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Your Sportive Checklist

How to make your summer Sportive a great success. Just make a plan.




Bike Check

Look after your bike and your bike will look after you. Treat it with some love and affection, pamper it. Book it in to your local bike shop about a week before your departure and give it a spa treatment style day. Or, if you have nimble hands, you may want to keep it at home and massage everything yourself. 

Replace the brake pads so you can slow down or even stop on those fast descents. Adjust or replace any stretched cables. What about your tyres; are they shows signs of wear? Check for chain wear; you don’t want it to start slipping when you desperately need to find an easier gear on that first challenging climb. 

Our 2 psychological boosters; take the start line with a clean, shiny bike and cover the handle bars with 2 layers of fresh tape.


Route Plan

Make a summary of the route, your plan and stick it somewhere you can see it. The top tube, stem, handle bar. Make sure it is water repellent, you don’t want to dribble or sweat over ink that will run.   

Distances {we prefer distances to the finish line}, pit stops, feeding stations, medical stations, gradients. 

Ask the organisers {in advance} if they have a downloadable plan for your GPS/phone. If they do, still stick a plan on you bike as a back up.

Remember, a plan is a plan until the first bullets are fired.



You maybe starting early, having to wait around in the cold. You have some good cold weather gear but you don’t want to carry it around with you. We suggest taking a visit to the charity shop and buy an old jumper, some thick, baggy bottoms, gloves and maybe a hat. 

Don’t get too attached to them because when it’s time to start, take them off and leave them at the start. If they are not there when you return, they may have gone to a good home. 

You may still want to carry arm warmers, water-proof jacket, gloves.


Spares for the Road

Despite having serviced your bike, something will go wrong. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. No matter how much love and attention you gave your bike, you may end up with a flat. 

Plan for the worst; pack 2 inner tubes, a couple of Co2 canisters, your multi tool and some tyre levers. We would also suggest you include some cash and debit/credit card, a form of ID, health cover document and emergency contact details.   


Food and Drink

What will determine, above all else, whether you will finish the course in good time is ….. you!!! Don’t forget “you” in your planning. 

Know your eating and drinking strategy pre-ride. Once the event begins, you’ll have a note of feeding stations. But, planning for the worst, some may be low on food. Take some hydration tablets with you, adding some gels and solid food. 

Be wary of any supplements; always read the label, check and double check, and follow our 5 golden rules of supplements.

You would have practised your pre-ride and on-the-road nutritional plan on your cycling training camp, with a coach, or during your long weekend rides. If the plan works in training, have confidence the plan will work in the event. 

Treat feed stations as a luxury, not an automatic. 

Your plan {stuck on your bike} will probably have a note of when to refuel. Alternatively, and if you are into gadgets, set your watch to buzz at set intervals to remind you when to refuel. 

Having studied your map, you may have marked off some flatter kilometres or even towards the end of descents to refuel. Remember to refuel sooner rather than later. If you begin to feel thirsty or hunger, you would have probably left it too late.


Rest and Recover before you Start

You arrive at your pre-event hotel. The travelling would have taken its toll on your body, and possibly left you physically and mentally drained. Or you may have arrived with a bang and want to go out and explore, and explore, and explore 

Stay calm, put your feet up the day before, resist the temptation to roll out on your bike a tackle one of the climbs.


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Categories: All topics, Cycling

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