A 500km road ride based on the Rapha Festive 500

It is with regret that we have felt it right to cancel this years event, due to the current rise in cases of the Omicron Covid variant, which is likely to be even more prolific at the time we hold the event.

But rest assured, we plan on running this again in 2022, and we hope that you will join us then for an even bigger and better event.

The Polar Express 500 is a brand new cycling event for 2021, based around the annual Rapha festive 500km challenge. 

What is the Rapha challenge?

Each year between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, Rapha challenges riders over the 8 days to ride 500 kilometres and log their rides on the Festive 500 challenge Strava group.  It’s not a race, but a challenge for yourself to tackle in anyway that you see fit.

But, for many, there is the added challenge in time, juggling family commitments with the desire to cycle.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could complete your distance in over a couple of days, on a series of carefully thought out routes in the company of other like-minded riders?


The ride will happen over 2 days (it is 500Km) with a 36 hour window in which to complete it in over the 28th and 29th December, more details to be announced.

Welcome to the Polar Express

Partnering with Random Adventure we have organised 2 such adventures to enable you to ride the whole thing over 36 hours.

There are two options. 

1 – The frozen north, hosted by Random Adventures (Northern monkey) is centred around Preston, Routes are created from a central hub which will be your base for the ride. The venue includes a big room, house ale, a Big PA system and a decent sized floor to grab some kip on

2 – The wet and windy south, hosted by Be Your Adventures (Southern softy) is centred around Shedfield, nr Fareham in Hampshire, again a variety of routes have been created with Sandy Acres Guide Centre as the hub.  This venue gives you access to showers and even a dormitory bed if you wish (for a donation to Solent Mind).

Routes will take you to the New Forest, The South Downs, and the seaside – ice cream anyone?

On both events, we have carefully selected a variety of routes for you to chose from. Mix and match from the provided routes to find your perfect combination based on your preferences. You might decide to pick 2 x 150km and 2 x 100km routes, or maybe 3 x 150km and 1 x 50km.  The choice is yours. Although we encourage riders to try to complete the whole distance during the Polar Express, of course you are free to complete any missing km’s in your own time after the event should you wish.

We have some amazing giveaways for you. Our good friends at Tailfin have provided some extra special, bike-packing gear for two lucky winners. Full details of how you can win will be provided with your entry pack. Any one could win, and it’s not all about being the fastest.

Check my kit review to find out even more about this amazing kit.

Click Here for more details if you are interested in the Frozen North option.

The Wet & Windy South

The Sandy Acres Guide camp is the perfect venue as a central hub for you to be based to complete the event. With plenty of parking, access to showers and 24 beds available in dormitories, you’ll be able to come and go as you please throughout the event.  Shedfield is also located near to Fareham, Botley & Hedge End where you will find mainline train services and hotels should you prefer more luxury accommodation

We will be onsite for the full 36 hours, providing encouragement, support and more importantly food.

Registration opens at 00:01 on Sunday 31st October 2021

Entries are strictly limited, so to get on the start list, click below .

You will be sent to Si Entries, who are handling all online entries 

You will make your choice of routes to total 500km, and then ride each one, always returning back to the central hub.
We’ve done the route planning for you, so you don’t have to,