Festive 1500

Festive 1500

Only a few months after the launch of VENERATE we hear almost daily about great adventures, success-stories and inspiring people using our products and want to share them with you!

We start the „My Venerate Story“ series with Hannes. A real long distance specialist who’s working a full time job in Frankfurt usually but decided to let his cycling passion take over between Christmas and New Years. Here is what happened:




Like many of you we‘ve been fighting the (particularly) bad weather, cold temperatures and other distractions again to complete the yearly #festive500 challenge. 

A personal challenge, created by Rapha, to ride 500 kilometers between 24th and 31st of December. 

There have been several changes to the challenge this year like no leaderboard, no actual real-life badge for the successful completion and the count of indoor rides but the general spirit of the Festive remained.

While for most of us the task to simply ride 500 kilometers in those 8 days in between actual jobs, family gatherings and other commitments is already a tough task, others needed more.

We caught up with one of those special endurance riders and asked him about his experiences.


Hey Hannes, thanks for taking the time to talk us through your personal #festive1500 in 2020. A demanding year for most of us. How could you still find the physical strength and mental power in the last 8 days of the year to complete such an impressive performance?

First of all, of course, my love of cycling - especially the long rides - are the reason for the triple. In addition, I was able to lay a good foundation throughout the year, so that neither my head nor my body were empty. Even though I regularly rode alone due to the Corona restrictions, I repeatedly had motivating company.


Do you follow a special nutrition strategy before, during or after your rides?

All that food over the holidays is special enough.... Jokes aside, I try to eat enough carbohydrates in form of potatoes and rice. It’s also important to eat regularly during the ride right from the start, energy bars, so-called „Silberlinge", and to drink enough. I also tried to keep the breaks as short as possible, to keep the wheels spinning. After the tour and a recovery shake, the game started all over again.


Did you make any changes to your equipment for this year or do you have some hacks for us?

The bike was about the same as the year before, nothing special but solid and reliable material.  I switched to my aerodynamic wheelset because the routes were mostly flat. A spare wheel and a winter bike with mudguards were also prepared just in case. Equally important was the right clothing, where I learned a lot from last year and equipped myself more appropriately. My shoes, VENERATE Road One, were completely new and did a perfect job. I had no muscular or other problems and even after the long rides in the wet, they were dry and ready for use again the next morning. A small hack perhaps: always start against the wind first and enjoy the ride.



We noticed you managed to ride two times for more than 300 kilometers in those 8 days. An insane accomplishment in itself but within all those long rides it‘s even more impressive. How do you manage to recover between rides and get ready to step onto the bike again the next morning?  

Thanks to the many opportunities of the summer with rides up to 500 km long, I have become well accustomed to the 300 units. In addition to the nutrition already mentioned, sufficient sleep and proper stretching are especially important. Not to forget one of the highlights finds of the year: my acupuncture mat. Even on rest days, I always rode at least 100km so that my body wouldn't think the challenge was already over and shut down.


Did you experience any real difficult moments which maybe made you think about throwing the towel? 

I didn’t want to throw in the towel at any point, but day 5 was pretty difficult. I was caught in a heavy downpour completely out of the blue, and since I was riding on open terrain, I was at the mercy of it. Even the best clothes didn't offer enough protection, so I had to ride on for the next four hours, wet to the skin - at a pleasant 1-2 degrees. The other difficult moment was when I realized that there was no leaderboard this year. Unfortunately, there was no comparison with participants from all over the world. Something I really enjoyed the last years.

Should we be scared about 2021? How is it gonna end if the official leaderboard makes a return?

Last year, the Challenge was won in Germany with almost 1400 km. Therefore, I orientated myself towards the 1500, starting with low kilometers in order to be able to increase at the end. In addition, I was still somewhat involved in the family Christmas. The top three of last year's World Challenge all finished above the 2000 km mark. Of course, that's quite something. But - I like the cold weather, the material is on point and with shoes like these you can only win…or at least try to.


Thanks for those insights Hannes. Keep on riding, pushing the limits and #dontwastewatts

If you want to share your story with us send an email to mystory@venerate.cc. We´re more than happy to hear from you!

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