Sportives are one of the best ways to get into cycling! Whether you’re a smooth road seeking cyclist or an all-out mountain bike maniac, sportives have something to offer you. I really do believe that sportives are the way forward. Check out my ’10 reasons why’ below!
#1: Firstly, and this is one of the best reasons, sportives are safer than going it alone. I don’t want to put anybody off but cycling can be extremely dangerous! A good sportive company will plan a route on quiet roads, have risk points sign-posted and have medics on standby in case of an emergency.
#2: You should not get lost. As mentioned in point 1, a good sportive is one that is sign-posted well. It allows the rider to be more relaxed as they enjoy their bike ride. Planning a route can be daunting and it’s very easy to get lost on the UK’s roads. Sportives more-or-less eliminate this threat.
#3: Camaraderie. The cycling community is one of the best. They look out for each other, help each other and encourage each other. Whether you get punctures and run out of tubes or come off your bike and get a scrape, there is always someone willing to help.
#4: You get food! Top sportives will provide feed stations along your route. This is a great time to refuel and stock up on things like gels, isotonic drink or water. Feed stops should also have toilet facilities. This gives you a little more peace of mind. You won’t run out of energy and you won’t get caught short!
#5: Options for all abilities. Many sportives are split up into different route lengths. For example, a sportive run recently in Thirsk had 3 route choices; a 39 mile, 81 mile and 103 mile route. Obviously a 39 mile route is very short for a seasoned cyclist, whereas a 103 mile route is extremely long for a novice. Sportives give the option for you to ride to your own ability. Just remember to train accordingly!
#6: Support along the way. Not all, but some sportive providers will have support vehicles to aid in breakdowns – either mechanically with your bike or physically with your body. As well as this, they also have course sweepers – staff who check the course at the end for anyone struggling to make it back. Once again, this gives you peace of mind. You know you won’t be stuck up in the Cumbrian hills or the Yorkshire moors all night if you have a breakdown with no phone signal.
#7: Additional extras! Sportives usually provide things like photos, medals, t-shirts and other cycling goodies. This is great – it really gives you a memento of your ride out and something to show your family and friends.
#8: It will make you a better cyclist. In cycling, experience counts for a lot! Doing a sportive with others will give you experience and confidence that riding solo will not. Things like navigating potholes, traffic and hill climbs can be learnt quickly when you see someone else do it first!
#9: Timing. Ok, it’s important to remember that sportives are not races. However, it is sometimes nice to get an official chip time for your efforts. Premium sportives will offer a time to their riders as well as standards markers (gold, silver, bronze, etc.)
#10: It’s cycling! Cycling has many benefits! Want to know some? Check out this article I wrote last Summer: 8 great reasons to get on your bike!
Also, if you would like to check out one of the UK’s premium sportive providers, click the banner below!