Is it bad manners to freebee a sportive?

sgbman
sgbman Posts: 44
I've never done a sportive yet, and wondered what would happen if I just tagged along for a bit just to get a feel for it(ie not paid or signed up).
Would this be bad form, or does this happen all the time?
:roll:
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Comments

  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Suppose they can't stop you joining the back of a group, may be bad manners but it's on open roads so they can't really do much. However, if you start helping yourself at the feeding points...

    I wouldn't do it. If I wanted a taste of sportives I'd pick a shortish, easy-ish one with a not-too-high entry fee. Or find and ride the course of one by myself.
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,788
    Totally bad form in every respect. Imagine you were involved in a crash. I'm not sure where anyone would stand with respect to insurance and basically everyone who entered is paying for the freeloaders too.
  • Kléber
    Kléber Posts: 6,842
    People take the time to signpost the course, to get permission from the police and so much more. And no one is making money from running the event. So don't abuse the efforts made, support them.
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    Done it once - basically made a late call on entering (my mates had signed up and paid) and couldn't find the bloke to pay on the morning. I made a point of not using any of the food stops. Was a bit worried about the insurance position if I took a load of people out, but at the end of the day they are public roads so I didn't feel too bad - wouldn't make a habit of it though.
  • nasahapley
    nasahapley Posts: 717
    From a previous thread, I can say with some authority that it is not looked on kindly by many in the sportive world. And that's all I'm saying :)
  • Chaz.Harding
    Chaz.Harding Posts: 3,144
    iain_j wrote:
    Or find and ride the course of one by myself.

    Surely this kinda defeats the object of a Sportive event?

    But meh, you could do. Or just a longer, easier paced club run??
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  • fluff.
    fluff. Posts: 771
    Not done it myself, but been caught up in Audaxes and time trials that happened to be going the same way I was. It felt a bit odd, so I went another way on purpose after a while.
    As other have pointed out it's not really in the spirit of the things, but there's nothing they can do to stop you if it's 100% on public highways, and as long as you don't get cheeky and use the foodstops. Insurance would be covered by club/ ctc/ british cycling membership.
  • Hudster
    Hudster Posts: 142
    They are just roads which you can cycle on at any time. What a sportive gives you is sign-posting, food stops and timing and backup. Don't use any of these (although the signposts will be hard to ignore) and you are not using anything the sportive gives you IMHO. The backup can mean a broom wagon, so if this is indeed your first sportive then you'll be better paying for it.

    I think it's a bit cheeky going out to specifically do a Sportive without paying. However, I also think it's a bit cheeky some of them charging 30quid. What are you really getting for that money? I personally think people are making a big profit from some of the events and if not, I really don't see where the money is going!?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Hudster wrote:
    I think it's a bit cheeky going out to specifically do a Sportive without paying. However, I also think it's a bit cheeky some of them charging 30quid. What are you really getting for that money? I personally think people are making a big profit from some of the events and if not, I really don't see where the money is going!?

    Some sportives are very expensive now I must admit...however I don't mind paying upto £30....I think its great value...a chance to ride with around a 1000 others...which in itself is a great experience...however you do get a fully signposted route over 100+ miles...you get great feeds....usually a free T shirt and bottle etc...but more importantly a good memory...and for me I use a Sportive to ride new area's...places i would otherwise probably not ride.

    Where the money is going you ask?....well all events are different...and if guys are doing some just for profit then fair enough...they are still providing a great service to sportive riders...but on most events the profit goes to charities or other very worthy causes...(Dave Rayner Fund, Youth Cycling etc)...and if they want to use some of my money for that then I'm very happy to donate......personally I think the Sportive Organisers should be applauded...we as riders have no idea the logistics and pressures associated with such an undertaking? and on a personal level they have provided me with some of my best ever life memories....

    £20-£30.?....how much does it cost to go to a Football match nowadays...and you get no feeds or freebies there?

