Feeling a little underwhelmed by my first sportive…

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  • Feeling a little underwhelmed by my first sportive…
  • robbo
    Member

    Did the CX Sportive this morning and just feeling a bit disappointed. What is the point of an event if its not a race? I can’t really get my head around it – timing but no indications of how far to go so unless you knew the route (I did) you had no idea of pacing yourself. Yes it was fun chatting to other riders and chasing some down but I can do that any day. And how do they get to charge £18 when there’s no land use fees – most people even had to park on public roads. Give me a proper race any day…

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I reckon if you race in earnest it probably isn’t aimed at you. Isn’t “sportive” the name for an event which you take very seriously because it’s expensive but aren’t shamed if you lose?

    And I reckon a high proportion of people will have kept track of elapsed distance using a small on-board computer which counts wheel rotations using a magnetic pick-up to measure distance travelled. They’re quite good. 😉

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I reckon a high proportion of people will have kept track of elapsed distance using a small on-board computer which counts wheel rotations using a magnetic pick-up to measure distance travelled.

    Magnets are so old-fashioned – doesn’t everybody have a GPS based computer with the route programmed in nowadays?

    Dibbs
    Member

    My GPS counts wheel rotations using a magnetic pick-up to measure distance travelled. 🙄

    druidh
    Member

    MY GPS has one of them too, but only uses it when the GPS has no signal.

    DaveGr
    Member

    What is the point of an event if its not a race?

    Isn’t the point of a Sportive for middle aged men to be able to justify the purchase of their expensive top end carbon road bikes and associated Garmins to their partners? 😉

    swisstony
    Member

    I did my first one last year and i did enjoy it but i know what you mean esp about the cost as the one i did was £25, plus i got lost as the signing was poor.

    It’s £30 this year which i just can’t justify but i might just turn up and ride around the route for free

    aP
    Member

    It’s not a race it’s basically an excuse to go out and ride a route that you wouldn’t have done otherwise. As an event organiser you’d be very surprised quite how quickly the entry fee disappears.
    Basically if you don’t like it don’t do them. Show them what you think.
    I trundled round, it was riding an area I don’t know that well and back home by 2pm.
    Oh, it’s illegal to promote and carry out racing on bridleways.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    As an event organiser you’d be very surprised quite how quickly the entry fee disappears.

    most sportives are run for profit by professional organisers, their salaries account for a fair chunk of the entry fee

    some are run for ostensibly for charity by these professionals

    want to enter a traditional event go for an audax or a BC/TLI race

    robbo
    Member

    Maybe its because I do know the area (almost too well). It was a good course – well thought out, good variety of track and pretty sustainable – and the organisation was fine. It was just the atmosphere was a bit down at the end – Brass Monkeys and other XC races/enduros have a much better ‘vibe’ at the finish. Maybe its ‘roadies’ being roadies…

    big_n_daft
    Member

    It was just the atmosphere was a bit down at the end

    or going £18 for that? 😉

    aP
    Member

    Billy-Jo Whennan rode it – maybe you could have shown him how to ride?
    How much do you think that the school cost to hire? How much to sign and tape 80km of route? How much to pay for the timing chips and software? Nothing obviously.if you can do better – why aren’t you organising fantastic rides.

    Premier Icon captaindanger
    Subscriber

    kind of agree with ap here, I’ve been on a few, great if the local club has enough volunteers to do one for free but most don’t so if someone wants to make a bit of money sorting out, signing a route, paying for a centre etc fair enough, it’s as valid a job as any out there. If you want to find your own way, do so. You ride against yourself, race if you don’t want to do that!

    robbo
    Member

    Ah but I do help organise XC races… Just trying out another side of the sport and seeing if I like it. I’ll stick to XC races even though I don’t win.

    aP
    Member

    Maybe its ‘roadies’ being roadies…

    You do know who the organisers are don’t you? and what other events they put on…..

    robbo
    Member

    Yes I do. Is the ‘vibe’ better at the MTB events? I don’t know. Thats my question?

