I like to think I’m cooler than my dad. Maybe he’s cooler than me and I don’t see it. I get plenty of character traits from the man. Some of which I’m not proud of (being stubborn and relentless), many of which I am proud of (being stubborn and relentless). These are the traits that we’ve let loose and bonded over when we’ve ridden our bikes together for the past 10+ years.


We’re roughly the same age when these photos were taken.


There’s a cycling challenge on Strava called the Rapha Festive 500. It’s an event that challenges cyclists all over the world to ride 500 kilometers (roughly 320 miles) between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. That’s 8 days. There are about 49,000 participants this year, and my dad and I were two of them. About 25% of these people are able to complete it, and if you think it’s crazy that people actually do this during the holidays, you’re not wrong. In defense of the event, it’s a great way to decompress from family time.


Here are photos from behind my dad’s wheel, a familiar sight, and one that I’ve known for the 10+ years we’ve ridden bikes together.


Last year, I averaged 50 miles a day, for 7 days, in the freezing 20 degree weather of New England to complete it. This year, it was in the 30s and 40s for most of it, so I was able to complete it in 5 days by putting in longer rides. It’s still surprising to put this many miles in the off-season, in December of all months, but it really does make me envious of cyclists in places like California where it never drops below freezing…I can bike all year. 


From last winters’s Festive 500: This year felt more like autumn than winter. Two Festive 500's in the bag, and counting.


Anyways, my dad and I completed the challenge again this year. We lucked out with sunshine and warm weather, but through it all, it didn’t feel very “festive”. We strangely missed the snow covered roads and the hidden patches of black ice…but we’re not complaining!

AdventuresAlec Babala