Today, I finished up the Rapha Festive 500 challenge to ride 500k (310 miles) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. This makes three years in a row now that I have been able to complete the challenge, which hasn’t always been easy, given that we usually spend most of that time up in snowy and cold northwest Wisconsin. My ride today was a 78.8 mile ride from Shell Lake, Wisconsin to Heartwood Cabins (where Kristine and I had our wedding reception in 2003) via Hayward where I switched from my mountain bike to a rental fat bike.
One of the things that was really interesting this year is the crazy weather we have been having down in Alabama. Temps have been in the 60s and 70s degF just about every day in December. With these rare hot temps, I have been riding in shorts and short sleeve jersey unzipped nearly every ride. Then during the week before Christmas, it got even hotter despite the weather turning quite wet – Birmingham set record high temps three days in a row in the middle of some nasty rain and thunderstorms. Two of those days included December 24th and 25th – the first two days of the Festive 500. Transitioning from that to snowy Wisconsin was quite a shock to the system as evidenced by the table of rides below:
|12/24 Hoover, AL fast century before Christmas Eve||101.95 mi||13,264 ft||17 mph||128 bpm||64 degF|
|12/25 Hoover, AL gunshots, thunderstorms, and rain||104.44 mi||9,859 ft||16.1 mph||116 bpm||63 degF|
|12/26 Shell Lake, WI around town garmin in pocket||2.8 mi||118 ft||6.5 mph||
|12/27 Shell Lake, WI timberland hills||49.76 mi||3,320 ft||13.7 mph||117 bpm||18 degF|
|12/28 Shell Lake, WI finishing the festive 500||78.86 mi||4,879 ft||12.9 mph||123 bpm||16 degF|