#Festive500 - Family Time

Christmas Day and Boxing Day are supposed to be family time. Two days when you put most other things aside and spend some quality time together with those closest to you. If like us, you celebrate Christmas you probably also eat the worlds largest Christmas lunch, inclusive of an excessive amount of pigs in blankets before falling helplessly into the sofa and slipping into a food coma. For a few years I spent Christmas alone and would go on a nice long bike ride to make the most of the quiet roads on Christmas morning. However, for the last two years I have spent time with Sarah and her family over the festive period. As such the time I spend on the bike on Christmas Day has greatly reduced but this isn't a bad thing.

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As much as I love the challenge of the Festive 500 and fully embrace the opportunity to earn my roundel, I've also learnt that it's not quite the be all and end all of Christmas. Sometimes it's much better to rest the bike up against the wall, have a small lie in and smash 10,000 pigs in blankets with those closest to you. You can ride a bike 364 other days of the year after all.

Testing the Christmas presents!
Testing the Christmas presents!

Admittedly I didn't hang my bike up on the wall but for one good reason; Sarah is also a big bike fan these days. Given the limited days in the year that we get to ride together we take Christmas as a good opportunity to grab a ride together before Christmas lunch then aptly slip into an even bigger food coma after working up an appetite. Therefore we opted for a steady 20 miles mid-morning to test out some Christmas presents before heading back to join in the festivities with the rest of Sarah's family.

Boxing Day is slightly different. Whilst most people are tearing there way to the shops, I opted for a nice lie in, half a tub of Quality Street and a few token pigs in blankets to kick-start the day. Unlike my usual early morning starts on the bike it was nice to head out the door at 1pm and cruise in the afternoon sun.

Still soggy after the storm
Still soggy after the storm

Much like last year it was still pretty windy and there was a good chance of landing in a dyke along the Lancashire lanes but I couldn't resist a few hours on the still quiet country lanes. The wind from Christmas Eve was still definitely present and made for a few interesting moments, but certainly nothing as bad as Friday and a definitively drier day. A complete contrast to the storms of last Christmas but still a disappointing lack of snow.

A little bit of off-road riding
A little bit of off-road riding

Having not quite ridden home for Christmas and opting for family time over massive miles I've managed 218km so far. Not a small amount but not as much as I could have aimed for if 'd put the family and friends to one side. Festivities are over tomorrow so it's back to normal. It's nice every so often to stop and chill out though.

Did you ride through Christmas or reel it in for the day?