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23-12-2021 | Marcel van Herten

Wanted: challenges for the dark days around Christmas!

With the stricter coronation measures around Christmas and the consequent cancellation of all popular field trips, we are urgently looking for some other entertainment to offset that Christmas dinner. CycloWorld made a short selection of some nice (virtual) challenges for the days around Christmas and New Year. On the one hand to end 2021 on a high note and on the other hand to have a good intention for 2022.

Festive 500

Founded in 2009 and started in 2010, a British clothing brand organizes the #FESTIVE500 every year from December 24 to 31. The principle is simple: cycle 500 km between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The first edition had 94 participants, last year over 65,000 cyclists completed the distance. Includes associated Strava Challenge, clothing line, Zwift events and prizes!

Want to put a twist on the FESTIVE500? The "RuhrRiders" (one of Germany's largest Zwift communities) is organizing a similar event on Zwift at more reasonable times for European time zones. Check out their Facebook page for more info!

And following on from our ongoing short series on ultra bikes: the WBR500. From the World Bicycle Relief organization. Probably on December 30, 500km in 24 hours. Announced, exact details not yet known.

Alpecin Cycling X-mas Season Clash

Alpecin Cycling is one of the spin-offs that German hair care company Dr. Wolff has linked to its sponsorship of Pro Tour men's team Alpecin-Fenix and conti women's team Plantur-Pura. Aimed at sporty and adventurous cyclists, they have been organizing events for "Jedermann" for several years. Under the motto: Ride Uphill - burn fast (The Zwift Challenge to beat Christmas weight gain!). Five days in a row Alpe du Zwift and each day accompanied by a special guest from one of the sponsor teams. Besides more than 5.000 virtual meters of climbing, you also have the chance to win great prices after 5 days of the Alpe du Zwift!


January 1 is of course traditionally the day of family get-togethers, diving into some puddle or sea (preferably with a crazy hat on) and field trips. "That will all be difficult this year" they thought at cycling magazine Bicycling. So cycle a nice trip on 1 January, upload a photo on the social media channels and also have a chance to win nice prizes.

More virtual challenges

In addition, at the beginning of January there will be some fun other events/challenges from various well-known organizers and virtual platforms, a short selection:

  • Would you like to cycle through New York without traffic? Well virtually...via FulGaz you can. From 8 to 31 January 2022: FiveBoroBikeTour. And with the 30-day trial absolutely free.
  • If you've already checked out FulGaz: Haute Route is announcing a virtual challenge on January 10 in collaboration with their new virtual partner FulGaz. Check out the trailer. Just be sure to join the Haute Route Community.
  • Gran Fondo National Series is the organizer of the American GF circuit. In partnership with RGT Cycling App, a E-Fondo Series will start from January 9. Roads that most of us have never seen or ridden are now virtual. Use of RGT is free and again: fun prizes!
  • Zwift starts on January 10 with their annual Tour de Zwift. Always a super popular event on the virtual platform. Virtually all worlds are visited in 8 stages, where you have the choice of a long, medium and short route. And the ladies have their own rides (if any). As we've come to expect from Zwift, the payoff is a new virtual kit.
  • Another popular Zwift event is the Zwift Gran Fondo Series. Starts on December 31. Featuring all-new routes, with the choice of Gran (about 100km), Medio (75km) and Bambino (50km) routes. All info has been neatly collected by ZwiftInsider. Excellent virtual preparation for your 2022 cyclo season!
  • Super popular on Zwift: Badge Hunt. Simply put, ride all the routes and check off the challenges. Some of them are quite challenging. Zwift is lending a hand by doing it together in the Badge Hunt Series. Now started on December 16, but still runs through March 12. All the long routes you were so up against will be coming by.
  • Flame Rouge Racing will host a real stage race, with ITT and TTT, in Zwift from January 2-9: Tour Watopia. Real hardcore racing with your team. Be quick, registration closes already on December 24 at 10:00!
  • And do you love the British hill climb races? Check out the trial balloon by clothing brand Socks4Watts. If there is enough enthusiasm, a hill climb series will follow on Zwift. Given the large number of registrations for the first race on 23 December we expect a sequel. The principle is simple: you ride a short route, no power ups or drafting and then full speed ahead to the KOM of the route! Classification via Zwift Power.

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