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Sportive advice

TriRhodTriRhod Posts: 8
edited December 2015 in Road beginners
Hi there,

Looking for some tips. Cycling previously limited to triathlons - so just flat TTs really - but looking to branch out into road cycling after ACL reconstruction scuppered running plans.

Looking to enjoy the more social side of cycling as well, time to enjoy things a bit more. Having said that I am pretty fit and want to stay that way. Anyway, with all that in mind - what are the 'must do' sportives in UK? I am in South Wales and know there are a few round here. Not afraid of a challenge - but want a good atmosphere too.

Any advice greatly received.

Cheers,

Rhod

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Smile



    Oh - sorry I thought you said what are the Must do IN sportives ...

    :)
  • If I were you I'd concentrate on the more local rides (as you say there are plenty) before you start to travel further distances to take part, see if you get on okay with the format.

    As for the 'must do' list - many of those are in Europe (Etape, Marmotte etc), but of the British ones then the Fred Whitton is surely on that list, maybe Etape Du Dales round my way. There's the Etape Cymru run by Wiggle in North Wales (although actually I think it was cancelled this year due to lack of interest, so perhaps not a 'must do' then!?). There are many rides that attract a large field, and I suppose the 'new kid on the block' is the Ride London which looks like it sells out quickly.

    Have a look on the 'Sportives and Audax' section of the forum, plenty of discussions on the various rides.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,010
    re your fitness; when I started racing in 4th cat, I learned to spot and follow the people with no socks on.

    I'd say find a local group ride - they'll be a friendly bunch mostly.

    Other than that, getting yourself on a sportive is a good target. Just make sure you take the ski's off (if indeed you have them on your road bike).
    Insert bike here:
  • Thanks guys - that's really helpful!

    Talking to my roadie mates, they reckon round here Dragon Ride is by far and away the best in terms of organisation, route and toughness.

    Know what you mean about fitness - big difference between a flat TT and steep hills (which dragon looks to have some epics on!). Did consider Etape Cymru but does indeed look like it is no more.
  • I did Velothon Wales this year, a tad expensive but also closed roads, was a great day on the bike.

    Also have a look at Audaxes, less popular in terms of numbers but generally more sociable than a sportive, and a lot cheaper too. Did a hilly 100km one in the summer from Abergavenny called Monmouthshire Meander, shame the best climb was at the very start of the route though. You can find Audax events listed at http://aukweb.net although you may find that a lot of the organisers haven't added their 2016 rides yet.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Join a local cycling club who do regular club runs of over 100km. I don't often do sportives as they are pretty much just paying for the privilage to do a club ride with more people. Some are very well organised. Some are very much not.

    I would recommend looking at training for and attempting some of the spring classic sportives such as Paris - Roubaix or Liege - Bastogne - Liege as these are quite tough and also have the history that goes with them. Plus if you hang around for the Pro race afterwards its a great weekend.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    yeah I'd just join the local club and ride with them. Sportives aren't usually that social - they tend to split up hugely on the climbs. You can get some nice groups going when it evens out - but a club run is cheaper and every week.
  • I do a few of the charity rides each year. The British Heart Foundation does the best organised IMO.

    Bit more sociable than the sportives and for a good cause.

    London - Brighton sells out very fast but there is the night ride as well as continental rides and many others. I have a plan for the London Night ride this year. Should raise a few laughs and some dosh.... :twisted:
  • Hi there,

    Looking for some tips. Cycling previously limited to triathlons - so just flat TTs really - but looking to branch out into road cycling after ACL reconstruction scuppered running plans.

    Looking to enjoy the more social side of cycling as well, time to enjoy things a bit more. Having said that I am pretty fit and want to stay that way. Anyway, with all that in mind - what are the 'must do' sportives in UK? I am in South Wales and know there are a few round here. Not afraid of a challenge - but want a good atmosphere too.

    Any advice greatly received.

    Cheers,

    Rhod

    If you're looking for a social side of cycling then your local cycle club will have that in spades - the entire idea being that you ride with the same bunch week on week that - for the most part - you stay together.

    Sportives while they can be great fun and social in their own way it does tend to be people you just randomly meet and won't ever see again, having said that I've had some great craic with just random people I've met on the road!

    As for the must dos, the big one is the Fred Whitton - over 100 miles of massively punishing climbs in the Lakes, including Hardknott Pass after 100 miles.
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