A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SPORTIVE RIDING

We’ve put together this short guide for people new to Sportive riding. A lot of riders enjoy their first Sportive with the Midland Monster, so we want to make it as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Whilst this guide is primarily aimed at people who are new to the Sport, more experienced riders might also find it useful.

WHICH EVENT?

For us cyclists, one of the beauties of Sportive riding is that we get to explore a new part of the country with the reassurance and confidence that we’ll be well looked after and don’t need to spend a lot of time researching the area, studying maps, planning the lunch stops etc! So, we suggest that you choose an event that explores somewhere new and doesn’t include the roads you regularly ride on.

If you’re riding alone or with friends, you’ll be amongst a lot of other friendly people who are all keen to chat and look after each other. We see people who were strangers hugging it out on the finish line after dragging each other through a tough day! Our Monster Community of past riders and friends is on our Facebook page so feel free to post comments and ask questions as you’ll always get a response and might start to make some friends already!

WHICH DISTANCE?

We have designed four route distances with increasing mileage (44, 76, 104 and 140) and climbing in each. The 44m we keep sensibly easy but with a couple of climbs, the 76m has a few challenging hills and the 104m has a few longer, steeper climbs and 140m is as tough as we can make it!  If you want to push yourself then we suggest that whilst you set yourself a challenge, you don’t go massively over both the distance and climbing that you have accomplished before. Push yourself on one but not both at the same time! The key is to set a challenge that is sufficiently stretching and for which you know you can train in the time you have available before the event. 

You can change your distance at any time so if the preparation doesn’t go well don’t worry. However, it’s much more satisfying to be realistic in your goals and to be able to achieve them. A sensible achievable challenge is roughly not more than 25% over and above what you’ve more than once recently ridden.  When we chat to riders in the broom wagon, they usually confirm that significantly more than this has resulted in failure. Of course, with a favourable wind, a super human effort and great support along the way, you’ll achieve the unthinkable. But preparation is everything.

PREPARING FOR THE EVENT

So, you’ve checked the distance, taken a good look at the profile and you’ve given yourself time to prepare for it! We suggest not less than two months if the event is a “challenge” ride for you. Study the route – all the data is available on this website. (distance, elevation, feed stations and rough ride times) but if you need more or just want to be reassured then don’t hesitate to contact us. The profiles are a really useful gauge from which to measure the challenge ahead! You’ll also receive an Event Manual a week before the event, together with links to the maps and GPS data and you can download it from this website. This is an essential read as it’s the only info you’ll be sent. We don’t post anything out to you as we believe it’s a waste of paper and money. Our Midland Monster Strava page gives you an opportunity to compare and contrast your training rides with your friends and other riders in our Community and the Leader Boards provide a bit of extra motivation to go the extra mile! Good luck and good training from the CC GIRO team.

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