I’m with the residents! – Velo Birmingham…

The tale of a train wreck 

Which residents? The NIMBY residents. The ones who say “cyclists – YES 15,000 cyclists – NO!” such were the placards alongside the roads in many lovely Worcestershire villages on the 24th of September. The day I finally decided to launch a campaign against the mass participation cyclo sportive, the day of the utter train wreck shambles that was the first Velo Birmingham.

Now look, I accept that this being the longest I’ve ever (and by a long way) taken to cover 100 miles on a bicycle will have coloured my judgment, but honestly, whilst I am embarrassed by that, it is not the reason I am utterly opposed now to this and Ride London. My dreadful time is merely a by product of this silly event.

 

Billed as a nice rolling ride through Birmingham’s surrounding counties, it was anything but rolling and just about the only flat sections, were the roughly 9 miles within the boundaries of Brum itself. It was brutal. Stupidly “ we are going to be the Billy Big Bollocks of all Sportives” brutal. Hills that were indicated as average 2%, but kicked up to over 15 and 17% brutal. It was a route that would have seen a walk out by a pro peloton.  Stopping and starting again and again because of accidents or the inexperienced falling off, poorly maintained bikes with gearing they didn’t understand, up one track (square peg in a round hole) 8% lanes. Spills and tumbles on hair raisingly long fast descents. Now my fan will be aware, that I love a fast descent, but at roughly 8 miles in is the cyclists dream downhill. Mucklow Hill between Brum and Halesowen. It’s about 15% of arse over the back wheel hands off the brakes “ yeh baby that’s what I like “ drop down, that is unless you have 8,000 or so terrified (and justifiably so) begginers grabbing hands full of brake on the steepest fastest line….mad!! But there were many more. You should only tackle hills like that with exceptionally good bike handling skills and frankly a good local knowledge of the roads. Many of the fast descents were on poorly maintained roads with a very sharp turn at the bottom.

That’s the route. To recap, Innacurate info on gradients and total climbing. Lunatic descents for the inexperienced. Bottlenecks that were inevitable on single track roads, most with at least one climb of between 2 and 5%.

The rest of it? Try this. The best part of an hours delay at the start. The reason, huge amounts of tacks strewn across the route along with oil, callously dumped on descents and thorns from hedges clearly from the day before. Ok. That sort of thing is not the fault of the organisers is it? Weeeell..yes, it is. Not the actual dropping of debris ofcourse, but when there had been so much opposition to the event…so strong that the route through Herefordshire and part of Worcestershire was eliminated. When I submit proposals for a 120 rider time trial, I have to provide the local police and Cycling Time Trials with a highly detailed risk assessment. I am then expected to recce the route early doors on the day of the event and quite rightly so. Ofcourse 100 miles is 75 miles longer than an inter club TT, BUT, They have a large staff and a huge budget, from entries and sponsorship, with a history of similar sabotage on other closed road Sportives, a small convoy of vehicles precededing the riders, could have cleared this away quite easily and with their boast of being the best ever, ought to have reckoned in their planning. It didn’t ofcourse, because like the London-Surrey it’s organised by people with no experience of organising a cycle event. Ask yourself the question why Human Race and U.K. CYCLING, to name two, manage to host Sportives by the dozen on open roads every weekend with barely a hitch. The answer is simple…EXPERIENCE. So forward planning and risk assessment were barely a consideration. The cash cow mentality won out.

The biggest complaint though in a list of horrendous cock ups was truly the most unforgivable. The later starting waves were quite simply “ effed over” when it came to food. I’d decided in advance to go until the 50 mile pit stop, with the lure of a sausage roll and a banana and maybe the much touted bacon rolls, even at the rumour 6 quid a pop. That and gels should’ve seen me through even with the hills to a creditable 7 hours. Except that there was nothing left. Not a gel, a piece of cake, a sausage roll. Or even a humble banana. There was food debris everywhere, but none for us….beyond disgusting, especially considering the entry fee and the quickly gleaned fact that the first feed stop had also run out before our small group had ridden past. The same story at the next one and both were filling peoples bidons from the overflow buckets….i kid you not.

