently enjoying the Aussie summer and has impressively amassed 349kms from just two rides – she was sitting at the top of the table till Dirk Maertins from cold Germany came along and knocked Taylor down from her perch, but only leads by a scant 2kms!  It looks like John Breed could have taken the day off after his epic 244km ride that took the Rapha Festive 500 by a storm. Don’t discount him as he could be back with another epic ride soon.  Mega-mile man, Stefan Rohner, who averages more than 20hrs riding on a normal week, is on 244km from just one ride and sits in 5th place. If he rode today, he will assume the lead again. The best of the Asia-based riders is myself in 20th position and the next best is Chris Wood from Singapore  in 48th with his 202km.  Just to break into the top 100, you need to do a minimum 168kms over two days, this shows how the Rapha Festive 500 challenge supported by Strava has really gripped people’s minds. It has become very competitive!

The blogging is starting to come alive and here are a few that caught my eye.

Rob Gray rode in -4 degrees Celsius and took some amazing photos. Check out his blog here A Long Way Up – he also made a video clip of his early morning ride. Its not about the miles, but more about appreciating what you see around you and taking the time to capture it…

Rob's photo from A Long Way Up

Brad Woosley took this great sunset shot…

Brad Woosley's Rapha Festive shot

Another Rapha Festive 500 blog can be found on Your New Over Lord

Chinese Film Set having lunch as I rode by

Chinese grains out drying under the winter sun

I’m now in Guangzhou – South China and going to race in a 29″ Mountain Bike race on Xmas Day! Its the first ever 29″ specific MTB race in China, and perhaps Asia-wide? Its going to be a good day for mountain bikers and thanks to Format and WTB for putting on this inaugural event. Stay tuned for the race report and my Rapha Festive 500 report. Merry Xmas to you all and keep up the good riding.