Rapha’s Festive 500 began in 2010 as a simple challenge: brave the winter elements and ride 500 kilometers between December 24-31.
Today it has grown into a popular global event, with last year’s challenge seeing over 65,000 finishers!
Thanks to Covid lockdowns, 2020 became the first year that virtual miles were allowed to count toward the challenge. They’re also being allowed this year, and Zwift+Rapha have jumped in with both feet to make this fun challenge a blast for riders on the platform.
Your task is to ride 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) in eight days, from December 24-31, 2021. Outdoor bike and handcycle rides count toward the total, and so do virtual rides, as long as you upload them to Strava.
This is all tracked through Strava, so you’ll need to sign up for the Strava Challenge and upload your rides to Strava if you want to be considered an official finisher.
All Zwift miles will count toward the challenge, but if you want some extra Festive 500 fellowship, Zwift has organized a set of group rides led by guest leaders who are also Rapha ambassadors – see the full list here.
These are all 60-minute rides, each held on a different Zwift route.
Looking for more company during your indoor Festive 500 efforts? Jump in with a Pace Partner group, available at four different effort levels.
Read all about Pace Partners on Zwift >
Complete any of the rides on Zwift’s #f500 list and unlock the Rapha Festive 500 kit in game. This kit is also available IRL from Rapha.
A drawing will be held using the list of Strava challenge participants who complete the challenge and submit their name, email address, and Strava ID. Rapha hasn’t yet stated what the prize will be, saying, “The prize is not yet available but will be revealed before the start of the Festive500 challenge on 24th December 2021.”
RuhrRiders Festive 500 Race Series
Here’s a twist: can you complete the Festive 500 in a series of daily races?
The RuhrRiders team has organized just such an event, friendly to European timezones. The series begins on Sunday, December 26th, with daily events until December 30th that total up to over 500km.
Beginning Sunday, December 26 @ 8:30am GMT
See all upcoming events on ZwiftHacks
WBR500 December 30
Why take eight days to complete the challenge, when you could do it in one? Once again this year, a group of Zwifters is organizing the WBR500 during the Festive 500.
What is the WBR500? A one-day effort to ride all or part of 500km to raise funds to buy WBR Buffalo Bikes and mobilize people through the power of bicycles.
We’ll publish a post about this series of events soon, but until then, here’s last year’s post.
Questions or Comments?
Are you up for the challenge? I know I’m in, just like last year. Share below!
Yes, I am in! I just hope my new Tacx Neo bike arrives in time!
I did this last year in 6 straight days entirely on Zwift but I don’t think I’ll do it again this year. Maybe if the weather forecast is good for that week (I mean the UK December version of good weather, so dry and above freezing) then I’d maybe consider doing some sort of mix of indoors & outdoors, around 50:50 perhaps… we shall see
What a shame you only need one Rapha group ride to unlock the kit in Zwift! So much for the bragging rights.
I agree. Yet another participation ribbon without any major effort required…
I seem to recall getting the jersey last year and I didn’t even enter the challenge, much less complete 500k.
That’s the same way it’s working this year, Richard. Zwift doesn’t have a “connection” to Strava where they know what challenges you’ve entered, or how many miles you’ve logged on Strava. So you unlock the kit by completing a designated Festive 500 ride on Zwift, regardless of whether you’ve entered the Strava challenge.
It’s not ideal (Zwift knows this) but they and/or Strava haven’t prioritized the work so change it.
How about this: If you finish the Festive 500 challenge on Strava, you get a code to unlock the Festive 500 kit in-game. Sure, some people will share the code with their friends, but it’s something.
I agree it would be better to have a Zwift Rapha500 kit because you did the whole challenge on Zwift.
I completed the challenge (rode 509km in Zwift) and got the Rapha Festive 500 badge in Zwift, but I didn’t get the special kit because none of my rides were on the Zwift #f500 list. 🤦🏻♂️😭
Just a question. I did the last year rapha 500. I wasnt on zwift then. But is it still possible to get the rapha 500 zwift kit?
Loving how accessible they’re making nice jerseys now, increases participation a lot. But I wish they’d make two tiers – one for participation and another for completion. Can almost guarantee you that more people will
complete full events when there are visually appealing digital rewards. Not really an oversight, I simply think they’re aware but don’t want to spend the resources making two kits etc. Shame because a simple colourway tweak might achieve it.
So last year, I did the Rapha 500, I recall I had to do something with an email to get the jersey and not unlock it via an event. In fact, I wrote an article about the Rapha 500 as I did a ride in every world. It became a mission. The jersey then appeared in my garage once I clicked and sent an email. I also remember there were issues with this – probably still on the forums in the archive. So certainly different this year if it is unlocked via an event.
Yes, I did my research and I had to email Zwift and their response was “At this time we have a known issue with the Rapha kit not getting credited and we are working on a solution. We appreciate your patience while we figure out a solution. I know this is frustrating.” – I got the jersey in the end so if it is the case that this year they are doing it differently and if you do get the jersey for just doing a ride, it takes the prestige away from toiling for 500km to earn it. Even now,… Read more »
Agree on the respect when I see the Rapha jerseys on Zwift in the last year, and I make sure to throw them a “Ride On” when I do see them. I do remember doing the email thing as well and it took a few days, but I did get it. It would be nice to have a little bit of a different design on the “event” Rapha jersey, since it does take the prestige away doing a 60 minute ride and unlocking the same kit that those have done the 500km rode hard, long and fast for. But again,… Read more »
Did the Rapha500 last year for the first time, and finished it with a 302Km ride (7 days/766kms total).
The goal for this year was to do it all in one day. But after the Zwift Insider PRL Full attempt last weekend, not too sure now. Will be interesting 🙂
Merry Christmas y’all! Got my first presents, the Rapha kit for the group ride and a lot of drops and ride ons from the pace partners.
And an achievement badge for Legends and Lava, although we were riding Tempus Fugit.
Seems to be a little bug: choose a route you’ve not ridden so far and choose pace partners. As long as the distance/power match, you can ride “parallel”, a lot of drops and the double xps for the route. Funny thing, would love to hear how one can exploit that.
Seems like there are very few Rapha rides to “earn* jersey. Disappointed. Looks like I will finish 500 this year and not even pick up a virtual jersey.
totally agree with all the comments about the kit. Last year we absolutely did not get the kit just for riding 60 minutes. We had a procedure to get it after we completed the 500km on Strava. If everyone gets a trophy I won’t be doing the event again. Call
me whatever name you want. That’s how reality works. I’m done with the Rapha 500 if there isn’t a finishers kit.
I hit the 500k on Tuesday then padded the riding out so that I had 500km of road riding included in my total. Seems pointless having a Festive 500 kit if it’s not even linked to completing the challenge.
Plus there’s no Festive 500 rides showing now on Zwift even if I wanted to do one before the end of the challenge. Bit of a let down really :/
I hear ya, Troy. I just knocked out 320 miles over the past four days. I was pleased to knock out a goal but find the kit pointless.
I completed the Rapha 500 on Zwift but didn’t know I had to complete a group ride to get the digital kit. Is there anyway of getting it now?