VELO BIRMINGHAM, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO RIDE 100 VERY STEEP MILES WITHOUT FOOD. A gel every mile or two is all very well, but those and my beloved Marks and Sparks Percy pigs ain’t enough fuel, beside which there is only so much of that stuff you can eat before you want to hurl. I hit the wall around mile 65, my average dropped from 15mph to just around 12, it was sheer bloody mindedness that kept me going, that and that alone. The last stop had managed to keep hold of bananas and cake …….yes. That stop was ( by then) sarcastically at the bottom of a 5-7%er.

God alone knows what time they opened the roads, but those of us determined to finish or bust, were on the receiving end of some close calls and abuse from previously penned in drivers, that for once I could sympathise with. We got our medals, despite being out of time…thanks to the boys and girls at the back of the by then closed N.I.A. For staying on with warm welcoming hugs, medals and much needed cool bottles of water.

My opposition to ride London-Surrey is well known, so you’d be forgiven for asking “why the hell did I ride this?” Put simply, optimism…yes, I know. Optimism that my native city would get it right. That and the fact that as well as it being the city I’m proud to have been born in, my Dad and Mom were very popular as Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress…it was a given that I had to ride it and if nothing else, the NSPCC will have the money I raised for them.

Were there any positives? Yes, the indomitable spirit of the British in adversity, the overwhelming support to get people through. The magnificent support from the local people all the way along the route. Calling out riders names….they’d printed them on our numbers. It got many weary souls to the top of many a climb that followed a sharp turn. People around me loved it.

“goo on bab. Yo can do it” “come on Mark nearly there cocker“

VELO BIRMINGHAM. You let my beloved city down. People who hate these hyper Sportives, here is one lifelong cyclist who feels that hyper Sportives harm the already  tarnished reputation of our sport and pastime badly. Look out, there is a petition coming when I can figure out who it should be addressed to. Oh, I nearly forgot. Thirty or so of us were locked out of the organised car park. An official got permission from the old Bill to cut the lock off after the owner refused a fee to keep it open or come and unlock it.

Jo Ann Carver

Jo Ann Carver

Cyclist, Actor & CyclingShorts.cc Writer

Jo Ann Carver is a 65 year old born again granny. She used to be known as Jon Carver and was on a failed mission to live and die as a man. She was the brains behind all of his successes and due to extreme boredom, fell asleep during his failures. She guided him through a moderately successful amateur racing career and later as the father of a European champion BMX racer and coach.

He has thanked her for  getting him through a degree in Drama and English and an M.A. in acting from Oxford. He’d have been lost without her emotional insight into all of the characters he has played on T.V. big screen & stage.

Jo will live her life doing what she loves best. Cycling and acting. She is the Secretary of Bedfordshire Road Cycling Club and lives with Carol her and Jon’s partner for 24 years and their LaChon Dog Wilf. Jon, having relinquished the body has gifted his bikes. Records, C.Ds and love of Jazz and Northern soul. He also gifted her his Alfa Romeo Spider, but did not give her any money to get work done on it.

She intends to carry on writing the same drivel for cycling shorts that he thought was his witty prose. Now though it will contain a lot more references to pink shoes. As she continues her journey via hormone replacement and surgery, she hopes you will come along with her as she pedals her way from bloke to the woman she should’ve always been.

Queen of the Mountains

QoTM

….Well maybe Queen of Richmond Park!

Today I rode out with the lovely Alicia Bamford, founder of Queen of the Mountains, a new women’s performance cycling brand launching via Kickstarter.

Queen of the Mountains is building a strong community of female cyclists, with regular rides on Tuesdays in Regents Park, Thursdays in Richmond Park and a variety of Sunday rides with brunch!

QoTM2This morning’s ride was super social, with everyone chatting and enjoying the winter sun. The ethos of the rides is to welcome all women (and men), of all abilities. No one is left behind and the chat continues over coffee post ride.

