Sportive number 2 booked: Wiggle Ups and Downs – May 1st 2011

Now that my legs seem to have recovered from a tough day at the Puncheur (http://girodilento.com/a-punching-by-the-puncheur), I’ve decided I need to book some more sportives.I’m hoping/planning to do another 3 or 4 this year to get the hang of them, most likely in the UK but perhaps into Europe next year (I really fancy doing Flanders but chickened out for this year). 

I’ve never run a marathon but to me, Sportives are marathons for road cyclists – they are chances to give yourself a good challenging day out where you’re really competing just against yourself and your own expectations rather than anyone else. Sure I know there are plenty of people who see them as a race and the day is a failure if they don’t get a gold time, or if, god forbid, they get a puncture on the way. At the Puncheur those kinds of riders were a small minority – most people were there for the challenge and a bit of a chat with other cyclists as well. There’s a bit of cycling cameraderie in a shared experience and it’s fun to be out of the road with lots of other people. Generally speaking, you’ll get passed by plenty of people, you’ll pass plenty of people and there will always be people who are having a better or worse day than you. They’ll always be some on a better bike and a worse bike and cooler bike and a laughable bike – but you’re all out there together on the course and that’s the fun of it.

I’ve chosen the standard route at 68 miles – that’ll be enough for me on the day. The course is described as challenging – so that means plenty of up and down (the clue’s in the name obviously) short steep hills. I shouldn’t imagine I’ll be even close troubling the gold standard and that’s fine – I hope I’ll get round in better shape than last time and that the weather is ok for the day. I aspire to a silver but would be pleased with a bronze and I must make a note to not spend so much time stopped next time (except for any traffic lights of course).

I already know someone else doing the ride and hopefully will find out some more fellow sufferers before the event too – if you’ve entered the event – do let me know and if you’re considering it, visit here before all the places go: http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/events/ups-downs-sportive/ – it should be a great day.

Below is a preview article by the excellent Mark Tearle (on twitter as @MarkTearle), whom I had the good fortune to ride with for a while on the Puncheur. Mark’s preview will give you a more detailed insight on what to expect (pain and suffering on hills is the general gist of it) – the opening video for this post is also from Mark’s preview article found here at: http://www.cyclosport.org/article.aspx?id=1774

Thanks for reading