MY 2013 #FESTIVE500 EFFORT: Covering New Ground and Going the Distance

[Draft Edition Published to Meet the Deadline – Editing still in Progress]

Covering ground instinctively implies progress quantified by distance.

Way back in the day, 1997 to be exact, the first CD I ever bought was Cake “Fashion Nugget”. Of course, Going the Distance is what the Festive 500 is all about. (Yes, I know about the Chuck Ragan song too ; ))

But to me, besides metaphors being fun, I’ve found that December really has become a pivotal time where I’ve found myself either at the starting line, staring down the challenge or already in the throes of covering new ground. These kilometers accumulated at year end symbolize momentum built up for a new beginning.

So in a number of ways, this annual cycling endeavor challenges me differently each year. Each time the terrain has been different. Like other challenges, I achieve it despite the obstacles. For the Festive 500 this has meant new friends in new circumstances in new cities each year.

In 2011, I was intentionally between jobs about to take a leap of faith to see if the shoe fit at Highgroove Studios, a year later, I was a month into being a Big Nerd and in 2013 I was three months into expat life working hard to help make Big Nerd Ranch big in Europe!.

Cool story bro, what about bikes?

Well, for my inaugural Festive 500 accomplishment: group rides, sunshine and no steep inclines. Then barren frozen solitude was theme in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania. Last year was hard: brutal frigid temps, nearly no wheels to suck for the entire 500km save one day of camaraderie. And the home stretch was mired in sketchy black ice patches, snow drifts and early AM hours in the dark. Whoa. Luckily, 2013 wasn’t as cold nor lonely by far and may have been my best yet!

Like 2012, the 2013 write-up will be ‘condensed‘ to a single entry. Enjoy!

Day 1 | 12/24/13 | 22.3km

A albeit less than epic but certainly scenic start to this year’s effort began with a simple and standard leg of my daily commute to Amsterdam Noord.

Some grocery shopping on the way home.

And one final schlep out to tally up a meager 22.3km

Day 2 | 12/25/13 | 47.3km

Christmas Day is hardly ideal for a bike ride and considering it was our first as a family in Europe. I knew I was pushing the limit. But, unsure of how much time I’d have throughout the week, I was keen to captures some kilometers.

I set a random target and headed south. At one point I was rolling under the tarmac at Schiphol.

Snuck in a fun ride picking up Chinese takeout!

Day 3 | 12/26/13 | 211km

Same strategy as the previous day. Start early and tally up some distance. I knew Marc had a ride planned but wasn’t sure how much of it I’d do.

By the time we met, I had knocked out 60km. And turns out I’d been for my first trip to Den Haag.

I even managed a quick write up that day and recently got some additional 35mm outtakes back from the lab:

Cheers to William of Unpaved.cc for the amazing route!

Day 4 | 12/27/13 | 26km

A ‘rest day’ of tooling around Amsterdam with the kids started with a #Bakfiets500 cameo on the on the Rapha Instagram. ; )

Day 5 | 12/28/13 | 12.8km

Very chill day comprised solely of our weekly grocery shopping adventure to the Nieuwmarkt organic market.

Day 6 | 12/29/13 | 271.1km

Longest day in the saddle yet! I’ll be spending time this weekend finishing this post by sharing this amazing ride’s story here but I haven’t been able to pen the post completely yet!

Day 7 | 12/30/13 | 32.5km

Spent the day exploring in and around Amsterdamse Bos with Otto and Mira!

Day 8 | 12/31/13 | 62.2km

Last Day! Another adventure but this time to the beach and back on the Bakfiets!

Conclusion and finished story will be up by the 19th! Grand total? 681km!