Festive 500

The Bike Affair

Back in 2010, Rapha launched one of its landmark challenges. They invited riders to log in a minimum of 500 km between Christmas and New Year and called it The Festive 500. The idea caught on and Festive 500 became an annual event. Last year, 82,376 riders signed up. So what is it about? Rapha says “It is not a mile-chasing thing but rather a journey. It’s about getting out there, enjoying being on your bike and riding with or visiting other people.” 

Rules are simple

  1. The ride needs to between Christmas and New Year eve and must be logged on Strava
  2. One can do it as a single ride or break it down into multiple rides, as long as all of them happen in those 8 days.
  3. Registration: Generally opens on Strava in December
  4. Trainer rides are not counted

For many of us, cycling has been a means to explore the countryside and the unventured. This just gives us an excuse to go out and do what we enjoy. So if you are one among them, this challenge can be too tempting to let go. In case you are new to Hyderabad and wondering where to go out riding, we have put together a few route suggestions for you. Obviously, we believe it is more fund do it like a single multi-day tour, so our route suggestions are in line with that.

Route  1 - The Maredumilly Challenger

Route: Hyderabad - Warangal - Yellandu - Bhadrachalam - Donkarai - Maredunilly - Bhadrahalam

Start Point: Hyderabad

End Point: Bhadrachaam

Distance: 673 km, but can be reduced to 560 by skipping Donkarayi

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/74vMkusTRayH78Z26

Road condition: Road bike worthy

 

About 10 of us did this route in 2015 Dec and covered the 673 km in 5 days. We had a sag vehicle to carry our luggage. We rode for 5 days through some beautiful countryside. On the 5th day evening, we took a train from Rajahmundry and came back to Hyderabad. The stretch between Bhadrachalam to Donkarai and Donkarai to Mareduilly is the most beautiful, but also most hilly.

Our night stops were Warangal, Bhadrahclam, Donkarai, and Mareduilly. At Warangal and Bhadrachalalam, the state tourism department runs Haritha provides comfortable rooms. There is no private accommodation in Donkarayi, and Maredumilly has only a handful of accommodations.

Route 2 - The Srisailam Mile Cruncher

Route: Hyderabad , Nagarjunsagar -Srisailam- hyderabad

Distance: 592 km (Last year we closed the ride about 70 km before it reaches  Gachibowli, right when the road merges into ORR)

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ceXymEnXW6eW1yVe7

Road condition: Road bike worthy

Over the last 2 years, some of us have done this route as a quickfire 3-day ride, logging in about an average of 170 km every day. The route has its own challenge imposed by the hills of Dornala and Srisailam., but pretty scenic as well. This is also a closed-circuit route making it logistically easy to execute. Both Nagarjunsagar and Srisailam has a few accommodation options.

Route 3 - The Lonar explorer

Route: Hyderabad - Nanded - Lonar Lake - Aurangabad

Distance: 590 km

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/JuV3qnFE9PbGDFa17

Road condition: Not sure

 

This is a route that I have been toying with some time, but have never managed to ride. The prime attraction of this route is  going to be the Lonar lakes and the caves near aurangabad. The return journey is probably best done in a bus from Aurangabad