Tuesday 24 December 2019

Rapha Festive 500 - Park Life tour: Day 1, Richmond Park

Kms ridden: 80
Kms left: 420

Weather: Overcast with sunny intervals; 8 degC

Parks: Richmond; Wimbledon; Norwood Country

Route on Strava

Another year, another Festive 500. It's great to get in with the spirit of this event, which has been going for 10 years now. I know some folks are a bit sceptical about it and aren't into this sort of global fad of riding 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

I have to say I have a penchant for it because it's a sure fire way of getting me out of the house to ride my bike every day - especially as I'm at an age where even sniffing at food makes me pile on calories.
So I am in favour of anything that counters the middle-age spread - especially at a time when the Christmas binge is de rigueur.

Sawyer's Hill, Richmond Park
My theme for last year's Festive 500 was disused railway lines.  This year it is parks. So I will aim to get around city parks, country parks and national parks.

Today was quite straight forward as I visited parks not too far from home.

Christmas Eve is always a difficult day as I have to fit it in around last minute Christmas preparations, so my mileage tends to be fairly average.

I was glad to get in 50 miles by doing a few laps of Richmond Park and then making tracks via Wimbledon Park, and passing my local South Norwood Country Park to reach home.

I would have like to have done Bushy Park, but time caught up with me.

As usual, there were quite a few people riding laps of Richmond Park,  though numbers were a little down partly due to Christmas commitments I imagine, as well as a dodgy weather forecast.

We've had a lot of rain recently, and today also had its share. Throughout the ride, the Kingston side of Richmond Park had angry skies above it. Everywhere looked grim, and there was a sense that the rain would come bucketing down at any moment. Conversely, on the Roehampton side of the park everywhere was bathed in glorious sunshine. Commonly, both sides were pretty cold and I didn't even get hot as I huffed and puffed up Sawyer's Hill and Broomfield Hill.

Having a break at Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park
The cold weather was a little downer on the day as I hadn't been expecting it, and I had become accustomed to warm rain!

The forecast for this week is once again changeable, so I may also amend my itinerary to benefit from the least unpleasant weather. I guess that's a perk of having a parks-based theme. There are parks everywhere!

Here's hoping for nice weather for Christmas Day.

Related posts
Reflections on Rapha Festive 500

Why I like the Festive 500

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