Question about the Tour of Cambridge 100

RoadRider400

Some bloke that likes cycling alone
Hi

To those that have done the Tour of Cambridge 100miler. Were there any cyclists there that seemed keen to just to pootle around in the time limit? I gather Sportives are not meant to be races but all the photos I have seen are of people in full lycra, racing sunglasses, on expensive bikes with very serious expressions. I have only started road cycling earlier this year and I just want to cycle for fun and am not fussed about eeking out every fraction of a mile per hour. I wear lycra bottoms, a slim fit gym t-shirt, thick frame sunglasses and use flat pedals/trainers and thats what I am happy wearing.

So far my maximum distance has been 50 miles in just over three hours, with a couple of snack breaks so I have a bit of work needed fitness wise. Although I can usually get the speed up to 20mph in the last few miles so maybe im just not pushing myself on the rest of the ride. I really want to try a sportive to have the experience and am thinking of registering for the 100miles to have somthing to aim for.

Im just wary about entering and looking totally out of place.

Note im not really intersted in having a flats/clipless debate as having lurked on cycling forums I know there is a lot of hate for flat pedals, but having tried both I much prefer flats and thats all I have to say on that particular topic.
 
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TOC is a qualifying gran fondo, for the amateur worlds. It’s not the average chop fest Sportive.
 

Elybazza61

Veteran
Only did it when it was the Fondo and not the 100 which is a recent thing;as said above quite "racy" as it was a UCI amateur qualifying event* but can't comment on the 100.


*Actually qualified for my age group but the main event was in Australia:rolleyes:
 

172traindriver

Legendary Member
The format is slightly different next year.
The Gran Fondo is organised into age groups next year and a certain percentage of that group qualify for the world championships.
Tha will end up being fast as there will be guys there that were in the race groups this year that they arent having next year.
There are then the 2 sportives of 100 miles and 67 miles.
You will still get fast people in those but also there will be others that just want to do the closed road ride.
There can often be alot of crashes and you need to be alert and careful.
If you want to set yourself a goal of 100 miles enter the sportive but dont get involved with the tussling at the front and ride more conservatively a bit further back and enjoy the ride and wind if it does get up like this year.
 

steverob

Veteran
Location
Buckinghamshire
Quite a few from this forum did the 100 miler ToC this year - I think two entered the Gran Fondo, but the rest were all in the Sportive. See this thread https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/tour-of-cambridgeshire-2019.240750 for more details.

Basically if you're not up front with the racers, then it's quite a nice quiet ride and is well worth doing. Except for the headwinds on the flat Fens part of the ride. And the fact that the pitstops ran out of supplies very early (though to be fair, I've done the ride three times and this is the first time this has happened). And the headwinds. Did I mention the headwinds?

I took just under 7 1/2 hours to complete the ride (just over 6 1/2 hours of that was riding time though) and was far from being the last over the line, so don't worry about cut-off speeds. Also out of the three times I've done it, the first time I did it on flat pedals, albeit with toe cages, so you ceratinly won't look out of place.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I had to look up chop fest. In case anyone's wondering it's "An overcrowded, alcohol themed festival dedicated the Portuguese culture, which typically occurs annually during the month of June in Newark"
And there I was, thinking that it was because the complete failure of marshals and organisers to take the numbers of ill-behaved riders and sanction them (possibly even excluding them from future events) mean that some UK sportives have become small ill-tempered flurries of riders whose ambitions exceed their skills, shouting at each other loud anti-social accusations of being farking choppers!
 
OP
RoadRider400

RoadRider400

Some bloke that likes cycling alone
Ok some mixed opinions.
How do they stagger the start, so that the serious racers are not forced to avoid the mobile chicanes ridden by the rest of us plebs?
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Serious racers don't take part in this sportive. Seems to be populated by riders who think cutting others up and elbows out us order of the day to get ahead.
 
OP
RoadRider400

RoadRider400

Some bloke that likes cycling alone
By "serious" I was alluding to those that take it too seriously and act like morons.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Have you done it? I didn't think it was your kind of thing.
I live close to the route and so have witnessed some shameful riding whilst I sipped my pint in the village. But if riders stay out of some of the chain gangs and take their time they should be alright. Standards improved as slower riders came through.
 

172traindriver

Legendary Member
Ok some mixed opinions.
How do they stagger the start, so that the serious racers are not forced to avoid the mobile chicanes ridden by the rest of us plebs?
I did explain the format for next year, how the gran fondo is split into age groups and then the 2 sportives.
You will even get people on the sportive trying to go for personal goals and they will most likely try to get to the front for the start.
With any large event you have to be prepared for people that will treat it as a kind of race.
If you dont want to be confronted by thousands of riders the only other choice is do do the ride one day on your own or with a few trusted mates.
I think 11,000 participated this year according to the announcer.
 
OP
RoadRider400

RoadRider400

Some bloke that likes cycling alone
Thanks for the info. My preference is riding on my own for the moment rather than in small groups. But im a newb, that might be because I have not experienced anything else, and im really keen to try this event as long as im not going to be out of my depth. Thanks for all the comments. I am going to get myself registered.

I know its 11 months way but any advice for training so im not struggling half way around? or just a case of regular cycles and gradually upping for miles?
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I know its 11 months way but any advice for training so im not struggling half way around? or just a case of regular cycles and gradually upping for miles?
I think so, plus seek out the flattest, most exposed routes you can, so you can't rest by freewheeling and get used to coping with wind, sun and rain without respite!

If you're nearby, KLWNBUGsters will ride a Holland Hundred in September (date TBC soon, past years posted on this forum) which would get you the distance over the sort of terrain but be a dashed sight slower, taking all day.
 

172traindriver

Legendary Member
Thanks for the info. My preference is riding on my own for the moment rather than in small groups. But im a newb, that might be because I have not experienced anything else, and im really keen to try this event as long as im not going to be out of my depth. Thanks for all the comments. I am going to get myself registered.

I know its 11 months way but any advice for training so im not struggling half way around? or just a case of regular cycles and gradually upping for miles?
You need to do regular rides putting the miles in nice and steadily to start with.
A good idea would be to try and do a longer ride at least once a week.
Are there any clubs near to you? If so try to find out if they do rides for newer riders.
You could go along and give it a try. If you enjoy it you will find it will certainly bring you along and help your confidence.
 
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