Nobody would suggest that winter is the best time for riding your bike, but it is a great time to start planning for next year’s cycling challenges. And with so many great sportives and organised rides opening their doors for advanced entries already, we decided to have a look at some fantastic events coming next year — and some that are happening even sooner!
Here’s something riders in the south-east might have signed up to already — the 2015 London Cycle Sportive is now open for entry registration. Next year’s event will take place on May 10, and it’ll feature all the same ingredients that have made this event such a favourite. The route itself is a real corker, starting in Dulwich Park before heading out into the Surrey Hills — including Box Hill — and then finishing on the historic outdoor velodrome at Herne Hill.
There’s a choice of three distances — 30 miles, 65 miles or 103 miles — with entry costing £40, £46 and £48 respectively. So if you want to book your place, register now — last year’s event was a sell-out.
Ride It gets cross
Evans Cycles’ excellent Ride It! series of sportives are expanding into mixed terrain routes this winter. There will be four cross sportives this season: Hampshire on December 7; Thetford on December 14; Newbury on January 25 and Gatwick on February 15. Each will have a choice of long or short route options, with adult entry a flat £17.50 in advance, £20 on the day, and kids go free if accompanying a full paying adult.
All routes will be fully waymarked with GPX files published beforehand. There will be High5 sponsored feed stations and full mechanical support. And be sensible with bike choice — the routes are best suited to cyclo-cross and adventure-road bikes that can handle a bit of off-road exploring.
Cycling Weekly sportives
The Cycling Weekly Sportive Series is back with a huge range of incredible events for next year, and there will also be the return of the immensely popular Adventure Cross mixed-terrain challenges. The first ride, the Wiltshire Wildcat, takes place on March 14, and there are rides all the way through to the season finale, the classic Box Hill Original on October 11.
All events come with a selection of routes to suit every level of cyclist, and there’s complete rider support including feed stations, timing, mechanical and medical support, and of course there’s full route marking through some of the finest countryside in the UK.
And if you can’t wait until next year for a bit of cycling competition, the crazy folk at Morvélo have come up with an alternative take on cycle speedway. Using the 180-metre concrete oval already found in Brighton’s abandoned Circus Street Old Market, rival teams — or ‘gangs’, as Morvélo is calling them — will battle it out for the glory at the first ever ‘Battle Royale’.
The race format is pretty simple: two teams of three riders will compete over four laps. Last rider across the line decides the outcome of the battle. The ‘gang’ with all three riders across the line before the other team is declared the winner.
Any bikes can be used, as long as they have at least one working brake. And helmets are compulsory.
Battle commences on Saturday, December 6, from 9am to 8pm at Circus Street Old Market, Brighton. And if you fancy just watching, there will be roller racing and refreshments.
It’s going to be another fantastic year for these superb challenge rides — we’ll see you at the start line!
To prepare your bike for a challenge ride, don’t forget to read our complete sportive advice article.