Our friends at Westerley are organising a Christmas season event and they are inviting Willesden CC. Even if the full 500 is impractical, you can do a bit and give something for a very good cause.

This is what Christmas is all about, getting out on the road to play with your new toys and burning off some calories. Did anyone mention that the weather can be unpredictable? No worries, just ask Santa for a rain jacket and thermals. Even better, get a smart trainer and do all or some of the rides indoors!

The Festive 500 is designed to get us out on our bikes during the festive season holidays and started as a marketing ploy by Rapha. However, after 2019 Rapha decided not to award any of their sought after sew on patches to folks completing the challenge. So we have created our own version just for you.

Westerley CC’s Dave Morrison has combined a few things to rectify the Rapha retraction, and hopefully rectify a nasty disease along the way. Ride a Festive 500 for Harrison’s fund and raise money for research into Duchenne Disease and you can have one of these special badges. SIGN UP HERE 

You may not have heard of Duchenne, it’s not the most prevalent disease, but it is a very nasty and cruel disease. It only affects boys, and kills most of them before adulthood. Victims are born with it but decline and wither away during their teens. There are no survivors. The pain is intensified by the fact that, as a rarer condition, public funds for research are directed at more prevalent diseases. This just adds to the despair endured by families with affected sons.

Dave has done a number of long distance rides to raise money into research for Duchenne with his friend film producer Nick Taussig (BAFTA nominated McQueen last year). Nick has two sons with Duchenne. Nick and Karla only found out when their second son was born, that the first already had this fatal disease.

So, whether you just want to ride, want a badge or want to help fund some research into this disease, why not sign up for the Festive 500 Challenge?

You can sign up with Harrison’s Fund, named after Harrison Smith, a Duchenne victim. It’s a small charity and your money will reach the front line, rather than get absorbed in big charity overheads. You can also link your STRAVA account so that your Kilometres are logged with the charity. It’s as easy as that, plus of course getting a few friends, relatives, clubmates and sympathisers to help you raise £500.

Westerley have a selection of local rides which you may choose to use to build up your distance. In fact, we are contemplating doing club rides using these routes over the holiday. You can also ride your own routes of course. But the real challenge can be the unpredictable weather…which may dictate how many kilometres you may choose to do on any given day. Non-members are welcome to join us on these rides but remember, if the weather is bad, unlike the Rapha non-patch version, the Harrison’s Fund version allows indoor rides! You are welcome to ride both challenges simultaneously but only the Harrison’s Fund version offers the finisher’s patch.

Here is our Westerley CC Festive Fayre:

Christmas Eve Ride 151km

Xmas Day Morning Mission 47km

Boxing Day Morning Ride 70km

Knock Out Ninety Seven 97km

Filler Fifty 50km

Westerley Xmas Fat Burner 85km

Wing Tring Thing 201km

Bad Weather Filler Ride 30km

Forty miles of fun 64km

PLUS The Box Hill New year’s Eve Fleche.

We suggest that routes are allocated to particular days nearer the dates, based on weather conditions and general consensus if group rides are the order of the day. We are also contemplating a ride to Box Hill on New Year’s Eve where Nick Taussig and his family will meet us will refreshments. Anyone can ride to Box Hill on the day from any start point, a Fleche /Arrows as Audax riders will know, is a ride starting anywhere with a common target, in this case Box Hill.



Once you click to register it will take you to a more detailed event page where you can complete your registration & it will automatically set up your fundraising page.

There is an option to link your Strava account to your fundraising page. You can then publish your rides to your page. Here is an example for you to see what it looks like


Watch out for developments on www.Westerley.cc nearer the time for details of club rides.

Dave Morrison’s tips:

I’ve done the Festive 500 three times and tend to be weather watching all throughout Xmas. If Christmas Eve has nice weather I try and do a long ride to knock out as many kilometres as possible in case the rest of the week is miserable.

I get up early on Christmas morning and do a short urban ride around Harrow. You’ll find very little traffic about and can get back early to be with the family.

Similarly on Boxing day I get out for a ride as early as possible to be back in time for whatever is planned in the afternoon with the family (or football)

The following days I pick the length of ride according to the weather conditions.

I always have a short back up urban ride for really bad days, just to score some kilometres and avoid piling on the pressure towards the end.

But of course, it will be so much more easily planned with Harrison’s Fund as they allow indoor rides to count.

What’s stopping you? SIGN UP HERE 

FOOTNOTE: The spirit of the Festive 500 has always been about getting out on the bike over Christmas and the New Year. However, in the modern world of smart trainers it seems a bit unfair that everyone needs to suffer all weathers so, subsequently, it was decided to allow participants to include indoor rides logged on Strava towards their total. This will also allow a few evening rides to count if you have family or work commitments. Whilst some may lament this shift in ‘derring-do’, we would suggest that anyone who wants to do all of their rides outside, still can. More importantly, it may help raise more to fight this deadly disease, which we are sure you’ll agree is far more important. Thanks for your support. If you can’t ride, please sponsor a mate.


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