A GUARANTEED way to make sure you commit to the bike in 2013

It’s March and the weather is improving (supposedly).

You’re considering getting the bike out of the garage/shed/cupboard.

(What, you mean you haven’t spent the winter amassing base miles and doing interval sessions on the turbo trainer?)

Now that you’ve got the bike all ready to go, do you want a surefire way to avoid the ‘its slightly damp, I’ll stay inside’ attitude?

Of course you do.

And the good news is that it is can be achieved in 3 EASY STEPS:

1. Pour your alcoholic beverage of choice

2. Open your wallet and your Internet browser

3. Sign up for a sportive

A word on drink and the commitment to undertake future physical challenges

Ah, push it – push it good; Ah, push it – p-push it real good

Salt ‘n’ Pepa

It would probably be sensible to ignore instruction 1 if the sun hasn’t yet passed the yard arm.

Otherwise, alcohol is a recognised motivational aid, encouraging you to sign up for the event that is just beyond your current capabilities.

This then provides the fear. When you are sober, it is the fear that provides the primary motivation.

A second word on drink and the commitment to undertake future physical challenges

Do not drink too much. You might find you have entered for the Race Across America.

Do I practice what I preach?

Kingston-upon-Hull yeah! Of course I do.

I’ve signed up to one of the sportives mentioned below, in order to give myself that extra bit of focus over the next month or so.

You’ll have to read through them to see which one…. (hint: it’s the shortest)

Six UK sportives you could enter right now (along with some interesting associated facts)

Peak District – Eastern Moors Sportive

When: Sunday 14th April 2013

Why:  There is a lot of climbing packed into a relatively short route (at least in the case of the 43-mile shorter route); because the Grimpeur Heureux will be riding!

How: http://www.darkandwhite.co.uk/challenge-events-outdoor-activities.asp?race_id=409

Interesting fact: The Peak District used to be a tropical lagoon. I understand that parts of Chesterfield still are.

Surrey Hills Cyclone

When: Sunday 21st April 2013

Why:  It’s close to London; it features climbs that will be in RideLondon (though if you are capable of the Standard and ‘Epic’ distances, I’m not sure you’ll have much trouble with RideLondon).

How: http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/events/cycling-weekly-surrey-hills-cyclone-sportive/

Interesting fact: Abinger Common (on the route) is the oldest village in England – some of the dwellings date back 7,000 years…

Keswick Sportive

When: Saturday 18th May 2013

Why:  You like cycling upwards; what’s not to love about a sportive that classifies each route by the number of passes you need to climb (if only they started calling them ‘cols’…)

How: http://www.highterrainevents.co.uk/11.html

Interesting fact: There is only one lake in the Lake District. FACT! (I hope, I just read it on t’internet)

Night Rider London

When: 8th – 9th June 2013

Why:  You can’t sleep; you have jet lag; you want to test out those new high-powered bike lights.

How: http://www.nightrider.org.uk/Night_Rider_London.htm

Interesting fact: Lack of sleep is linked to lower libido and having less control over your weight (so probably best not to do too many night-time acclimatisation rides…)

London Cycle Sportive

When: Sunday 30th June 2013

Why:  ‘Cos the Kent countryside is my manor; you haven’t managed to get a place on RideLondon; you fancy riding around the Herne Hill Velodrome.

How: http://humanrace.co.uk/events/cycling/london-cycle-sportive

Interesting fact: The Crystal Palace was originally built in Hyde Park. It was only after the Great Exhibition finished that it was taken down and rebuilt in south-east London. For some reason, Crystal Palace FC play in Croydon…

Etape Cymru

When: 8th September 2013

Why:  You want a big event that is going to focus your training throughout the summer; it’s a closed road event, so all you have to worry about is getting around the course

How: http://www.etape-cymru.co.uk/

Interesting fact: Apparently, Wales has more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the word (is it a ‘FACT’, if you have to preface it with the word, apparently?)

And if you’re a little bit worried about signing up (or what you have signed up for)…

Read my post on breaking down challenges into easier-to-manage component parts.

Until next time,


Lanterne Rouge

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