Rapha Festive 500 by Josh Greet
In september I left my hometown of Plymouth to pursue my career in London. I never realised untill I left Plymouth how much I would miss the huge hills that rise in every direction, the beautiful scenery and the shit weather. For the festive holidays I returned home for christmas, new years and the standard 500km. Click below to see how I got on with the challenge.
Before I had even got to Plymouth the weather had already messed with my plans. The train I was getting to Plymouth ended up stopping two thirds of the way home in Taunton because of flooding and because I had a bike it meant I couldn’t get on the replacement bus service home which was great news.
When I finally got home I went out with a friend; we tackled some climbs and got some miles behind us. It was wet and the the visibility was pretty bad, but it was nice to be back on Dartmoor away from traffic. We came across a fair amount of flooding and most of the roads on climbs had turned into streams and the cattle grids on climbs were deadly.
On some of the rides, we came across some serious flooding but this never stopped us. In this picture of Paddy from Lycra Louts we misjudged the depth of the water and it became pretty hard to pedal by the time the water made it over our hubs. Riding one handed with the camera made this a bit more challenging but we both made it through to the other side. Although we did get pretty wet.
The weather was terrible almost every day. I would purposely try to not look out the window in the mornings, put my kit on, prepare for the worst and just face the weather. Most of the time I got wet, but I was outside making the most of my time in the place that I missed riding. I spent half of my time riding by myself which I don’t normally do, but for this challenge it was essential as I didn’t have many people to ride with in Plymouth. Riding by yourself in the rain is shit but when you’re with your friends you can laugh about it. When you have to ride home with a headwind and rain thats hurting your face all on your lonesome you don’t feel as great.
Although the challenge was hard and my legs hurt it was definitely worth it. Over the course of the challenge, I also racked up just under 30,000ft of climbing, as well as doing the 500km. This is the difference between riding in the flatlands of London and the hills of Dartmoor. It was a great way to spend the holidays, outside on my bike riding on Dartmoor, and then getting home to stuff my face with all the chocolates that everyone thought I would want for christmas without feeling too guilty. - Josh Greet