Aiming to give an insight into the life of a sportive event organiser is Beeston Cycling Club. We’ll follow the organisation of their 2014 event – which started as a reliability ride and last year attracted 250 riders. Although June is nine months away, work is already in progress to improve the event, as club secretary Paul Newson writes.
Welcome to the first blog from Beeston CC, where over the next few months, members of the club who help make our sportive happen will be taking it in turns to give a little insight as to what goes in to hosting a sportive.
As club secretary, I am part of a pro-active executive who oversee the planning of all events and activities throughout the season. I work closely with the chairman, treasurer, membership manager, event manager and welfare officer to ensure that all our objectives are met and, most important of all, that the needs of our members are catered for.
Already, our focus is turning to preparations for the 2014 event. This began as a small reliability ride for members only, but as the popularity of mass rides has increased, we have steadily expanded it into a fully fledged Sportive, with three different routes, signage, great food and all those extras that participants now expect.
"If all sportives are this well run, especially with very helpful and cheerful Beeston club members, plus the lovely soup and cheese roll at the finish, I’ll be a sportive fan for life."
Mark Griffiths' take on the 2013 Beeston CC sportive
One of those extras meant we invested in timing chips this year and increasing the entry price to cover our costs wasn’t easy. We were also nervous about how many entrants we’d have and whether we’d be overstretching our resources (i.e. volunteers from the club) – but we needn’t have worried.
The chips made our life easier and this was just a part of the good news at the event.
The weather gods smiled on Sunday 30th June and no doubt our growing reputation and the promise of a decent day helped to swell the numbers; we enjoyed a record 250 entries evenly split between the 47, 77 and 111-mile routes. As the first riders started trickling back, the ice cream van did a roaring trade in recovery 99s; essential as the temperature soared into the high twenties.
We’re now analysing all the feedback to see how we can improve the rider experience, whether that be more food, bigger signs - or even more climbs. Whatever the outcome, we’ll let you know our plans next month and leave you with a testimonial from Mark Griffiths, which brings back good memories from last year.
"This was my first Sportive and probably one that I will never forget. During the event you really got to see Derbyshire and the Peaks in all their glory. The views looking down either side of the Amber Valley from both Wirksworth and Crich really made the climbs that bit more extra special and even more worthwhile. Although I must say that the climb up Hindersitch Lane (aka The Widow Maker) was nearly a bridge to far for mind and body, the welcoming face at the food station soon put me back on track. If all sportive events are this well run, especially with very helpful and cheerful Beeston club members, plus the lovely soup and cheese roll at the finish, I’ll be a sportive fan for life. See you next year."
Our next blog will be available from the 6th November, where we will be reviewing the feedback from this year's event to make next year's even better!!