Friday, December 30, 2011

The Rapha Festive 500 Round-up

If 2011 was my year of RECOVERY, 2012 will be my year of REDEMPTION. This is why ushering in the new year with Rapha's Festive 500 was so important.  A "Ride to Redemption" it was. As readers of this blog know in somewhat excruciating detail (move on already, they yell!), I suffered a catastrophic accident in August 2010 when a distracted driver hit me from behind on the Endless Mountains 1000K brevet I was using to train for Paris-Brest-Paris. After breaking 25 bones (including both legs), spending 6 weeks in the hospital and 18 months in physical therapy, I am ready to move on.  The Festive 500 could not have come at a better time. 500K represents my greatest weekly volume of riding since the accident and bodes well for the year ahead.

When I read about the challenge last week while perusing the Rapha website, I was not entirely sure I could pull it off. As a randonneur and ultra racer, I've ridden 500K in 24 hours on several occasions and 500K in a week many times, but that was all before the accident. What would the impact of this level of concentrated riding be on my system NOW? Would my legs hold up? Would my shoulder give out? Would I develop fatigue in my hips? While I've been riding at least one 200K event each month since July, I would not know the answers to these questions until I tried.

All told, riding 500K in a week was a piece of cake. The most difficulty came from squeezing time on the bike in between family plans, as is usually the case rather than any physical demands per se. The weather even generally cooperated with warmer and drier conditions than normally prevail in late December.

Here is a collection of blog posts chronicling each of my Festive 500 rides:

Day 1 (75K)
Day 2 (69K)
Day 3 (31K)
Day 4 (20K)
Day 5 (52K)
Day 6 (54K)
Day 7 (202K)

So repeat after me: "the word of 2012 is Redemption."

1 comment:

  1. George,
    First off Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Congratulations on your Festive 500 accomplishment as the culmination of an amazing year of recovery for you. If RUSA had a "Bounce Back" award you would surely be on the short list on contenders. I may not comment often, but I've certainly been following your progress over the past year, and if you think your perseverance and incredible positive attitude haven't been a source of inspiration to your peers, you would be wrong. Here's to a 2012 of redemption for you - new goals, new accomplishments and much joy.
    Ron Anderson