Why make Sportifs so hilly and long

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by girofan, 27 May 2008.

  1. girofan

    girofan New Member

    As a cyclist for racing and pleasure over a number of years may I question the wisdom of the construction of some Sportifs in GB?
    Yes, you do need to make them a challenge to experienced riders, but it does nothing for the relative newcomer who is just finding his/her feet in the pastime.
    I am aware that there are shorter distances for newbies, but it covers part of the same course with some big hills also, which many find daunting. For someone with a couple of seasons under their belt the beginner's route is not stretching them and a longer journey is beyond their ability.
    Realising that it must be a nightmare for organisers to set a course to suit everyone, is there anybody on the Forum who has a solution to this difficult situation?
    Your suggestion for suitable events or advice generally would be much appreciated.
  2. Monty

    Monty New Member

    Thats the nature of the beast.......as you say there are lesser distances to ride, i cant see the point in paying to enter an event just to ride on unchallenging roads, i get that evey day where i live. And climbing a few tastey hills is always worth it for the view. I did the Richmond 100m sportive on saturday and the scenery was worth the pain.
  3. dodgy

    dodgy Guru

    I think there are some stand-out sportives for the sheer gruel-factor. Fred Whitton challenge and Dave Lloyd Mega challenge to name two.
    I'd rather ride those routes in my own time and not pay for the privilege of hurting myself ;)

  4. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    If the attraction of sportives is riding hard routes then why not simply ride the route on your own for free the weekend after? That way it is harder!

    Sportives seem to me to be designed to appeal to masochistic people who have delusions of being semi pros:biggrin:

    I am riding in the shorter Northern Rock Cyclone in a few weeks though so will have a more informed judgement then. I still expect it to be fun!
  5. Monty

    Monty New Member

    I think you get out of these events what you put in, i genraly aim for certain time standards or try to finish in the top 10 or 20 or whatever depending on the event. Knowing theres hundreds of other riders on the same course at the same time suffering as i am makes me feel apart of something that is greater than just a solitery cyclist plodding along, i can get that anytime.
  6. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    If someone can do the shorter route without stretching themselves then the chances are the longer route isn't beyond their ability.

    They could always do the shorter route but a bit quicker?
  7. Monty

    Monty New Member

    Then surely having delusions of being a semi-pro must must apply to yourself Chris! And do you in fact harbour masochistic tendencies as you also state that you are riding the cyclone???????

    You could always drive up and ride the route anytime by yourself as you have suggested yourself.
  8. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Indeed. Hence the smiley in my post above:biggrin:
  9. Monty

    Monty New Member

    Hi chris, im also riding the cyclone, good luck at whatever distance you do .
  10. Mortiroloboy

    Mortiroloboy New Member

    They are intended to be a challenge, your average club rider is doing a 50-60 mile sunday club run, and a midweek 30 miler, therefore a short sportive isn't going to offer much of a chalenge to this type of rider. Sportives generally IMO are planned to stretch seasoned club rider. I think they intended to mimic Grand Tour stages in length and terrain, which is what attracts the majority of riders?

    Shorter courses forming part of the 'full' course are designed to appeal to the less experienced, and are often, (as in my case) a taster for the longer route the following year.

    Of course you could pick a sportive route and ride it on your own, that would certainly be a challenge, but I suggest that most of us enjoy the camaraderie of riding with others in such events.

    I know my limitations, and wouldn't attempt some of the more serious sportives like the Dragon, FW, as I think it would hurt too much, and whereas getting round would be a very satisfying achievement, I don't want to kill myself in the process, afterall cycling is meant to be fun!

    See you at Highclere June 8th.
  11. yello

    yello Guru

    Yes, you could ride a sportive course any time, that's true. For me though the point of a sportive is not just to ride the course.

    The attraction is also to take part in the event. There's a buzz you get just in taking part; it's a huge motivating factor and contributes to a good ride. I wouldn't want to ride one every week but it is something to set my sights on, train for and to look to better my performance on (however I might measure that).

    For that, they do need to be a challenge. I can understand some sportives seem daunting but be assured that mere mortals do ride them! There are many I wouldn't ride.... not yet, but I am aiming to.
  12. Monty

    Monty New Member

    Ive been riding for years, road race time trials, you name ive probably done it, but the buzz factor that you mention (Yell) is totally different in sportives, theres no pressure to achieve anything other than your own personal goals which for me makes it more enjoyable.
    I rode 70mile of Richmonds 100m sportive by myself but the fact that there where so many riders around the course at the same time made easy, think i said hello to eveyone of them.
  13. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    Sportifs, to me, are for the more experienced rider, and not for total Noobs.
    The lesser experinced riders will only know of the London to brighton rides or the coast to coast rides, mainly the sponsored rides. these are mainly flat.
    Sportifs, no matter the distance, are for riders who have been riding a while and fancy a challenge. Lets be honest, those that wanted to do a mass ride would of first found these sponsored rides before they even knew what a sportive was.

    so no, there are no reason's or excuses to try and make sportives easier for beginers
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