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Subscriber

    Try audax that’s cheap 😉

    aP
    Member

    Chalk it up to experience and make sure that whatever you do never go anywhere near a road sportive – you’ll hate it.
    I rather think that a lot of people were a bit affected by the temperature being about 0C and so didn’t hang around afterwards.

    fasthaggis
    Member

    What were you expecting from the event?
    Did you have an idea what a sportive was before entering?

    For me I treat them like a mass time trial and use them like a big training run.

    disco_stu
    Member

    How come an audax will be a couple of quid and a sportive will be £20-30?
    Just curious as to what you get extra in a sportive

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Just curious as to what you get extra in a sportive

    aP covered it up there – a posh HQ, timing chips and a fully signed route (and a professional organisor!) Only you can decide if they’re worth it – personally I’d happily do without, but still occasionally ride sportives because I prefer the riding experience.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    Just curious as to what you get extra in a sportive

    How much to sign and tape 80km of route? How much to pay for the timing chips and software?

    audax you get a photocopied route, sportive, they put signs up

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    UK sportives for me have been mixed, but I’ve used them as a chance to ride with friends somewhere we wouldn’t ordinarly go.

    Audaxes are ace – get a group of you, trunlde round, chat loads, stop at a cafe and eat cake at the end.

    European sportives – a fun way to see another country and enjoy riding out there. I’ve ridden in France (Etapes), Netherlands (Amstel Gold) and Belgium (Flanders). All have been the excuse for a trip abroad with friends and the bike, to eat loads, and then watch the pros do it the next day/week.

    But none of them are races for all but around the top 20 finishers.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    But none of them are races for all but around the top 20 finishers.

    I disagree – it’s a race if you make it one. Then again I’ve generally been amongst or close to the top 20 finishers – have never done one with a really big entry. Including once “winning” one – now that I really did treat as a race once only two of us were left!

    I did the southern sportive a few years ago, had a great time, would I do it again, probably not as I got a free entry, but it was nice to get out for a good long ride in a different area without all the planning it would otherwise need (say 2 hours stareing at a OS map, and you might still miss the good climbs).

    GPS’s might kill them off though, mapmyride.com and the like have 1000’s of 100mile club runs recorded, just pick an area and go with some mates. Which seems to be where roadies struggle, there’s not the equivalent of going away for a weekend at a trail center (signed route, no need to be 100% self sufficient) which is where sportives fill a gap.

    thomthumb
    Member

    I did the CX sportive and enjoyed it. took a leisurely pace round rather than belting round.

    What is the point of an event if its not a race?

    there are plenty of non-competitive events – think of it like a ride; rather than an event.

    for me it’s an excuse to travel somewhere new – for a simple 1/2 day ride without having to plot a route, hope you haven’t missed any good bits, plotted yourself into a major road etc etc.

    robbo
    Member

    And just to make it even less of a race the results are in some random order!!! And the award categories are inconsistent!

    Thanks for a nice route but never again…

    thomthumb
    Member

    And just to make it even less of a race the results are in some random order!!

    do you understand the legal issues with racing on bridleways in the uk?

    aP
    Member

    Robbo – you do know that a sportive is not a race don’t you?
    You do realise that the results aren’t given out in order because then it would not be allowed by the Police and would be uninsurable.
    You do realise that it’s illegal to race on bridleways don’t you?
    If it was a race then it would have cost you at least £40 if not more with further payments to the Police, additional insurance, and race marshals etc.

    IanMunro
    Member

    I’ve done some LDWA events recently – the walking/running equivalent of an audaux.
    For £4.50, you get a route guide, completion certificate, free food and drinks at check points, and a meal at the end.
    Which is a nice.

    robbo
    Member

    Yes I know its not a race and I know the legal issues of bridleways but still can’t the results at least be in order so you can easily compare times with other riders. I’ll bet half the riders are pasting it into excel and sorting it as we speak.

    It just made me realise I’m not made for ‘sportives’. Maybe I’m strange…

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    And just to make it even less of a race the results are in some random order!!! And the award categories are inconsistent!

    The organiser is not allowed to publish results in order of finish, that turns it into a Race and it’s not insured to be a Race, it’s insured as a Non-Competitive Mass Participation “Event”.

