Should I enter my first sportive

Kingsmill1
Kingsmill1 Posts: 103
edited May 2013 in Road beginners
Looking for opinions cant make me mind up, Evans have a 54 mile ride it event coming up in a few weeks time, its one of the few that are within travelling distance from where i live. Now I cycle about 50 miles per week and the longest distance I've done is 30 miles which took about 2hrs 15 mins. I have done some medium distances of 24 & 29 in the last month or so but wont be able to get the full 54 in before the day of the event. Should I waste £27.00 or leave it until I know I can do the distance or give it a stab, my average speed is about 16-17 mph over around 19 miles with a mixture of flat and hills. Ive been cycling since September and done around 1600 miles so I would'nt consider myself unfit, Im 44 so no spring chicken. My biggest fear I suppose is not finishing welcome thoughts from anyone who has been in a similar predicament
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Comments

  • shimmyhill
    shimmyhill Posts: 42
    I did my first Sportive last month, 60 miles and i generally ride 30+ on a ride with mates or 10 miles on the commute.

    I would say defi go for it, i didnt find the 60 miles that much harder than my normal rides but i did make sure i took in plenty of food and water.

    There were people on choppers and all sorts of weird bike - even mtb's ;) so i wouldnt think there is much chance you wouldnt finish it!
  • charlie_potatoes
    charlie_potatoes Posts: 1,921
    I assume it is the King of the Downs sportive that you are thinking of?

    It looks a pretty tough one for your first effort.

    Personally I would look for an easier one to break your duck. Most of their 'lesser' sportives are only £15.

    Evans sportives are well run and good value IMO.

    I am doing the Hatfield 90 tomorrow.
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  • Kingsmill1
    Kingsmill1 Posts: 103
    Ive just found one in August which might be a better solution 40 miles Wiggle event I assume they are well organised as the Evans events ?
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  • charlie_potatoes
    charlie_potatoes Posts: 1,921
    Kingsmill1 wrote:
    Ive just found one in August which might be a better solution 40 miles Wiggle event I assume they are well organised as the Evans events ?

    I understand that they are good but havn't tried one yet.
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • hatch87
    hatch87 Posts: 352
    Wiggle ones are good, as for riding the distance, no point in doing it before otherwise it won't be a challenge :-D
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  • plymouthsteve
    plymouthsteve Posts: 136
    Hi,
    I hope this doesn't sound arrogant, but I'm about a year or two ahead of you. By that I mean that what you are doing now is about what I was doing a year or two ago; and I'm a similar age.
    At your stage, the move from 30 up to 50 miles is a noticable, but perfectly achievable one. I'd say definately go for it; pace and fuel yourself accordingly and enjoy the ride.
    Good luck
  • SoTyred
    SoTyred Posts: 4
    I have done a lot of charity rides which are fun. I have though just signed up for my first sportive - the Wiggle Essex Explorer and am really looking for to it. I don't think you will find the step-up much of a problem as the thrill of riding in an event helps, as does riding with others. Go for it and enjoy, I say!
  • sarm34
    sarm34 Posts: 182
    last year I did my first sportive the great notts bike ride 100 miles after just 4 weeks of owning my first racing bike, like you im in me fortys (45) , id never done anything more than 15 miles in one go in the 4 weeks id had me bike, I did it in 6.5 hours , it was hard , i couldn't walk right for days after , but it was fun, signed up again this year with a little more practice, hoping to beat me time.
    have a go you will surprise yaself
  • canny_lad
    canny_lad Posts: 329
    Go for it, you won't regret it.

    Try here http://www.entrycentral.com/ i've signed up for 2 local sportives, £12 each.

    Did the 1st one yesterday and it was superb :)
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Push your 30miles out to 40miles and see how you feel afterwards. If you can do 40miles without too much trouble, you can do 54.

    Go for it, just pace yourself and don't get caught up in the excitement at them beginning.
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  • Go for it! I did the Dartmoor Demon last weekend which was 55 miles, the furthest I had gone before is 26! Pace yourself, plenty of food and water and jobs a good'un!
  • cubegame
    cubegame Posts: 7
    I'd say go for it as well.

    I've got my first sportive coming up next month (Etape Du Sussex) which is 86 miles long. Started in Late Feb and I can now manage 50 miles with relative ease (done that this morning) and practically no after effects.

