Christmas is almost upon us, a time to laze around, overeat and watch Die Hard for the 1000th time. Or is it? Why not start the year with a bang, claw back some winter fitness and have a good excuse to ride off all those mince pies. This Christmas we are joining forces with Hannah Barnes to ride 500 km between the 24th December – 31st December, it’s time for #hannahsfestive500.

Post up your best Festive 500 shots with the tag #hannahsfestive500 and be in with the chance of winning this actual EWS race jersey, signed by Hannah. [image by Sebastian Shieck]

From Hannah: “With Christmas just around the corner, it’s that time of year where evenings are long and cosy, food is overly rich and indulgent, one glass of wine becomes two, and any thoughts of getting out on two wheels and braving the elements get put to one side. This year I decided to base the festive period around long days in the saddle and start the new year content and with a solid base fitness. Mulled wine and mince pies by the fire would be all the nicer for having been out no matter what the weather and feeling that satisfying energised glow afterwards! The aim is to ride 500km between Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. In 2010 Rapha laid down the #festive500 challenge for cyclists worldwide to attempt the distance, it has since become a festive ritual for tens of thousands of cyclists ever since. This year I decided to jump in and take on the challenge myself! I’m excited for the highs, lows, epic views, sun, hail, burning legs and everything in-between!”

Gravel, mountain or road, it does not matter, as long as you tick off those kilometers.

Hannah will be completing her #hannahsfestive500 on the gravel roads and trails of her hometown in the Scottish Highlands. As a rider on the Specialized team, we asked her what bike she will be using. “I have chosen to use a Specialized Diverge, capable of shredding single track crushing road miles whilst putting a big smile on your face. The new Open Road Geometry of the Diverge features a low BB, a slacked out head tube angle, short chainstays, a short wheelbase, Future Shock suspension with 20mm of travel and front/rear thru axles. This bike is the perfect weapon of choice to punch out miles whilst keeping it fun!” We asked Hannah if she had any more tips. “It’s essential to layer up depending on wind and temperature. Layers is better than one bulky jacket. You can’t beat merino wool for layering. Also get some good shoes, I find my Specialized Trail Defroster Mountain Bike Shoes – a MUST for long winter rides. Before I found these my winter rides got progressively more miserable as my feet quickly turned to ice blocks! These are a game changer if you have cold snowy winters!”

Switching the flat bars for drops, Hannah will be riding her 500km on a Specialized Diverge.
Dress for success: Hannah is wearing a Specialized Women’s Deflect Reflect Hybrid Jacket with removable arms to make a gilet if things heat up. Specialized Women’s Deflect Gloves, a Specialized S-Works Women’s Prevail helmet and SMITH Attack Max glasses.

ENDURO have partnered up with Hannah and she will be taking over our @enduromag Instagram during the Christmas break. You can follow her Festive500 journey using the #hannahsfestive500 tag. If you want to get involved, add a #hannahsfestive500 tag to your own Festive 500 ride shots on Instagram over the Christmas period and the best one will win one of Hannah’s actual EWS race shirts – personally signed too! So, get out there, chip off the kilometers and breath in that fresh winter air.

How many km’s can you tick off this Christmas

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Words: Photos: Brodie Hood