#festive500 journey

How did it go? Here are some of my day by day notes, The Strava links are provided, where I have written a short text after every ride, and also have more pictures with comements. In general, it went OK, I was "lucky" to not have a white christmas and very low temperatures.


Day1: Merry Christmas 100 km+ for Christmas Eve. "God Jul" means Merry X-mas :)

Day 1: Merry Christmas! - 105,6 km

For day 1, I set out to do at least 100 km. I felt that I needed a good start, to not be "chasing" kilometers later on, and running out of time. As mentioned earlier, my longest ride before this, was the 80-ish km from Haugastøl to Flåm (Rallarvegen). In addition, the #festive500 would be done at lower temperatures.

The positive thing about this day, is that I had some tasks. First, bike 17 km to pick up a lock, that I left somewhere. Second, go to the office to pick up our new bike kit from Bioracer. I was a bit excited about this one, since I designed it, and it is our company branded bike kit.

After picking up the kit, I biked a quite longer way back home, by a lake called Gjersjøen. I had a pit stop at home, my in laws were in, so I got some lunch, and some freshly made cappuccino by my wife. To my mother-in-law's surprise, I was only about halfways done. The pit stop at home, also made it possible for me to dry my sweaty woolnet layer, so I would freeze less when I ventured out again.

The second part of the ride was a bit more painful. Painful in the way that I was getting enough, and I was feeling cold, and slightly miserable. Anyhow, I finished my 105.7 km ride, and could prepare for Christmas Eve :)




Day 2: Getting ready for guests - 63,2 km

In my initial preparation, my second day of riding was planned to be 100 km. This plan went out the window. I didn't feel like biking for 100 km, and I didn't have any special tasks, so it was a more tedious lap job this day. In addition, we were having guests, so I could not be too late this day... And I started later than planned.

The goal became to get at least 62,5 km. I did the Gjersjøen route a couple of times, in addition to biking to Malmøya. Again, I had a pit stop at home for lunch and drying some of the wool that I was wearing.

And in addition, more to drink, and drink more often. On day 1, I was a bit sloppy on drinking, and I think that made me feel a bit shittier at the end of the ride.




Day2: 1st day of X-mas ride In some areas, it was colder than what Strava recorded. This is part of Gjersjøen, one of the ends is frozen.
Family time and rest Family time and resting at home, helping out in the kitchen. In this picture, my mother-in-law baking, to the great joy of my sons

Day 3: Rest day and family time - 0 km

At the end of the second day, I was actually not feeling well. I have small kids, and both of them, including my wife, had been having a slight cold. And I was starting to feel it. So, in retrospect, I did the right thing, and I did NOT toughen it out. I rested this day to prevent from getting worse and experience an epic fail!

So the morale is.. if you feel like you are getting sick.. getting a cold.. and it is cold outside.. don't freeze this day too :)

Day 4: 101,9 km of bridge to bridge madness

I had two ideas for this day. The first idea was to get a good amount of kilometers. Meaning, at least 100 km. The second idea, was to climb as little as possible. So the choice was to ride part of my commuting route back and forth.. the perceivable flattest part. The pit stop here was essential, as well as my Aftershockz Titanium, which kept me entertained by listening to Tim Krabbe's "The Rider" audiobook, and the radio. Life saver.

As the title might imply, this ride was not very eventful, more repetitive in nature, I just needed to get some kilometers in!




One of the bridges, Ulvøybrua One of the bridges, Ulvøybrua
Local loop insanity Cooking a bit in between loops

Day 5: Looping insanity - 44,8 km

This was easily the most tedious day. First of all, I rode 5 km, and experienced a flat tyre (my first!). Lucky since I was close to home all day doing some short flat loops. It must be said, that my experience changing tubes and tires is not vast, so this is a very, very slow process for me. I finished listening to Tim Krabbe's "The Rider" this day.

Not much to say about day 5, a study in determination and patience, and adding kilometers to reach the goal.

Why such a tedious route this day? First of all, the next day I was planning a new 100 km, so I needed to keep this ride nice and easy. I'm not in great shape (yet?), so I needed to save myself to endure the rest of the days hunting the 500 km mark.


Day 6: Visiting friends - 84,2 km

The ride of day 6 had purpose, which made it much more fun. We have friends that recently had a baby, so we were going to visit them. Lucky for me, they live around 50 km away, so it would make for some good riding back and forth. The plan was that I started a couple of hours before my wife and the kids drove there. I would have lunch and a break, and then ride back.

Unfortunately, I hadn't been there before, which gave me some navigation problems. Meaning, when I got 17 km from the destination, my iPhone, where I was running Google maps to guide me, decided to.. start dying (battery 5%). Fortunately, my wife was not far away, and picked me up at a coffee shop, where I had some warm cacao... which I really needed. Like I've mentioned, the weather was mild, but being outside between 1 to -4 Celsius for a while will make you cold :) Needless to say, I sat in the car for the last 17 km, and cheated myself from the worst climbs ;)

At our friends place, I was served some good food to refuel, and my friends wife, who recently gave birth, and seemed to be in awesome shape, just decided to whip up some pasta with home made pesto, so I could carb up for the ride home. It was.. awesome :)

Refueled and rested, with a full iPhone battery, I said goodbye and made myself ready to bike the 50 km back. My wife stayed there longer, since my ride would obviously take much longer than her driving back home.. :)

The ride back got tedious at some point, due to me getting somewhat lost around parts where you have to find ways around the highway. In addition, it was dark and cold. One of the challenges of the northern hemisphere is that in the winter, the daylight does not last for long.

Anyway, after being a bit lost some places, I finally got to the areas that I know well, and home I got this time too. Accumulated, this was a 84,2 km ride. This meant that the 500 km mark was close, within grasp. Only 100,3 km left! :)



Picked up by the supportcrew My support crew saving the day when the phone died
Sunlight by Tranby I got a bit of sunlight on the way back, nearby Tranby outside of Oslo
500 km woohoo! 500 km woohoo! #festive500 done! :)

Day 7: Svartskog ride and looping insanity - 102 km

This day, I decided that I would wrap this up! And then, the most enjoyable day of riding started. Who knows, perhaps it was because I decided that I would complete the #festive500 this day?

The weather was extra mild, and I just decided to take a slightly harder road that I had tried during some of my preparation rides. This route led me to Svartskog. It is quite nice to bike there, it is special in the sense that, one moment you are in the suburbs, and after a slight climb, you are in a different world. Farms, nice long roads, nice views etc.

I rode a loop, and then after a few bridge-to-bridge runs, like in day 4, I took a break at home after 65,2 km. I had some dinner with the wife and kids, and an unwilling, but likely necessary power nap, and then I was ready to go again.

The last stage, was loop insanity as in day 5. I figured, I would do this, since I would be close to home, and I could help getting the kids ready to, and in bed. This happened after 10 km. After getting the kids in bed, I got on the saddle again, I had a small errand of picking up something at the post office. Get back home, then start again. And finally.. CHALLENGE COMPLETED :D !




Day 8: DONE with a day to spare, and a few extra km delivering the kids to my parents

So.. I was already done with the #festive500, but.. some extra kilometers cannot hurt anyone? Seems like the GPS went slightly wild while I was at my parents, not sure why.

Strava (GPS went a bit wild somewhere):

Bioracer mnemonic kit Christmas Eve, after picking up the kit at work. Trying to do the "Assos" pose. The bike kit is from Bioracer.