Category Archives: Fun Rides

12.23.2019: The Festive 500: The 8 Rules

It’s that magical time of year, when all training plans get derailed and ideas of what training smartly is get tossed to the side.

It’s the Rapha Festive 500… what is this you ask, and how does one accomplish this? One must ride 500k(we speak of no miles this time of year) between Xmas Eve and NYE & it must all be outdoors… no Watopia for the Festive!!!

Family time, holidays, work, weather… these will all challenge you… but I’ve spoken with a 7-time #festive500 completer Mr. Mike Wolford, and he has dropped some knowledge on us. Mike said “the Festive is a state of mind” and he always sticks to his 8 tips that we will just call rules… cause in Mike’s dad voice… nothing ever just sounds tips he’s sharing!

Join the challenge on Strava:

Rapha site:

12.31.2016: #festive500 Day 08: No Ride, Called in Sick!

Day 8, I’m roasted, toasted, spent and worn down… womp womp waaaaahhhh… but this is my first successful Festive 500 so Ted and I celebrate with a fresh new Rapha cap and a photoshoot!

Can’t decide, do we go with bill up like in the movie White Men Can’t Jump…. Ted looking very Wesley Snipes here!

Or do we go very flatbill and undercover… very low profile as to not alert the media when Ted is on the race scene?

No matter how we wear it, we already decided that Ted looks better in it than my big old melon does!

12.30.2016: #festive500 Day 07: Fatty Urban Playtime

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The week was starting to catch up to me so tonight was just about getting out and having some fun on the Big O(aka my Specialized Fatboy)!

Rode to Bloomington Cycle & Fitness to catch up with the shop crew and then took the Constitution Trail to Uptown Normal to be a punk kid and practice riding all the stairs up and down. I had a blast and even though I wasn’t feeling awesome I was still glad I got out and rode.

The Data: Ride on Strava.

12.29.2016: #festive500 Day 06: Ride Everyday.

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When does an easy spin ride on the Constitution Trail become more heated? Easy answer is just add one teammate, and it pops off even faster each additional teammate that gets added, haaaa.

This was my first day back at work this week so it was time to hit a night ride with the fellas. We met up at Bloomington Cycle & Fitness and decided with the wind we’d ride the Constitution Trail all the way north and then all the way east. Things were rolling smooth until we hit a patch of glass out east. We all stopped to check our tires… all tires were fine but then I noticed I had a broken spoke…time to roll it home smooth and easy to avoid it getting out of true and having to call sag… aka the wife for an embarrassing pick up!

Special Guests: Mark Tank, Jon Kiner, Dan Boser

The Data: Ride on Strava.

12.28.2016: #festive500 Day 05: 500k & then some!

As the Festive core crew rolls out… three of us will pass the 500k mark today, three days early to our delight!

This was an exciting ride… one of those days when you know you are going to hit the mark, not worried about performance or how you feel. Spirits were high and the conversations were up as well. This was my first time completing the Festive 500 in three attempts. Year one had 2-3 days or freezing rain and ice. Last year we traveled back and forth to Canada during the festive and nothing like 8hr days in the car to kill your effort level combined w/then having to ride solo at night… naaaah.

Left to right: Myself, Chris Daniels and Mike Wolford all well over the 500k mark on day 5. Now off to scout out the Cold Roll course.

Special Guests: Scott Davis, Chris Daniels, Mike Wolford, Matt Wilcoski

The Data: Ride on Strava.

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Next I drove out to the Timber Pointe Outdoor Center to do some fatbike recon for what the Cold Roll 2017 course could be with Scott, Dave and Gina.

While out on the Timber Pointe trails my GoPro Session caught a fun little whiteout by Scott Davis so I had to put a quick edit together… enjoy!

Special Guests: Scott Davis, Dave Osnowitz, Gina Mandros

The Data: Ride on Strava: Cold Roll Recon!

The Data: Ride on Strava: Cold Roll 2015 Course: Ripp’n Rad!

12.27.2016: #festive500 Day 04: 3 Musketeers Ride

Day 4, tired legs, tired mind and body… but according to Wolford, the key to Festive success is to ride everyday & take off work… so that we did!

This day was a struggle. Energy was at an all time low… everything was sore & tired. So we met up at the Constitution Trail spot we call the Y and the ride route and distance negotiation began. We decided on the Nasty Nate Recovery Route… aka the Nathan Bridges go west in to the wind then cruise back to town and duck back in to the CT for a easy spin home. Mission accomplished… and then an epic nap! zzzzzzZZZZZZ…

The Nasty Nate Recovery Route: go West my friend!

The spin back with the tailwind was glorious… the conversation and clowning really picked up then!

Special Guests: Mike Wolford, Chris Daniels

The Data: Ride on Strava.

12.26.2016: #festive500 Day 03: 160k or Bust!

Wolford says to ride a two-a-day, and ride long when the weather allows, so that we did my friends.

Festive day 3 brought us sugar/carb-filled stomachs and an opportunity to ride a two-a-day. The Bloomington Cycle and Fitness race team had a 10am ride planned so a core crew of #festive500 hopefuls set out for an early ride to slog some K’s with the rain still on the roads. We didn’t really get rained on that day but the winds were nasty and the roads were wet. That meant you were either pulling in the wind or eating gravel, dirt and some random form of moisture from the tire in front of ya… nasty but still fun riding with all your bros!

When the Festive presents you with a peloton and winds of 20mph+, you tuck in tight!

There are definite + / – ‘s to joining team rides during the Festive.

Many bodies to tuck in behind on Festive day 3 On Festive day 3 they don’t have 227k in their legs
They don’t speak in K’s
They don’t wanna talk about the #festive500
They think we are all idiots

You never make fun of a teammate getting a flat, …unless it’s on the way home, and you’re really close to home, and they are a triathlete and only another triathlete waits for them. Soooooo, in this instance it’s okay then.

Special Guests: Chris Daniels, Mike Wolford, Aaron Fader, John Wyatt Danenberger, Matt Wilcoski, Kevin Gann, Rick Lindquist, Ken Hoepker, Gerrit Sinclair, Mark Tank, Jon Kiner, Brad Reid

The Data: Ride on Strava.

12.25.2016: #festive500 Day 02: Santa’s Helper Ride!

Barely a soul in sight today on the Constitution Trail, even Santa’s Station was vacant in Uptown Normal.

Today was a bonus day, a sneak out for a quick 60k before we head to Forsyth, IL, for a Keller Christmas celebration with the family. Riding almost the whole Constitution Trail I only saw a few runners braving the temps and winds. But of course I still ran in to the Mayor of the Constitution Trail, Mr. Green Merino wool sweater himself Mike Wolford. And our conversation went a little something like this.

Me: Hey Mikeeeeeeeeeey!
Mike: Hey
Me: Cold out here eh?
Mike: Yup
Me: Not many people out here today
Mike: Nope
Me: Alright buddy gonna get 60k and head home
Mike: Yup, gotta ride the whole CT, & rides away.
Me: Merry Christmas!

Mikey, a man of many miles and not many words.

Special Guests: Mike Wolford

The Data: Ride on Strava.