Here are our top 10 tips to ensure your first sportive goes smoothly.
1) Pick the right event
Look at our and find a sportive that suits your ability. If it’s your first event, you might want to go for a relatively low key and possibly local event.
2) Train right
We’ve got to suit all levels of riders and, following a structured plan, is the best way to ensure you’re properly prepared. You don’t need to have ridden the full event distance in training but should have covered approximately 75-80% of it.
3) Practice fueling and pacing in training
4) Get use to riding in a group
Riding in a group saves energy and is sociable. Try to get in some practice so you feel relaxed with other riders around you and learn the etiquette. Get in touch with your local club and join one of their rides.
5) Double check details
Thoroughly read through any pre-event information. Make sure you know exactly where you need to be and when. Do you need any ID? What are the parking arrangements?
6) Pack the night before
Make a list of what you need and pack it the night before to avoid stress and forgetting something on the morning of the ride.
7) Arrive early
Give yourself plenty of time in the morning, you don’t want to feel pressured or rushed and there’s often a bit of a queue at the toilets!
8) Ride at your own pace
Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the day and go off too hard. Stick to the same pacing as you’ve used in training.
9) Fuel as you did in training
With a bonanza of cakes and go-faster gels on offer at feed-stations, it’s easy to upset your stomach. Try to be disciplined and stick as closely as possible to the fuel you’ve used in training.
10) Stay safe and enjoy it
Make sure you attend and listen to the pre-ride briefing. Ride sensibly and remember that, as most sportives take place on open roads, you still need to follow the Highway Code. Remember, it’s not a race, don’t put any pressure on yourself and just enjoy your ride.