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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:22 pm 
retrobike rider
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ededwards wrote:
Why not try the 4th Annual Herefordshire Grimpeur? 50 miles, some climbing, quiet country roads, quality company, not far from you, free.

See RetroRoadRides calendar for date etc.


That's a very kind offer Ed but you b*ggers damned near wore me out on Dave's 'flat' Costwold ride.

As for the Skyrides, they are one extreme to the other. I may be old and feeble, but a ten mile ride that takes two hours is not really what I'm after.

I'll have to look out for some mtb rides, they sound good. In fact, I missed a really good one locally on the Sunday before the last Bank Hol. I only realised it had been on when I saw a post about it here on RB. :evil:

I think I need to have a crack at a couple of the local climbs in the next couple of weeks, just to see how I measure up.

John; you kind of echo the point I'm making /realising, that sportives are a bit more serious than just a fun day out on the bike.


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 10:38 pm 
The Guv'nor
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NeilM wrote:
John; you kind of echo the point I'm making /realising, that sportives are a bit more serious than just a fun day out on the bike.


Indeed. What I might have added is many I ride with enter sportives as a way to do a challenging ride without racing.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:31 am 
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NeilM wrote:
John; you kind of echo the point I'm making /realising, that sportives are a bit more serious than just a fun day out on the bike.


Yes and no. There are people who take them so seriously that they really ought to be racing, not poncing about with sportives. And then there are (many more) folk who are operating somewhere on the spectrum from "trying to do it a bit quicker than last year" to "pleasant bimble in the countryside".

Given the rides you're doing on your own, you'd have no problem with a middling-distance (50-60 mile) sportive. Having lots of other people around makes a massive difference. It'd be a good idea to get some experience of riding in a group in order to make the most of them, although it never seems like most people away from the sharp end have bothered ;)


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 7:10 am 
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I hear, that during the moster hill, Crowcombe, in the somerset grandfondo, there was a queue for people to start pushing up the hill!


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 7:18 am 
retrobike rider
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gtRTSdh wrote:
I hear, that during the moster hill, Crowcombe, in the somerset grandfondo, there was a queue for people to start pushing up the hill!


I think I'm starting to understand what these sportives are all about..... it's suffering isn't it. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 8:35 am 
retrobike rider
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Location: A wretched hive of scum and villainy...
No mention of Audax UK?
Hundreds of rides every year, distances from 50km to 1400km, choice of average speeds between 12 and 20mph. Insured and generally signposted, but none of that pseudo-race aspect which has taken over sportives.

N. Somerset? How about the Uffculme Coast and back audax: 1st June 100km 1300m climbing £6
Or the 160km Coast to Coast: 160km 1900m climbing?

Also club or CTC standard rides (50 miles in 3 hours etc).

All the best,


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:21 am 
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My experience of the local club route is not good. Main one for me is in Edinburgh and although they have many runs some of which they title beginners i think they believe you should be a committed TDF wannabe from the off. My bike got derisive comments, i was expected to get involved in chain gang on my first run and got told off for anything i didn't do right first time, they couldn't be bothered with repeated explanation and they were so aggressive, even the woman, even getting aggressive with cars. They dropped me when i couldn't keep up with the pace 10 miles from home, the pace was gentle in their words, far from in mine.
Be warned, be fit, be under no alusions, the club scene is for racers not pootlers.
Of course this may not be the case elewhere but I seldom see middle aged blokes with a bit of spare waistline involved in the occasionally hundred strong peletons that set forth from Edinburgh on a warm summers day on a trainning run.

However as others have pointed out CTC runs and other cycle groups less formal than the road clubs who are not obsessed with racing do put on good rides of various distances with a no one gets left approach. They are the groups I do cycle with :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:57 am 
retrobike rider
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I did three road Sportives last year, prior to this i'd never done one;

March (Cheshire Cat, taking in Mow Cop, Gun hill etc) This had about 3,000 participants and was great, all levels from the serious racer to the beginner who maybe set this as their goal to lose weight. Great weather (luckily) and great views and a route i would never had cycled as i'd just not know about it. I did the middle distance which for last year was 76 miles, 5k feet ascent. I didn't want to sign up on my own as like you id never done one before so roped my cousin in and once we started all the nerves etc had gone. It's not a race, let the racers go off and do their thing, we just soaked up the atmosphere and had a great day out with like minded individuals. Well organised and a great route.

