Sunday, 28 April 2013

Word of the day: sportive

I cycled in the rain today. I mean spring showers are one thing but we've not even had any spring weather so spare me the torrential Merseyside rain. The closer I got to Liverpool the worse it was. I hear that applies to more than just the weather. Anyway, as my ride was so pitiful (2:30hr) I shall blog about my first sportive. 

So a sportive is not a cycle race but it is. You are timed and given that time and there is a start and a finish. The roads are open to traffic, and there are points where officials give you an energy gel and a flapjack. This is different from an audax or randonee (a cycling sport in which participants attempt to cycle long distances within a pre-defined time limit. Audax is a non-competitive sport: success in an event is measured by its completion. It has checkpoints, and you navigate your own way to them and at the checkpoint you eat cake.)

Anyway the important thing about this one was it was 60 miles, had sign posts, flapjacks and sausages at the end. 

I ended up meeting with some folk from Team Glow. A couple of people hadn't done the distance before and so met my nerves with their own statements of noviceness but actually when it came to it they were off like jack rabbits while I was still hoping I had clipped my feet in correctly. 

It was my first UK ride with my clip in shoes and I was pleased I didn't fall off, result. I also didn't get lost - despite  a few signs getting waylaid and I almost had a good time! I was ready to come home at the last 10km especially with all the traffic and Cheshire roads need to get their potholes filled. 

The day took me 5:02:28 - if I had known I maybe would have made more of an effort but actually the day was about confidence rather than speed. I was also grateful to end up with the company of Autumn, a rider whose head I had run over in a previous Team Glow escapade who helped me through the last of the traffic. 

A nice final long ride before Mallorca.  Importantly the bratwurst was very good so good I had two massive hot dogs of them filled with boiled onions and then ran 8kms. I know... 

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