Take your cy­cling up a gear

Whether you’re new to two wheels or a keen cy­clist look­ing for a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge, here’s all you need to know to tackle a sum­mer sportive

Health & Fitness - - Contents - WORDS: Han­nah Ebelth­ite

Give your­self a new chal­lenge and join a sportive.

AAh, sum­mer cy­cling – one of the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing ways to get ac­tive in the great out­doors. Whether you’re cy­cling your com­mute, go­ing on a so­cial ride with friends or head­ing out for a longer week­end trip, there’s noth­ing like that feel­ing of free­dom and fun. And now that in­clement weather is out of the way (hope­fully), it’s the per­fect time to take hobby cy­cling up a notch and en­ter an event. ‘Ev­ery sum­mer, or­gan­ised rides called sportives take place all round the UK and are en­joyed by rid­ers in their thou­sands,’ says Su­san­nah Os­borne, Ride Cap­tain for HotChillee, which or­gan­ises cy­cling events in the UK and abroad (hotchillee.com). ‘And as women’s cy­cling goes from strength to strength, there is a wealth of new events to choose from, many women-only if that’s what you fancy.’ En­ter­ing a sportive will give your train­ing a fo­cus and can be a way to meet new friends (es­pe­cially if you join a club while you’re train­ing). It’s a great ex­cuse to visit new parts of the UK, take in beau­ti­ful scenery and chal­lenge your­self with dif­fer­ent land­scapes and pro­files. Here’s how to get in­volved.

60 Find out how to tackle a sportive

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