    In fact, my first "challenge" was going to be our local charity ride on June 2nd. At 40 miles long I thought it would be a decent goal when I started but a month ago I realised that my legs would take me much further and entered the longer one. I'll probably go and have a gentle 20 miler before said charity ride so my legs are warmed and ready to go at the start.
  • Gpfanuk
    Gpfanuk Posts: 142
    Go for it! Just completed the Wiggle Yorkshire Weaver yesterday which was 59 miles. Although I have done this distance before it had never been on terrain so challenging. Yorkshire has nothing but bloody great hills! I am in a similar situation to you, same age with even less cycling experience (started Jan 13th this year to be exact). Met some great people, shared a great experience and realised I was not alone with my "cycling obsession" as my wife refers to it!
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  • Kingsmill1
    Kingsmill1 Posts: 103
    thanks for all the supportive comments , just a few questions to those that have done these events, I am doing it on my own so how does it work with your bike when you have to go for a toilet break e.t.c do they provide security or should i bring a small lock just to tie my over in case I get caught short. I know this is a strange question but my bike is not cheap to replace and if the opportunity presented itself Im sure someone would walk away with it. When I'm out usually I'm in the middle of no where and can keep an eye on it.
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  • Dan007
    Dan007 Posts: 10
    No its too painful :D
  • roadiemk
    roadiemk Posts: 19
    Hi,

    Reading your post, I was in the same position as you last year.
    King of the downs was my first sportive. Prior to this I had only cycled 25 miles in one go, coupled with little hill experience.
    Most of my riding experience had been commuting to and from work.

    I managed to get around the 56 mile course ok, but not in any great record breaking time. Had to walk up Leith Hill and Ranmore Common as I had never tackled gradients like those before.

    I'd say, as long as your overall state of health and fitness is ok, go for it.
    But try and get some hill practice prior to the event and don't attempt to set off too fast at the beginning. It is easy to do as you will get overtaken by plenty of fast riders, used to these distances. Take it easy so you don't bonk.

    And the pasta meal at the end is most welcoming. Overall the event is well organised and great fun. Plus getting to meet other like-minded people too. Fingers crossed the weather is going to be the same as last year.

    Re toilet breaks. Most of the route is open countryside. The hedgerows off a side road is your best bet, TDF style, for no1.
    No 2 - I tend to go before the start.
  • sarm34
    sarm34 Posts: 182
    toilet wise shouldn't be a problem, the feeding stations normally always have toilets, and theres so many bikers around that know how important that bikes are to them that , if anyone was to try and bugger off with your bike they wouldn't last long , when I did the notts 100miler last year my first sportive btw , keeping my bike safe never really entered me head , I knew that it would be were I left it when I got back
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    sarm34 wrote:
    toilet wise shouldn't be a problem, the feeding stations normally always have toilets, and theres so many bikers around that know how important that bikes are to them that , if anyone was to try and bugger off with your bike they wouldn't last long , when I did the notts 100miler last year my first sportive btw , keeping my bike safe never really entered me head , I knew that it would be were I left it when I got back

    In any situation like that when there are lots of bikes around leaving your bike isn't an issue.

    Same as in Mallorca, loads of bikes around, so nobody was worried about security. Big groups just left their bikes outside bars, no locks, nothing.
  • Mikey41
    Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Kingsmill1 wrote:
    Looking for opinions cant make me mind up, Evans have a 54 mile ride it event coming up in a few weeks time, its one of the few that are within travelling distance from where i live. Now I cycle about 50 miles per week and the longest distance I've done is 30 miles which took about 2hrs 15 mins.
    If you've been doing that then the distance should not be a problem. What might be is climbing. There will be a lot of it even on the shorter route, be prepared for that and pace yourself. Get some extra climbing practice in beforehand.

    Just go for it, you'll probably do better than you think :)
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  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    Last year, I went from doing 30 milers easily to a 2 day charity ride of 70 miles a day. Through the first 3 months of the year, I increased my mileage during training (although Feb was a writeoff due to weather and illness so only 2 months really).

    I found that around the 40-45 mile mark was where I started to discover some setup/technique issues that were not even noticeable before that. Had to tweak my seating position, needed padded shorts and had to change technique to pedal with higher cadence/lower gear on the hills. Without making those changes, I dont think I would have comfortably made the move to much higher mileage.

    So, while the move up to that mileage may be quite do-able physically, you need to make sure you dont have any problems stored that only come to light later in the ride.

    I would suggest trying a hilly 40 mile ride to evaluate how you get on from where you are.
  • Kingsmill1
    Kingsmill1 Posts: 103
    well I have decided to do the wiggle haywards heath howler in August, 40 miles a bit of climbing, im going to try and do a 40 miler in the next few weeks to see how it feels. I have had some issues with my left foot numbness and pins and needles which comes on around 5 miles and does not go away. The thought of doing 54 means I would probably be in a lot of pain by the end of it. I have booked an appt to get a foot assessment and some custom in-soles which will hopefully make the ride a lot more comfortable. Just hope by August the weather improves.
    Giant TCR Comp 2
    Specialized Allez Sport