For 11 years, Rapha's Festive 500 has been part of the holiday season for many cyclists. Riding 500 km in eight days while braving the elements on a bike? Or: sitting in front of the TV in the comfort of a warm room like many others and stuffing our bellies? Sounds like an easy decision, right?

We have decided to tackle the Festive 500 this year instead of spending time at home with our families. The right thing for us to do this year is to keep to ourselves and not put ourselves or others at risk of catching the virus.

This is the first time for us to participate in the Festive 500 Challenge, and with the cold, dark, and rainy winter days ahead, it can be challenging to find the motivation to get outside and ride. The fact that the two of us are tackling the challenge together, rather than one person having to go out alone, is a massive advantage for us.

We have spent the last few days preparing and thinking, because as the saying goes, "If you don't plan, you plan to fail."