Rapha Festive 500 – Days 2 & 3

Day 2 Christmas Day

My son Joshua woke us way too early, enthusiastically jumping up and down on our bed, shouting that Santa had arrived and it was time to open the presents. Both my wife and I could have used at least a couple more hours of sleep, as the previous nights “Noche Buena” party had, as usual, run long, not to mention that we may have had a few too many glasses of Sangria, but wake we did.

The morning coffee and breakfast would have to wait as opening presents was the order of the day, as we watched our son, as well as our puppy tear into the stack of gifts under the tree. As usual, the two of them made out like bandits. Star Wars and Lego Dimensions were hot commodities. The First Order was well represented, as well as vintage Star Wars gear, while the Lego Dimensions packs included everything from Dr. Who to the Simpsons.

After a long morning and afternoon of play, recreating practically every scene from all the Star Wars movies, I found a small opportunity to get out for my traditional Christmas Day ride. Flatwoods Park was closed so I drove out to the Suncoast Trail, to burn off the previous nights extra slice of pecan pie….who am I kidding, I needed to burn off a second helping of everything! Hey it’s Christmas, we are all allowed to “over indulge” a bit!


The Suncoast trail head parking lot was surprisingly desolate. Just a couple of cars, as well as Kurt’s, AKA Tarzan, van were present. I mounted up and headed out down the trail with he idea to get in 40-50 miles before sunset. At about mile 28, I saw Kurt and his wife riding the opposite direction. I was going to turn and join them, but the sun was already starting to dip behind the trees. With no lights on my bike, I had no choice but to race the nightfall back to the lot.

I was only able to get in 34.8 miles at a pace of 18.2 mph, but at least it made a big dent in the previous days calorie overload. Only 223 more miles to go.

Day 3 Spinning at Flatwoods

It was back to the friendly confines of Flatwoods seven mile loop of pristine tarmac, where I had planned to do the majority of my miles. The morning was already exceptionally muggy, even by Florida standards. It was projected to be a hot one today…yes Christmas and it’s in the 90’s in Florida, so we got an early jump on the day’s ride.


My friend Jim joined me at the start. We got in a couple of easy laps before we met up with our buddies from the Island Riders. We were hoping to set up a strong pace line to help out Kurt’s progress, but after 43 miles we never ran into him…a common problem out at Flatwoods since it’s one way traffic only.

Hot, soaked through from sweat, and hungry, we called it an early day. Only 178 more miles to go.




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