Sportive cycles – mass road rides with hundreds or even thousands of participants, sometimes on roads especially closed for the purpose – have exploded in popularity.
Non-competitive in nature and generally featuring a choice of distances and/or routes, sportive riders can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that a full support organisation, including food and drink stops plus mechanical support is always there should they need it. You can see all our sponsored sportive rides on our events page.
Get the miles in to suit the ride you’re taking on. Scope out the route so you know what to expect – don’t get caught out by a big climb or tough descent. Strava is a great place to research and find new routes.
Why not track your ride, compare data with friends and upload your routes with the help of a training aid? Heart rate monitors and GPS systems like this Garmin Edge 520 are perfect performance indicators, so why not log your activity throughout this year’s riding challenge?
You’ve prepared yourself physically and mentally, so take the same approach to your bike – make sure it’s in good working order with a kit like this from X-Tools.
Check that your brake pads, tyres and chainset are in good condition, and that your gears are shifting smoothly, ready for a big day in the saddle!
Contact points, areas of your body in direct contact with the bike, are the main areas you’ll want to look after on big-mile rides.
Your handlebar, like this carbon model from Thomson, plays a key role in how comfy your ride is, offering a variety of different hand and riding positions – on the top of the bars for in-the-saddle climbing, on the hoods of the brakes for going uphill or accelerating, or on the drops for sustained high-speed effort in a lower, more aerodynamic position.
The clothing you wear can make or break your ride, so make sure you’re wearing the right kit for the conditions.
Bibshorts, like these from Endura, have straps that go over the shoulders, rather than a waistband, and are regarded by many as being more comfortable as they are less prone to chafing and have no waistband to dig into the stomach. Your ass will thank you for buying a good pair after a long road ride.
It’s handy to have a pot of chamois cream at the ready – it helps reduce friction, prevent overheating and generally offers a soothing barrier which prevents chafing and pain.
Hydrate yourself before, during and after your ride – whatever the distance. Eating and drinking little and often will produce the best results, so even if you don’t feel overly hungry, try to take some food on board.