    Nasahapley - Who the hell had any objections to just riding a sportive without paying. :D
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    fluff. wrote:
    there's nothing they can do to stop you if it's 100% on public highways,

    this. :wink:
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  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Nothing wrong, as long as you don't steal food at the stations. Roads are public and it's in your rights to ride on them. Considering the prices they charge I think it is acceptable to do so
    left the forum March 2023
  • zoomcp
    zoomcp Posts: 975
    I think it's a bad idea; the same with Audax, London Brighton etc etc

    they set a limit on riders for a very good reason and any freeloaders are just going to overburden the roads; increase the risk of accidents which even if they are not the responsibility of the organiser will reflect badly on the event and ultimately spoil the ride for others who've played the game and paid up. If it's full go and find another event. If someone is too tight to pay ditto

    If you want to ride the route without the benefit of the organisation on the day most events have a route sheet somewhere online so you can ride the public roads at your leisure another time.

    If you are unhappy with the entry fee for a sportive (which as an Audax organiser I often find hard to believe) that's another matter for another thread;
  • The Mechanic
    The Mechanic Posts: 1,277
    I'd say this was very bad form. The issue came to a head on the FWC a couple of years ago when someone not actually entered in the ride had a crash on Honister. Lofty went ballistic and quite rightly in MHO
    I have only two things to say to that; Bo***cks
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    i have done this when my partner entered one and I offered to ride with her. but I didn't use the food stops/hospitality etc. No reason you can't ride the route the day before or the weekend before/after since the routes are on-line and let the paying guests have their day. I read about one recently organised by Lune CC where 8 members of another club turned up and rode the event without paying - v.naughty. Also, there is the point that if you came off and brought someone else down who had paid, that's equally bad
    M.Rushton
  • There are some sportives that deserve to attract free-riders. Sportives that take the proverbial in terms of the ridiculous entry fees rightly deserve to attract free riders. In fact I would be willing to organise a mass protest ride against some of these profiteering charlatans. Charging £45 for riding along public roads deserve such attraction. It is more fool the entrants rather than free-riders in those instances.

    As for free-riding on charitable and good value sportives or even audaxes, it is very bad form and should be positively discouraged.
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    I'd say this was very bad form. The issue came to a head on the FWC a couple of years ago when someone not actually entered in the ride had a crash on Honister. Lofty went ballistic and quite rightly in MHO

    So you cant ride on publics roads if there's a sportive on on that day? bollocks to that!
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    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I'd say this was very bad form. The issue came to a head on the FWC a couple of years ago when someone not actually entered in the ride had a crash on Honister. Lofty went ballistic and quite rightly in MHO

    So you're saying that on the day the Dave Lloyd Mega Challenge is on I'm not allowed to go on the roads I spend most of my time on?

    Why should I schedule my riding so that those with more money than sense have the roads to themselves? TBH why should I avoid my local roads just so some foreigners can ride on them?
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  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I'd say this was very bad form. The issue came to a head on the FWC a couple of years ago when someone not actually entered in the ride had a crash on Honister. Lofty went ballistic and quite rightly in MHO

    So you're saying that on the day the Dave Lloyd Mega Challenge is on I'm not allowed to go on the roads I spend most of my time on?

    Why should I schedule my riding so that those with more money than sense have the roads to themselves? TBH why should I avoid my local roads just so some foreigners can ride on them?

    No...of course you can ride on Public Roads on the day of the event....no one could possibly object...thats not what this thread is all about....its about someone riding the entire course along with all the other riders....out of the 365 days in the year....why would someone choose to ride the exact same route as a major sportive on the exact same day?....don't matter if you use the feeds etc....but most likely you will use the signposting and more importantly your using the 'whole event' for your own enjoyment....Ive said enough about this over the years now....but I'll say it aain...no one can stop you but I think its just selfish ...
  • AndyOgy
    AndyOgy Posts: 579
    I did it by accident last year and would never do it again. Went out for a ride and it happened to be the BHF London to Brighton that day. I didn't see any harm in riding along with the participants for a while but the atmoshere got the better of me. Before I knew it, I was heading down the final straight with a huge crowd cheering me on and barriers either side that prevented me from pulling over. As we slowed to go through the gates, people were patting my back and offering me congratulations. I have never felt such an A*se in my whole life. When the guy on the gate asked for my entry card I had to come clean and the looks I (deservedly) got from the other cyclists made me think I was about to turn to stone. I made a donation and the guy on the gate was so nice about it that he gave me the medal thing anyway. I look at that medal every day and it inspires me to be a better person.
    I did do a proper charity ride later in the year in a bid to please the kharma gods. I believe that every bad thing that happens to me now is a punishment for the glory that I stole that day.
  • spanielsson
    spanielsson Posts: 776
    TBH why should I avoid my local roads just so some foreigners can ride on them?

