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Updated: Jan 21, 2021

I first became aware of this event in December 2019, one year after I started with road cycling. A workmate informed me of what needs to be done in those 8 days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to get this desirable badge. I was wondering how to ever do this distance, as my 100km rides took me at this time approximately +/- 4 hours and it was only possible to do it outdoors… If anyone had told me in those days that I would soon be able to manage this distance, I would have called them a liar.

Then COVID-19 came and changed everything…The holy #FESTIVE500 was now allowed to be done indoors… and I saw my chance to get this “virtual” badge this year.

Three days before Christmas I had a chat again with the workmate mentioned earlier and I convinced him to start the Festive500 together with a group ride. Therefore, I sent out a Zwift-Meetup for December 24th to start an EarlyBird 100km ride at a flat route in Watopia… Except him, no one joined my invitation, but maybe because I wanted to start @ 6 a.m. ;-) But, I already had 100km in my pocket so the start was done…

Followed by two “shorter” rides on the 25th and 26th , I decided to do the next 100km on Sunday the 27th. This time I joined an organized “Group-Ride” which ended up in – I already should know it better – Race-Pace ;-) However, the 100km had been added to my account and on day 4 I already had two-thirds of the whole distance… So I was looking forward to having some “easier” days now.

On day 5 a recovery ride was planned – and it really was appreciated and necessary. Those 1.5 hours in the saddle with low wattage on a static indoor trainer felt painful this time… Nevertheless, with the prospect of having it done in further 2 days I continued pedaling…

Then day 7 came and I finished my personal #FESTIVE500 with an Endurance Ride. But there are 8 days to ride so I added another ride on the last day and was able to close the event with 571km in total…

To sum it up – it was a special event, sometimes it has been painful but on the other hand, after every ride I felt like a winner. May it was not sooooo cold as outdoors but I think for sure not less wet. I think I will do it again – but maybe (and if allowed) in a mixed form…

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