Information about the rides can be found on the website where you can sign up for the newsletter for regular ride updates. A longer ride is planned for Mothers Day from Giro Cafe in Esher; what a perfect way for mums to get some me time!

Alicia told me they have adventurous plans for future cycling events to inspire women to challenge themselves.

“We want to inspire women to ride and to climb their own mountain, to set their own challenge and feel that sense of achievement on the way up, as well as at the summit. We’re introducing more women to the beauty, freedom and sense of achievement that comes with cycling.”

QoTM1I got a sneak preview of the Spring/Summer collection, inspired by Mont Ventoux, which is available for pre-order on the Queen of the Mountains Kickstarter page. There is only 7 days left, so act swiftly if you are keen to be one of the first to wear this stunning kit.

The first range includes beautiful, technical jerseys, shorts, gilets, socks and more, all designed for women. Manufactured in Italy, using performance technical wicking fabrics, the kit is cut specifically for the female body shape in the riding position. It has well thought out features such as a waterproof zipped jersey pocket for your smart phone and no scratchy labels!

We are hoping to get some kit to try out on a ride soon so watch this space……

You can also find Queen of the Mountains on Facebook and Twitter

#BeAGameChanger Awards – Nominate Now!

BAGC 2016.inddCyclingShorts.cc has championed women’s cycling at grass roots level and those involved in the sport who offer cyclists the opportunity to race and move to the next level for many years, whether that be gaining the confidence to ride a sportive or race as a professional. This year we are proud to be sponsors and the media partner for Team22 WRT and we continue to sponsor the unique work by the Racing Chance Foundation. Browsing the internet the other night I was pleased to see nominations are now open for the Women’s Sport Trust Awards also known as #BeAGameChanger Awards. The awards have been set up to recognise those individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport.

The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger awards 2016 are supported by Microsoft and they showcase the irresistible nature of women’s sport and inspire others to take action (full details of the awards and categories at the bottom of this article).

 

With this in mind I’m going to take this opportunity to champion our very own Heather Bamforth who is often overlooked and regularly copied by those with higher profiles in the sport.

Heather reporting from the Cheshire Classic.

Heather reporting from the Cheshire Classic.

Heather has been a longstanding member of the CyclingShorts.cc writing team; covering international races like the Tour de France but also taking the majority of her time to write about and report on grass roots cycling and development – take a look at her extremely popular Women’s Guide to Racing which has been used by many a newcomer to the sport.

For those that don’t know already… since returning to the sport of cycling in 2011, Heather has been working behind the scenes to increase the number of opportunities for women in competitive cycling. In 2013, the inaugural North West Women’s Series was promoted by Heather, which featured groundbreaking road racing for women.

 

In 2014, along with three others, she established The Racing Chance Foundation, a registered charity which helps to provide women with a pathway in competitive cycling from novice to elite level.

 

In 2014 & 2015, Racing Chance coached over 200 women, and following Heather’s lead, other women around the country set up similar series to that in the North West. As a result of Heather’s original initiative and the subsequent additional series, British Cycling have seen an increase in female membership with a racing licence increasing from 800 in 2012 to over 1500.

 

©Daniel Styler 2015

©Daniel Styler 2015

Heather’s vision has enabled the sport of road racing in cycling to become more than just a dream for women. Without her there would be far fewer women racing, especially at the important grass roots level.

 

So, as many of you already know who have benefitted from Heather’s input/support she is going to cringe at this praise, but I think we all owe it to her to give her the props she’s due. Heather earns nothing from cycling, she has a totally unrelated full on full time career, but I can assure you every spare minute of the day and night she’s thinking of the next thing she can do to raise women’s cycling higher. I can attest to this with the many hours the two of us spend chatting through her plans… and trust me she has big plans in the pipeline!

 

Ladies, Heather has your back so lets return the favour give her the pat on the back she deserves and get her crowned as an Ambassador of Women’s Sport.

 

Let’s try and do this!!!

