Polar Express – FAQ’s

What and when

The Polar Express 500 is a new event for 2021, based around the annual Rapha festive 500km challenge to ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Be Your Adventures & Random Adventures are partnering up to create an adventure to enable you to ride the whole thing over 36 hours.

It starts on Tuesday 28th December 2021 at 8am, with the event finish closing on Wednesday 29th December 2021 at 8pm

There are two options for you. 

1 – The frozen north, hosted by Random Adventures is centred around Preston, routes are created from a central hub which will be your base for the ride.

2 – The wet and windy south, hosted by Be Your Adventures is centred around Shedfield, nr Fareham in Hampshire, again a variety of routes have been created with Sandy Acres Guide Centre as the hub.  This venue gives you access to showers and even a bed if you wish (for a donation to Solent Mind).

How does it work?

This event exists to facilitate you completing the Rapha Festive 500 in a condensed time frame with some additional central support.

We have created a range of beautiful routes of different lengths and character, all starting and finishing at the central hubs.

You can mix and match from the provided routes to find your perfect combination to total the 500km.

You might decide to pick 2 x 150km and 2 x 100km routes, or maybe 3 x 150km and 1 x 50km.  The choice is yours.

Registration Process

Registration will be hosted by Si Entries and will open at 00:01 on Sun 31st October 2021

Places are limited for the event and will be on a first come first served basis.

What’s in it for me?

Do you mean in addition to great routes, fantastic company and an epic sense of achievement?

Well our partners have provided us some great products for you. All entrants will get a pot of Happy Bottom Bum Butter, as we want your arses to stay soft & pain free. It’s antiseptic, male and female friendly, and vegan.

Two lucky riders will be in with a chance of winning some amazing Tailfin products.

**All riders who complete the 500km within the 36 hours will go into a draw to win a complete Aeropack Carbon set up – worth £299

**An additional prize for all riders whether they complete or not, is a photography competition. We are looking for your Photos on Instagram that embody the ‘Spirit of the Polar Express’.

Add hashtag #bikepacking and tag @polarexpressfestive500 @tailfincycling and you’ll be in the draw for your choice in size of 2 x cargo cages + 1 mini cage – these are so new, even we haven’t got our hands on these yet.

What happens if I don’t complete it?

Nothing.  It’s up to you to decide how many km’s you complete during the 2 allocated days.  If you still have a bit more to complete, then you can continue to complete any remaining km’s towards the Rapha Festive 500 in the remaining days.  You don’t need to use our routes, just do your own thing and log it on Strava. 

You might decide to complete 400km on the Polar Express and then 100km in your own time.  Weather might be a factor in your decision.

What Support is there?

Whilst out on the ride you are self-supported, although the routes do pass through or close to small towns and village centres, should you want refreshments or need a bike shop. There are plenty of cafes on the chosen routes. We will provide further information in pre-event packs.

Full GPX route files will be provided before the event.

Both events will be based around a central hub, which will have power, toilets, food & snacks, and the opportunity to sleep. Hubs will be manned throughout the event, so you are sure to find a friendly face or two.

At both events we ask that if you want to sleep, you bring your own sleeping bag & pillow.  In the North, you’ll be able to sleep on the floor of the hall.  In the South we are based in a Guide camp which has dormitories and bunk beds.  We are raising money to support Solent Mind, so we ask for a suggested £5 donation to the charity if you wish to use a bunk to sleep.  We also have shower facilities if you want to freshen up before day 2.

A central hub means that you can leave a bag with your own snacks, spare electronics, spare clothes etc and return to it after each leg.  If you really wanted to, you could even leave a spare bike if you fancy using different bikes for different routes.

There will be plenty of power available to charge your devices between each ride.

What happens in bad weather?

It’s December so weather, quite possibly bad, is pretty much guaranteed.  Consider whether you are really prepared to accept the possibility of rain, wind, cold, or snow before you enter.  If the answer is a resounding Yes! Then welcome aboard the Polar Express, you are our kind of person.

However, you are responsible for making sure that your bike(s) and clothing choices are suitable for the conditions on the day, and you can always leave spare layers at the hub for the colder evening/night parts of the ride or get changed out of wet clothes. It goes without saying that only experienced riders should take this on.

Of course you might get lucky, and it could be mild…….

Refund Policy

We do not offer refunds simply because you have changed your mind, although you can substitute your place to another rider as long as you give us one weeks notice. You can purchase Refund Protection when you enter which covers a range of scenarios if you wish.

Our Covid Policy is that an option of a partial refund/discounted entry to another event may be considered should Government Policy mean that we are unable to hold the event.

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