    As it is, most results are in Excel so it’s 30 seconds work to re-jig it if you want. But what’s the point, it’s not a race. That’s like saying “oh yes I came 16th but actually no-one else there was racing”. If you want to race, there’s plenty of them around. A Sportive is just designed to be the roadie equivalent of a trail centre. Turn up, pay £25 which buys you a fully signposted route, feed stations, goody bag, £10m public liability insurance, the chance to ride with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet in an area you might not otherwise visit.

    tony_m
    Member

    If anybody fancies a Not-Really-A-Sportive on Islay in August, featuring no timing chips / marshals / route-signage etc. whatsoever, but plenty of fine coffee, cake, whisky and company, may I heartily recommend…

    The Ride of the Falling Rain 2011

    oldgit
    Member

    It’s well known I’m not a huge fan of Sportives – sorry aP.
    First of all they ain’t a race..end of. I’ve no problem with that, I also don’t have any issue what so ever with riders getting from start to finish as quickly as possible. The thing that narks me right off is the in racing. Now granted I’ve only done a couple of Uk sportives, but the ammount of blokes that almost throw their arms in the air when they pass you and the number of buddies crashing into each other is enough to put me off.
    I’m fully aware that not all Sportives would be like this.

    aP even on that Rapha run there was a group that blatantly missed a whole section out so they could pass us in formation – why?

    Reliability trials are totally cool.

    Audaxes? Audi?? will be I hope.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    The massive popularity of sportives is very obviously down to the popularity of cycling in general at the moment, and will I suspect gradually die off in the next few years as those carbon impulse purchases gather dust in the garage and their owners move on to whatever the next fad might be.

    There is no point at all in suggesting that a sportive rider would be better off just going to an interesting part of the country and ‘having a ride’ because the real value of a sportive is directly related to how much it costs and how difficult it is to enter.

    The roads in a sportive must be crowded so that the rider feels at home – after all, he does a 3 times weekly commute into central London and would panic if he found himself alone halfway up a Welsh mountain. A sheep might eat him!

    And sorry Robbo, I’ve got no sympathy. You actually entered a sportive on a route that you knew. So you paid to go for a crowded ride! 😆

    DrP
    Member

    I’m entering the New Forest sportive on my fixie, and will wear baggies and a wing-nut… Plus, the peak on my helmet will be super shiny….

    How will this go down…!

    DrP

    aP
    Member

    Look – we rode this cos
    1. It was an excuse to ride somewhere we didn’t know
    2. The adult discussion tandem is banned from Trailbreaks events (waves at Martin)
    3. It was a bit different
    4. We wanted to
    5. We know it’s not a race
    6. We met some friends
    7. We got home, had something to eat, cleaned up then went to the pub for a cheeky half
    8. It meant we didn’t have to ride the Surrey Rumble route on Sunday
    9. We’re commissairing next Sunday
    10. We quite like the riding

    big_n_daft
    Member

    DrP – Member
    I’m entering the New Forest sportive on my fixie, and will wear baggies and a wing-nut… Plus, the peak on my helmet will be super shiny….

    How will this go down…!

    to finish the full nichemonger attention whore look you need this Tshirt

    http://www.bikemonger.co.uk/his-bike-is-crap-t-shirt-471-p.asp

    but at the end of the day you will still have paid £25 to enter

    Hi Robbo

    I’ve only just seen this thread. I’m one of the organisers of the event.

    The discussion seems to have been pretty well covered, so I’m not going to add much more. Fair comment if the event wasn’t for you; we’ve had a really good response generally, but everyone is entitled to their opinion of what makes a good day out.

    For the record, I just wanted to clear up your point about the results though. It’s a requirement of our event insurance that our event is not promoted as a race, and publishing times in ‘race order’ is one of the specified criteria that the insurers set out as defining a race. So if we did order the list by times, we could effectively invalidate our insurance in the event of a claim.

    As to the time band awards, these are adjusted by age and gender, so for example a 40-49 yr old female gets 10% longer to achieve a target than an 18-39 male.

    Enjoy your racing season this year!

    Anyone got a gps log of the route?

    I know I could just copy the cycling weekly route out, but I can’t be bothered, which is odd when you think that I can be bothered to ride 50miles on the singlespeed…………

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