 

Nominations for the awards are now open across nine categories. Follow this link to nominate the athlete, team, organisation or individual who has made a positive contribution to women’s sport.
The categories are:

 

Ambassador of Women’s Sport

Journalist of the Year

Media Initiative of the Year

Inspiring Initiative – Local/Grassroots

Inspiring Initiative – National

National Governing Body of the Year

Sponsor Partnership of the Year

Sporting Role Model/s

Imagery of the Year

 

Closing date 21st February 2016 – so get your skates on!

To nominate someone click here: http://tammyparlour31119268.polldaddy.com/s/beagamechanger-nomination-form-2016?p=1

 

Spectacular route for Tour de Yorkshire 2016

Le Tour Yorkshire 2014 - York to SheffieldThe Tour de Yorkshire, one of the most spectacular and well received events in the British sporting calendar, returns for a second year with new routes and new challenges.  The huge crowds will be entertained by Race Ambassadors and a Tour de Yorkshire Caravan which will visit key points on the route before the race starts.

 

The route will take the 18 teams of eight riders to all four corners of Yorkshire, linking together the county’s sporting, historic, industrial and literary greats.

 

Stage One begins in Beverley, home to one of England’s finest Minsters, before the peloton races to Tadcaster and on to Knaresborough which was the scene of some of the biggest crowds for the Tour de France in 2014.  Taking in some of the Grand Depart 2014 route, a series of climbs takes the riders past Brimham Rocks before a finish in Settle.

 

On Stage Two, men and women will face exactly the same stage which starts in Otley, home of the current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead.  From Otley riders travel south, on roads not raced on in the Tour de France or Tour de Yorkshire, towards Conisbrough Castle and on to Doncaster.

 

Tour De Yorkshire 2015 | Scarborough to Bridlington - Stage 1

Tour De Yorkshire 2015 | Scarborough to Bridlington – Stage 1 ©www.chrismaher.co.uk / CyclingShorts.cc

Stage Three will be familiar to those who raced in 2015, starting in Captain James Cook’s home town of Middlesbrough, then into Herriot Country before tackling the infamous Sutton Bank, the first of six King of the Mountain points in just one stage.  Riders then head over the North York Moors and down towards Scarborough for what promises to be a thrilling finale and a race to the very end.

 

Riders joined host towns at a launch event in Otley, where Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity and A.S.O.’s Christian Prudhomme unveiled the full route.

 

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said:

“For next year’s race we’ve selected routes which showcase Yorkshire’s stunning scenery and will also deliver an excellent sporting event. Our first race was phenomenally successful, bringing 1.5 million spectators to the roadside, generating over £50million for the regional economy and being broadcast around the world – not many races can say that.  The stages we’ve revealed today are eagerly anticipated by fans, riders and teams and we have all the ingredients for another spectacular race which will bring the crowds back out.”

 

Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, said:

“I am always happy to be back in Yorkshire and today marks an important milestone for the race. Feedback from teams and riders last year was excellent and this year we have three stages which together create a race right to the end; the final King of the Mountain points are barely six kilometres from the final finish line.”

 

In addition to the professional races, the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride will give amateur cyclists the chance to ride many of the roads ridden by the pros in a newly designed sportive route, which will start and finish in Scarborough on Sunday 1 May.  The sportive route will follow parts of Stage 3 of the men’s race whilst also taking in several alternative roads to allow for all 6000 participants to finish in their own time.

 

A highlight of the sportive will see amateur riders finishing with a 1km sea-front sprint finish and crossing the very same finish line as the professional riders with the same support from the waiting crowds. There will be three distances for riders to choose from; 40km, 85km and 115km.  The sportive sold out in a matter of hours in 2015 and those hoping to secure a place in the 2016 ride can register their interest and be first to hear when this year’s event opens at letouryorkshire.com/sportive

 

Returning sponsors for the men’s race have also been confirmed, with Yorkshire Bank sponsoring the Sprint Jersey; Dimension Data sponsoring the Digital Vote / Most Aggressive Rider Jersey; and Mavic returning as the Official Supplier.   Yorkshire Bank also sponsor the Tour de France legacy project – the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries – which have already helped over a thousand children in Yorkshire ride a bike for free.