    What are you on about?!!!! It's just England really. Ask Will.
  • zoomcp
    zoomcp Posts: 975
    I've started another thread
  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,788
    Nice attitude a_n_t, redddragon et al. Maybe you've never ridden a road race and had to negotiate horse riders or motorists parked on the finish line 'because I do this every Sunday'. So for one day out of the whole year you can't adjust your route/ time so as not to get in the way?
    To quote one you, that's just boll***s.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    inseine wrote:
    Nice attitude a_n_t, redddragon et al. Maybe you've never ridden a road race and had to negotiate horse riders or motorists parked on the finish line 'because I do this every Sunday'. So for one day out of the whole year you can't adjust your route/ time so as not to get in the way?
    To quote one you, that's just boll***s.

    Why do people who "pay" to ride a sportive have more rights to use the roads than me? They might "pay" but they aren't paying to have sole use of the roads......if organisers had got the roads closed fair dos......but if the roads are open why shouldn't I ride on them?

    You seem to be making out that randomers have more rights to the roads than the locals.....
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  • Feltup
    Feltup Posts: 1,340
    There is nothing wrong with riding parts of the course because as you say the roads are open to all. If you know a sportive is taking place then it is just polite not to ride the whole course even if it is one of your local routes. I am presuming you ride more than one route in your locale?
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  • inseine
    inseine Posts: 5,788
    You're right in every sense, of course, it just surprises me when cyclists seem so mean spirited towards their sport. If an event were on my doorstep I'd support and welcome the foreigners paying to ride on the roads I was lucky enough to have access to all year round. You sound like a motorist!
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    inseine wrote:
    You're right in every sense, of course, it just surprises me when cyclists seem so mean spirited towards their sport. If an event were on my doorstep I'd support and welcome the foreigners paying to ride on the roads I was lucky enough to have access to all year round.

    I've got no issue whatsoever with other cyclists riding a sportive, my issue is that people seem to think that I shouldn't be using the same roads as them - most of my issue is with this post...
    I'd say this was very bad form. The issue came to a head on the FWC a couple of years ago when someone not actually entered in the ride had a crash on Honister. Lofty went ballistic and quite rightly in MHO

    What if the dude who crashed on Honister was riding his own ride, and that ride just happened to include Honister? What right does this Lofty fellow have to go ballistic? So basically I'm not allowed to go up and down Bwlch Pen Barras on the day of the DLMC incase I crashed? Would Dave Lloyd have a right to go ballistic if I crashed on Pen Barras?
    inseine wrote:
    You sound like a motorist!

    I've never even had a driving lesson....
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  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    inseine wrote:
    You sound like a motorist!


    no, you sound like the motorist. "I've paid to be on these roads, you shouldn't be here". Hmmmmmm.......... where have I heard that before?
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    inseine wrote:
    Nice attitude a_n_t, redddragon et al. Maybe you've never ridden a road race and had to negotiate horse riders or motorists parked on the finish line 'because I do this every Sunday'.

    If the roads aren't closed they have every right to do what they do "every sunday".
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    a_n_t wrote:
    inseine wrote:
    Nice attitude a_n_t, redddragon et al. Maybe you've never ridden a road race and had to negotiate horse riders or motorists parked on the finish line 'because I do this every Sunday'.

    If the roads aren't closed they have every right to do what they do "every sunday".

    Yip, you have the right...no doubt.....but why ride the full route of the sportive?...if your route takes in parts of the sportive then no probs....but if the rider does the full sportive route along with the others then thats not right IMO....

    The guy who crashed on Honister on the FWC was acknowledged as riding the full route along with friends who had entered....again not right IMO.

    Reddragon...whats all this 'foreigner's' malarky?....anyone outside Wales is foreign?....I've heard the same crap with guys up here in Scotland....we all live on the same small wee Island...I'm not foreign to any part of the UK....and I'd welcome English and Welsh alike to Scotland...as they are British the same as me....with maybe different ascents?...
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Reddragon...whats all this 'foreigner's' malarky?....anyone outside Wales is foreign?

    Anyone not local is a foreigner......so someone from Wrexham is a foreigner.....it's not a derogatory term.
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