Fred Whitton 2017

Sportives are normally a fairly nice way to ride in a semi-organised fashion around a reasonably nice part of the country that you could do on your own any other day of the year. In return for a small fee you usually get a box of energy gels and  the chance to ride with a…

Tour de Yorkshire 2017

I was oop Norf in Yorkshire this weekend with Tomo for a spot of bike riding and a bit of bike watching. Here’s how it went down in seven bitesized chunks: Le Tour de Yorkshire is run by Sir Gary Verity along with Christian Prudhomme and his chums from ASO (they run the Tour de…

The Monster

Billed as ‘The UK’s toughest sportive’, The Monster was never going to be a straightforward day on the bike. With 1000m more climbing than the renowned Fred Whitton challenge in the Lake District, The Monster packed in 4200m (13,779ft) of up into just 195km (120m) of forwards, which is a lot. On Saturday morning we…

Evans RideIt Windsor

The Windsor RideIt starts from Windsor Racecourse and is within easy reach of both the M4 and Windsor & Eton Riverside train station. Registration was swift and easy beneath the racecourse Grandstand, and we joined a massive snaking queue along the stands and final furlong to get through the start tent and on the way….

Evans RideIt Kent

Distance: 74 miles. Climbing: 5250ft. Difficulty: 6/10 Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/121215650 The Kent RideIt starts from the shiny, modern Cyclopark facility just off the A2 and heads off into the eastern end of the hilly bit of Kent. There’s four fairly long climbs involved, up Tinkerpot Lane, Grove Road, Mote Road and the mile long, 8% Vigo Hill and…

Evans RideIt South Downs

Distance: 72 miles. Climbing: 4800ft. Difficulty: 5/10 Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/121215650  The South Downs RideIt starts in the slightly bizarre surroundings of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, with 13th century agricultural buildings & machinery curiously juxtaposed against High5 paraphernalia Starting with a gradual 6 mile climb right from the gate, it’s not a flat route and four…

Evans RideIt Woking

Distance: 87 miles. Climbing: 4300ft. Difficulty: 4/10 Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/47678277/overview Evans’ Woking sportive was the first I ever rode back in April 2013. At the time the 87 mile route was beyond daunting and did its job of forcing me to get into more respectable shape pretty sharpish. It’s an event that should appeal to novices and…

NSPCC Tour of Yorkshire

Distance: 176 miles. Climbing: 7970ft. (Over 2 stages). Difficulty: 6/10. Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/168005490 / https://www.strava.com/activities/168472180  I rode the inaugural Tour of Yorkshire in 2014, a couple of weeks after watching le Tour go by at the top of Holme Moss. Whilst somewhat smaller in scale than the world’s biggest bike race, the NSPCC event is several levels…

Hell of the Ashdown

Distance: 63 miles. Climbing: 6150ft. Difficulty: 8/10. Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/498852309/overview Billed as “The Best Sportive in the South of England”, The Hell of the Ashdown is a stiff early-season test with the weather and the lumpy Kent & Sussex hills conspiring to produce one tough day on the bike. Just 64 miles (104km) long, it’s not the…

King of the Downs

Distance: 117 miles. Climbing: 8327ft. Difficulty: 9/10. Strava: https://www.strava.com/segments/7335853 One of the two properly tough events on Evans’ RideIt calendar, the King of the Downs is a test of any cyclist. Starting at Evans Cycles HQ just south of Gatwick airport, the course takes in two loops, the first through Surrey and the second through Kent,…