 

Tour de Yorkshire on Twitter

So, here you have it, your full 2016 route for @letouryorkshire. It’s going to be epic. #TDYpic.twitter.com/y7sjftv5FO

 

Detailed stage profiles

 

Stage 1: Friday 29 April 2016: Beverley to Settle

  • Total stage length: 184km
  • 2 x sprint points (Bubwith, Giggleswick)
  • 1 x King of the Mountain (Greenhow Hill)
  • Total ascent: 1832m

 

The first stage will set off from Saturday Market in Beverley. The riders will parade around the town – which also played host to the race in 2015, then through North Bar before heading north west to the Official Start at Beverley Racecourse; Holme on the Wolds, Market Weighton (which also saw the race pass through in May 2015), and on westwards to a sprint point at Bubwith.  From there, the peloton will race through North Duffield and west to Cawood – scene of Dick Turpin’s famous escape from York – and on to Tadcaster, famous for its breweries.  After that, riders will visit Boston Spa, Wetherby, North Deighton and Knaresborough, home of the famous ‘spotty house’ from the Tour de France, decorated with the red spots of the King of the Mountains’ jersey.  From there riders will travel to Ripley, home of the UK’s only Hotel du Ville rather than Town Hall, and on to Pateley Bridge where the first King of the Mountain will be won at Greenhow Hill.  After that, it’s on to Grassington, then Threshfield and a return to some of the Tour de France roads, through Cracoe then Gargrave, the riders will then cross the finish line in Settle for the first time before a sprint at Giggleswick.  They will complete a 12km loop back to the A65 and round to Settle town centre for an expected bunch finish in the town.

 

Stage 2: Saturday 30 April 2016: Otley to Doncaster

  • Total stage length: 135.5km
  • Same route for men and women
  • 2 x sprint points (Scholes, Warmsworth)
  • 3 x King/ Queen of the Mountain (Harewood Bank, East Rigton, Conisbrough Castle)
  • Total ascent: 1110m

 

Stage Two marks an important milestone for the Tour de Yorkshire, as the women’s race will be held on exactly the same route as the men’s race.  The women’s race will start in the morning and the men’s race will begin in the early afternoon. Full details of the women’s race will be released in the following weeks.

 

Anna on Twitter

The Women’s Tour de Yorkshire race will be a full stage race, on 30 April, using the same course as Stage 2 #TDYpic.twitter.com/MKmgVL7Dw4

 

The route begins in Otley, home town of current women’s road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead.  The Official Start is at Pool-in-Wharfedale, before the riders face an early King/ Queen of the Mountain challenge at Harewood Bank, before heading south east towards another King/ Queen of the Mountain at East Rigton, then to Thorner and a sprint at Scholes, then to Barwick in Elmet crossing the A1 at Aberford.  Riders then go past Lotherton Hall, into Sherburn in Elmet, down to South Milford and Monk Fryston before swinging south to Birkin and Beal.  The route then heads through Kellingley and on to Knottingley, Pontefract (home of liquorice) and Wentbridge, before North and South Elmsall, and on to hidden gem Hooton Pagnell.  There is a sprint point at Warmsworth before a lap of, and King/ Queen of the Mountain, at 11th century Conisbrough Castle.  The peloton will then head towards Tickhill and Bawtry before racing along the perimeter of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, past Doncaster Racecourse and onto a sprint finish on South Parade.

 

Stage 3: Sunday 1 May 2016: Middlesbrough to Scarborough

  • Total stage length: 196km
  • 2 x sprint points (Thirsk and Whitby Abbey)
  • 6 x King of the Mountain (Sutton Bank, Blakey Ridge, Grosmont, Robin Hood’s Bay, Harwood Dale and Oliver’s Mount)
  • Total ascent: 2593m

 