May (Tour of the Peaks, taking in Cat and Fiddle, Winnats, and such other delights :lol: ). This had roughly half the participants of the CC and was a bit more hardcore in the participants, but again never really felt out of our depth. I signed up for this on my own but my cousin enjoyed the CC that much that he also signed and we went round together again. My cousin doesn't really like going up hills but he thoroughly enjoyed the route, scenery, atmosphere etc and we had an amazing day. It was also the hottest of the year which made a tough route tougher going. We went for the middle distance again which was 65 mile, 7k feet ascent.

September (White Peak, taking in just loads of hills in the south peaks). We signed up together again but my cousin twisted his ankle so didn't come along for this one. I therefore did this on my own. This had a similar number of participants than the TOTP but as I'd opted for the longer route which was 84 miles, 9k feet ascent there was definitely an increase in the ability of participants, many lean racing snakes, but again never really felt totally out of my depth and enjoyed it as much as i could. Weather was blustery and cold but again the route was amazing. As i was on my own i soon found a few other people in the same boat at a similar level so we rode along chatting. This was a great experience but i had some form of food poisoning that seemed to kick in just after the long route/short route split point and i just couldn't eat or really drink anything. I believe it was food poisoning from the night before and as i couldn't take in much if any substance i bonked with 15 miles to go, this was just hell for those last 15, i was so tempted to jump on the broom wagon when it went past :oops:

Overall i personally like sportives and I don't treat them as races as some people do. For me the challenge is the distance and trying to maintain my average over that distance. I probably average 17 mph over 30 miles, depending on the ascent - obviously drops as the ascending goes up. So i try and say do a 60 to 80 mile sportive but try to maintain my 30 miles average. For some people they are doing the 100 miles+ every weekend and it shows on a sportive but i am never going to be at that level, now too old and have too little time. If it wasn't for my cousin coming with me then i would not have done one but now i would happily sign up for one on my own and just go out at my own pace, enjoy the route and soak up the atmosphere. You also soon get used to riding in a group although from the Sportives i have done there really isnt that much group riding and it all blows apart anyway once you hit a climb which is great, just like on one of the grand tours :D 8)


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Location: Somerset
NeilM wrote:
gtRTSdh wrote:
I hear, that during the moster hill, Crowcombe, in the somerset grandfondo, there was a queue for people to start pushing up the hill!


I think I'm starting to understand what these sportives are all about..... it's suffering isn't it. :mrgreen:


No, that's just road cycling!!!

velomaniac wrote:
My experience of the local club route is not good. Main one for me is in Edinburgh and although they have many runs some of which they title beginners i think they believe you should be a committed TDF wannabe from the off. My bike got derisive comments, i was expected to get involved in chain gang on my first run and got told off for anything i didn't do right first time, they couldn't be bothered with repeated explanation and they were so aggressive, even the woman, even getting aggressive with cars. They dropped me when i couldn't keep up with the pace 10 miles from home, the pace was gentle in their words, far from in mine.
Be warned, be fit, be under no alusions, the club scene is for racers not pootlers.
Of course this may not be the case elewhere but I seldom see middle aged blokes with a bit of spare waistline involved in the occasionally hundred strong peletons that set forth from Edinburgh on a warm summers day on a trainning run.

However as others have pointed out CTC runs and other cycle groups less formal than the road clubs who are not obsessed with racing do put on good rides of various distances with a no one gets left approach. They are the groups I do cycle with :D


Although the kit comments are out of order. To be fair, it sounds like a decent club (organising the riders on the road, involving you & teaching you) & they looked after you (staying with you until 10miles from home is fair enough). I've been dropped much further than that from home, it's kind of a learning thing.

velomaniac wrote:
Be warned, be fit, be under no alusions, the club scene is for racers not pootlers.


This is true, clubs are for enthusiasts and the more you ride the faster you get, our club has a seniors begginer ride where you can cut your legs in.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:52 pm 
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https://sites.google.com/a/bristolroadc ... /club-runs

http://www.nb-cc.co.uk/


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