Above: Julie (waving) during that memorable Newport sportive back in 2005.
Name: Julie Barrett
Weight: 57 kg
Bottom Gear: 34 x 25
Current bike: Kinesis Racelight T2
What do you take with you on a ride?
Spare tubes, pump, multi-tool, bits of food, gels, energy drink and waterproof depending on the forecast.
Why do you ride sportives?
To challenge myself and to get to ride in different areas of the country. It’s an excuse for a cheeky weekend away.
What was your last sportive?
October 2010 – Bike Blenheim Palace
What’s your favourite event and why?
A Welsh event in Newport in 2005 – sun shone all day long and I was with a good group and it was one of those rare days when you just feel good.
What’s the longest sportive you’ve done?
Cheshire Cat 67 miles
What’s your most memorable sportive moment?
Falling off (twice!) on Red Bank in Grasmere in the Christmas Cracker Sportive going uphill! (There was ice the full width of the road so couldn’t be avoided but it was right in front of an audience)
What’s your worst sportive moment?
Blenheim Palace Sportive in 2010 when I was sick and it rained the whole day. We had planned to do 100 miles but turned off at the 60 mile marker and did the shorter loop.
When was the last time you walked up a hill?
On the Mortirolo in Italy in July 2010. The hire bike I had only had a rear sprocket of 23 which wasn’t really enough for a climb with an average gradient of about 14%!
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you (or you’ve seen) on a sportive?
Nothing funny has ever happened to me on a sportive – I’m usually suffering too much!
How much training do you do before an event?
Not enough really! Just turn up and ride the distance I think I’m capable of on the day.
What’s your top sportive riding tip?
Try and find a group of similar ability to ride with. It does make things a lot easier – unfortunately if you’re a female that’s easier said than done as most groups that pass are men that are intent on hammering it!
Favourite feed station fodder?
I don’t tend to stop at the feed stations as I struggle to eat on the bike. I just use energy fluids and gels and the odd banana is all I can tolerate. Plus it’s harder to get going again once I’ve stopped.
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