If Stages One and Two are for the sprinters, Stage Three will certainly appeal to the climbers.  With an elevation of 2593 meters and six King of the Mountain classifications, the route begins in Middlesbrough, birth place of Captain James Cook, and takes the riders on a challenging and technical route through much of the stunning North York Moors National Park. From the start line at Middlesbrough’s MIMA Gallery, they travel south over the Official Start on the outskirts of Nunthorpe on the A172, through Great Ayton, home of the Captain Cook School Room, and on to Stokesley, Hutton Rudby, Winton and down to Northallerton, the county town of North Yorkshire.  From there, the riders head to Thirsk’s market square where there will be a sprint point, before the infamous Sutton Bank and a King of the Mountain.  Onwards to Helmsley, winner of Britain’s Best Market Town, then to Kirkbymoorside and heading north to Hutton le Hole and a King of the Mountain at Blakey Ridge.  The peloton will recognise Castleton and many of the villages towards Whitby as the route is similar to that for the 2015 race.  There will be a King of the Mountain at Grosmont, where in 2015 riders were welcomed by a steam salute by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and riders will pass through Sleights and Ruswarp before dipping down to Whitby.  There is a sprint point at Whitby Abbey, before the race makes a visit to Hawkser. Next up is a battle over a King of the Mountain at Robin Hood’s Bay, before another King of the Mountain at Harwood Dale.  From there it’s full speed to East Ayton and Irton, before a final King of the Mountain at Oliver’s Mount and a sprint finish in Scarborough’s North Bay.

 

Tour de Yorkshire on Twitter

We’re also excited that for the 2016 @letouryorkshire, there will be a Publicity Caravan running ahead of the cyclists. #TDY

 

 

Press Release: Strava Launches Annual Achievements

Strava Launches Annual Achievements for 2015
Annual achievements brings new yearly trophies for segments and personal records
London, UK (1st January, 2015) — Strava, the online network for athletes, has launched new Annual Achievements trophies for segment leaderboards and personal records.
Today [1st January 2015] will see Annual Achievements trophies added to Strava. Cyclists and runners will now receive annual KOM [King of the Mountains], QOM [Queen of the Mountains] and CRs [Course Records] trophies.
AnnualAchievementsflatStrava members are still able to filter to view yearly leaderboards, making it easier to see progress over a year and give everyone a chance to earn a spot on a segment leaderboard.
Previously earned KOM, QOM or CRs will live on as all-time records and badges of honour. They will still be viewable on profile pages or on the overall default leaderboard. All-time achievements will always supersede annual ones in segment results.
New icons have been added to coincide with the Annual Achievements launch. In the segment results section of an activity, you will see solid icons for all-time achievements and outlined icons for annual ones.
“We know that for many of our athletes on Strava, they plan goals and track improvements a year at a time,” explained Gareth Nettleton, Director of International Marketing at Strava. “The new Annual Achievements leaderboards give priority to yearly progress and give Strava members the chance to stake their claim in 2015, while still respecting the all-time achievements of Strava members.”
He added: “We’re thinking of this as honouring the world record holder in the marathon but also recognising the leaders each year.”
Strava encourages members to set goals for 2015 and tackle segments sensibly and safely as outlined in Stand With Us, a few simple guidelines created to ensure that Strava’s impact is positive.
Strava is the online network that connects the global community of athletes. Founded in 2009, millions of athletes have joined Strava for the competition and camaraderie found in tracking and sharing their fitness activities.
Strava’s free mobile apps and website help members discover and plan workouts, record and share activities, and analyse and compare performance. Strava’s ability to connect athletes around the world makes fitness a more social experience, providing extra motivation even when training alone.
For more information, please visit http://blog.strava.com/new-year-new-achievements-9125/

It’s Cyclocross Season – Are you ready to get down and dirty?

It's always good to get out on a bright Autumn day.

It’s always good to get out on a bright Autumn day.

I love this time of year as the Summer turns to Autumn, the leaves begin to turn some of the most amazing colours and winter gradually gets its claws into the land as the frosty mornings start cold and bright. However if I’m really honest I hate the cold dark dank days that also come in late autumn and winter. However on the bright side it is a great time to get out and play in the mud!

