This, being my 4th Festive 500 means that I know what it takes to be able to complete the challenge. With this in mind I actually got in some base miles in November and I decided that I would plan my routes through places that I could take some interesting pictures even if it meant a lot more hours in the saddle through some of the toughest conditions,temperatures and climbs we have down here in the coastal area of southern Norway.
To be sympathetic to my family I decided to set out so that I would always be home at the latest 12 noon. My kids are a little older now and that meant spending valuable christmas time together at the breakfast table. This meant some very early starts and 4-5 hours in the dark. This also meant that, weather permitting, I should capture some nice sunrises and nice lighting conditions that only artic winter could produce.
After my November miles I worked out that I would have to struggle in the snow and ice at around 18-20km/h, any faster just isn`t possible. On the hills I couldn`t stand or the back wheel would spin and downhill I just didn`t dare riding fast and on some days the wind chill factor was literaly unbearable at higher speeds.
I`ll throw up some stats here first and post some pictures at the underneath.
Average speed for the whole challenge : 20.8 km/h
Total hours out on the bike : 26hrs (plus another four warming hands at petrol stations)
Total meters of climbing :7200metres
Average temp : -7 celcius
Lowest recorded Temp : -17 celcius
Lucky for me there was almost no wind, no mechanicals, no punctures and only a couple of low speed tumbles.
I set out hoping to find a little adventure and Wow, what an adventure this year proved to be. I have had some great rides, 2 of which were 130km long. I had to dig deep sometimes but the rewards were well worth it.
Before you look at the pictures, please bear in mind that it took on average about 20 minutes of riding before I could feel my fingers again, albeit stingely so I just wanted to take the pics fast and get my gloves on again. Thanks again for the motivation Rapha and Strava. See you next year.
Its -15 Celcius and dark. The sun slowly appears over the horizon and although the only warmth it produces is warmth in your soul, its just feels great.
There are more pictures over on my instagram account under manx71