Beginners Sportive Questions

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
Doing the Merlin Sportive on Sunday 104 miles around Carmarthenshire.

After all the great weather we have had The forecast is indicating strong winds and rain for Sunday:angry:.

Do you take waterproofs or is it impractical so just get wet ?

I normally ride the bike with a seat post bar rack with a bag on the back for extra drinks food tools windproof jacket etc. It looks large but is quite light in reality.Will this be out of place on a sportive or will other riders have something similar?I could take it off and have a small underseat bag for tools and innertube but anything else would have to go in my jersey pockets then.

006-6.jpg


Any advice for a beginner would be appreciated.
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
Banjo said:
Will this be out of place on a sportive or will other riders have something similar?I could take it off and have a small underseat bag for tools and innertube but anything else would have to go in my jersey pockets then.



Any advice for a beginner would be appreciated.

Ride what and how you want to ride. I ride my fully mud-gauarded Tricross in sportives and sometimes wear a light back pack.

There may be some peanuts who make snide comments (like the guy who asked if i was doing the off -road option) but there will also be a wide range of bikes and riders from Carbon riding weight weeines to mtbs.

Open your gob and chat to people riding around you and enjoy the day.
 
Wrt to waterprroofs, if its a 104 miles in the rain you'll find almost everyone wears a jacket or gilet. Overshoes can be useful too. Getting soaked to the skin isn't good IMO. My own favourite in inclement weather is to wear a wind proof/ weather resistant jacket (I have the Montane Featherlite) as its more breathable. If it was torrential I'd wear a gillet on top. I don't think I've ever saw waterproof trowsers on a ride they'd be impractical anyway.
I don't think I'd want to cart around such a large saddlebag on a 104 mile ride but if it works for you hey, ho. You can see all sorts on Sportive, MTB, cyclocross and of course lots of lighter roadbike. A lot of riders also carry camelbaks which again IMO I wouldn't want to cart around but again if it works for them hey, ho.
 

Fiona N

Veteran
If it's strong winds with rain, even otherwise warm temperatures mean you're likely to get cold when you're not actually climbing so I'd prepare to take a waterproof. A good jersey and gilet would be a minimum if you were planning a fast ride but I don't think I'd risk that on a 100 miler.

Don't worry about what other people will be taking - you don't know how inexperienced they are. It's like with orienteering - never follow someone as they could be wrong :biggrin: Make your own decisions based on your assessment of weather conditions, route and your fitness and experience. In this case, as you say you're inexperienced, I'd risk taking a little more stuff and being able to chose rather than taking the minimum and having to live with it.
 

Scoosh

Velocouchiste
Moderator
Location
Edinburgh
Banjo said:
Doing the Merlin Sportive on Sunday 104 miles around Carmarthenshire.

After all the great weather we have had The forecast is indicating strong winds and rain for Sunday:angry:.

Do you take waterproofs or is it impractical so just get wet ?

I normally ride the bike with a seat post bar rack with a bag on the back for extra drinks food tools windproof jacket etc. It looks large but is quite light in reality.Will this be out of place on a sportive or will other riders have something similar?I could take it off and have a small underseat bag for tools and innertube but anything else would have to go in my jersey pockets then.

Any advice for a beginner would be appreciated.
One of the isues/dangers of getting wet is that you also get cold (yes - even in 'summer' :biggrin:) and it is no fun at all being cold and wet with a long way to go :sad:. I rode a (hilly) 175k sportive last year, when the rain began at the start and it was stair-rods for the rest of the ride (HLaB was there too :biggrin:). I had a rain jacket and overshoes but was freezing too. Frankly, it wasn't fun: a great achievement, Yes; but fun - No :smile:. I could have done with some waterproof trousers/Rainlegs. IMHO mudguards are a good idea too (but I'm not a racer :biggrin:).

There is a certain amount of snobbery surrounding sportives. Many are timed, so the racers charge round aiming for a fast time. Others are aiming just to get round ! In a good sportive, the event should be as suitable for the racer as for the 'get round' rider. Each person has their own reason for doing the event.

Don't be 'put down' about your bike or gear. If the fancy, carbon bling racers get round faster than you do, that proves that they can ride their bike faster - but could they do the same ride on your bike ??? :biggrin: They'd probably look at it and think "No way could/would I do the ride on that". Does that make them a better rider than you ? Not in my book.

If you want to enjoy the ride, wear what you are comfortable wearing for the prevailing conditions, take whatever you want, ride as you want to ride and chat as you go :biggrin:.

Here speaks an Audax rider. :biggrin:
 
OP
Banjo

Banjo

Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Location
South Wales
Thanks for the replies, I think the rack bag will be staying on and will take ther overshoes and jacket but not the trousers. Should be room for lots of my favourite food then ....
Sflap1.jpg


:-)
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
scoosh said:
If you want to enjoy the ride, wear what you are comfortable wearing for the prevailing conditions, take whatever you want, ride as you want to ride and chat as you go :laugh:.

Here speaks an Audax rider. :blush:
That pretty much sums up a good philosophy for life!
 

Jerry Atrik

Veteran
Location
South Devon
I done my first sportive last Sunday . I left on my mudguards , rack and one pannier on my Hybrid and as i approached the start venue i was beginning to feel a bit paranoid with all these people with their really good looking light roadbikes and all the kit but once in the starting pen there was all sorts of cycles and the banter was really good . I just went for it and loved every second of it and got lots of praise from some serious looking riders . Enjoy the day !
 

BrumJim

Forum Stalwart (won't take the hint and leave...)
Doing my first this Sunday. Reading with interest.

Last night I did a quick blast - 1 hour at 17 mile/h average.
Today is my last big ride - 3 hours, but expecting to take it a bit slower.
Saturday is bike prep and rest.
Sunday is the big day. Still feeling that I will be out-classed by almost everyone.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
If it's anything like my first 100km audax, you might be outgunned by most, but there will always be a few slower.

I remember really struggling at around 80km, but even then passed one guy, must have set off too fast, I slowed so he could get on my wheel... but his "bonk" was so far gone he couldn't hold it, and I was barely averaging 15kph by then.
 
Top Bottom