As many a great explorer has said “there is no such thing as bad weather just poor preparation” actually I’m not really sure who said that maybe not Scott! But seriously you can ride in any weather if you are wearing the correct clothing or have some of the top tips below to keep feet and hands warm.

So do not be afraid of the weather hug it tight and be a conquering hero of Autumn and Winter riding.

I noticed just this last week that the number of CX Sportives is on the increase and a quick trawl through the events list suggests that they are very popular in the South, come on you guys in the North make sure your events are publicised.

I rode my very first CX Sportive this year, the amazing Adventure X event based around Keswick. What an experience it was, don’t forget to read my review of the event elsewhere on this website.

So if you fancy trying a little bit of cyclocross but don’t have a CX bike, well don’t worry most events are open to wide range of bikes, pretty much anything will do, except perhaps your pride and joy the full carbon road bike!

From my experience riders will turn up on any bike from a full carbon CX bike, hardtail MTB, Full suspension MTB to a flat bar hybrid. The only thing I would recommend is that you check the ride profile and make sure you have a suitable range of gears for the event unless you are riding single speed! I got caught out on the Mini Monster Adventure X in Keswick.

CX Sportive (www.cxsportive.com) has several good rides available this season:

CX Sportives are the fantastic new mixed surface events that are combining the thrills of on  and off-road riding into one awesome experience!

•Sportive style events on fast, mixed surface courses

•Courses from 40-80km

•Full sportive support and infrastructure

•Great for all kinds of bikes: CX, MTB, Hybrid, 29er, Singlespeed & even Road!*

Riding a mix of road and off road is so exhilarating.

Riding a mix of road and off road is so exhilarating.

Big challenge rides tend to come in two flavours; massive road sportives and hardcore MTB enduros. But why not mix it up, take on the best of both and spice up your riding?

CX Sportive is an exciting new ride format. It’s ideal for your cross bike, but equally suitable for your XC MTB or even road winter training bike, tweaked for a little rough stuff!* The course mixes back roads, interwoven with byways and a few short tougher off road links that will certainly bring on the heat!

Your choice of steed will define your ride. Will the versatility of a MTB offer the best performance over mixed terrain? Will the pure speed of your road bike make up for time lost on the short, occasional off road dismounts? Or will the CX bike give you the best return where it counts?

To prove a point (or just let you fly the flag for your tribe), they even include your bike choice in your results listing; so if you insist on tackling the route on your mum’s folding shopper, they’ll credit your lunacy!**

You’ll have a range of time targets to aim for, with age and gender adjustments; including full route marking, RFID timing, top notch catering and first class, friendly organisation and support.

*Not recommended for your beloved, super-light carbon road thoroughbred!

**Disclaimer: Don’t tackle the route on your mum’s folding shopper!

Ride X the Evan CX rides

Ride X the Evan CX rides

The bike supermarket that is Evans have also added CX Sportives to their list of Ride It events this year. They might well be worth checking out if you live in the South (Evans Ride it CX Sportives).

For the Autumn/Winter season they’ve added 4 exciting mixed terrain routes to their existing Sportive offering. As with all of their road sportives, all routes will be fully way-marked with GPX files published pre-event. High5 sponsored feed stations will help you tackle a variety of riding surfaces (tarmac, mud, grass & more!) whilst clocking up some worthy mileage in this new format. The routes are best suited to cyclocross and adventure-road bikes that are up to some off-road exploring.

All rides include: Fully way-marked routes • Well stocked High5 feed stations • Mechanical support • GPS files published pre-event • Free High5 pack worth £10 when you sign up 8 weeks in advance • Free Garmin hire • Times published post-event

 

Cycling Weekly Adventure X Series

Cycling Weekly Adventure X Series

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for next years Adventure X series promoted and run by Cycling Weekly with the support of changing sponsors. The event I rode in October was amazing, one of the best challenges I have have ever taken part in (more details can be found in my report on Adventure X Lakeland Monster Miles)

With so much going on on the cyclocross sportive scene surely it must be time for you to ditch the winter rode bike and get yourself a CX bike and rise to the challenge. I did and I haven’t looked back :)

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