Rapha Festive 500 – Day 1: Let the festivities begin!

500 km between 23-31 December. It fits in quite fine with my training schedule, so why not? I’m going to write in some kind of English during this time, at least for the parts that concerns the Rapha Festive 500. I might need to brush up on my language skills a bit, have patience.

A short introduction about me: I’m 26 years old, started cycling in 2008 and as soon as I tried it I knew it was something for me. I decided too see how far I could go on a national elite level, and I’ve been competing in XC and XC Marathon since 2009. Cycling has been a big part of my life since then, I finished 15th in the overall XC Marathon cup and 11th in the XC cup this year. It’s been a fun and hard travel so far, with lots and lots left to do!

I’m spending the holidays with my family (B) in northern Sweden, well the lower northern part of Sweden to be fair. It’s about 400 km from Falun (A) where I live.

I was kind of worried about the weather situation, it’s usually pretty cold up here in the wintertime. As it should be! I’ve got a note in last years trainingdiary that the day before Christmas 2010 it was -31 degrees outside. Yesterday it was -16 degrees during the day, but I woke up today to -3 degrees and light rain and I must say I prefer that over -16 or -31 any day. At least for cycling.

My family had some arrends to run during the day so I acted quickly and got on my bike while they were away. The goal today was to visit some of my favorite hills in the area and ride about 3-4 hours with threshold intervals.

The mainroad between Undrom and Sollefteå was minor chaos today, holiday traffic and the rain and low temprature made it a bit icy. There wasn’t much room for me and my 29er either, I don’t like to be in the way so I tend to stay as much as I can on the sideroad but it was so poorly scraped from snow that it was like riding in sand. 5-6 cm with a mix of ice and snow made the speed go down rapidly from time to time, but good intensity! That’s more important anyway.

At least I had no difficulties staying in the saddle, the 29er I ride is equipped with Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro tires and they can handle pretty much anything.

After approx. 20 km it was time to get of the mainroad and on a gravelroad to the first climb of the day. I love this one, but I’ve never ridden it in the wintertime. There is a TV/Radio site at the top, so I figured it would be maintained in wintertime aswell. I was right, the gravelroad was actually in alot better shape than the mainroad.

Did the last part of the climb one more time before I rode back down again, perfect for longer threshold intervals! I’ll be coming back to this climb during my visit here, might do a shorter ride tomorrow with a few more climbs from the bottom instead. I felt strong to, always nice to feel strong! Hard to tell if I actually was strong though, nothing to compare with. Feeling is king sometimes I suppose.

After that I rode the last bit in to Sollefteå, the rain started to intensify and it broke my moral a bit to be honest. I rode up a smaller hill two times before I decided to start the 30 km ride back home.

The wind was not in my favour on the ride home, beeing wet didn’t make it any nicer. But I’ve had worse. I started to get a bit ”annoyed” in the end as usual. I call it the 4-hour-rage, it was more like the 3,5-hour-rage today.

Tired legs contributed after 120 minutes on threshold intensity. That and a ”Milk breakfast”.

Rapha Festive 500 – 2012-12-23 (Day 1)
90,68 km.
Time: 04:03:17
Avg. speed: 22,36 km/h
Elevation: 1206 m

Hey ho, 409,32 km to go!

#Rapha500 #Rapha500swe


4 thoughts on “Rapha Festive 500 – Day 1: Let the festivities begin!

  1. Great report Jesper! Don’t worry about the language, you did just fine. A lot more readable than some other Swedes trying to write in English. I wanted to go for a ride myself today but chickened out when I noticed my throat was a bit sore.


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