As the seasons change and the weather gets colder it's often hard to find the motivation to get out on a good long ride. We've scoured the Internet to bring you the best of a growing number of sportives that take place in the winter months.
Put your turbo trainer away and experience the thrill of a crisp cycle through the stunning UK countryside. There's something for everyone as we showcase sportives suitable for all levels of riders, with distances from 25 miles right through to the epic century options.
With organisers now hosting events right through to December there's no excuse not to get pedalling in winter.
So what are you waiting for, take a look through our top 9 winter sportives for inspiration and sign up now!
[part title="Sunday October 20, The National Trust Hidden Peak Sportive"]
1. Sunday October 20
Starting and finishing from the impressive Lady Manners School on the outskirts of the beautiful Peak District market town of Bakewell, the 3rd National Trust "Hidden Peak" sportive offers three routes: a 40k, 80k and 130k option.
National Trust Rangers and volunteers will support riders along the way, plus the long and medium routes will visit National Trust Peak District hotspots - Ilam Park and Longshaw - to refuel.
A 25 mile circuit in stunning White Peak, limestone country, ideally suited to those who might be doing their first sportive; a 50 mile medium route showcasing some of the best of the Central Peak District and last but not least a hard 80 mile ride for the more experienced sportive rider, through the very best of the Dark and White Peak District.
Route options: 25, 50 or 82 miles
Event address: Lady Manners School, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1JA
Entry fee: £15, £23.50 and £27.50 respectively
[part title="Saturday October 26, The Wiggle Rut"]
2. Saturday October 26
Taking place on the Saturday the clocks go back, the last day of British summertime, the Wiggle Rut 2013 sportive navigates the quiet well kept lanes of undulating East Midlands.
Set in the tiny county of Rutland, it’s a big sportive challenge that wraps up British summertime and welcomes in winter with a bang!
Route options: 72 or 100 miles
Event address: Catmose Sports Centre, Huntsmans Drive, Rutland LE15 6RP
Entry fee: £31 and £34 respectively
[part title="Sunday October 27, St Crispin's Day - Night Ride"]
3. Sunday October 27
Fancy a Sportive with a difference? This stunning cycle ride through the night, under the full moon, past some of London’s most iconic landmarks includes collecting a personal bottle of unique wine (non-alcoholic wine for those that don’t drink) produced in England’s leading vineyard.
It's 100 miles, but because the route is designed for vintage bikes and fixies it's very do-able, a great sportive for those looking to join the century club. The ride starts at Midnight on Saturday 26th October and the finish is open until 4.00pm on Sunday afternoon. This means you will have up to 17 hours to complete the ride - this equates to averaging six miles per hour.
Entries close on Monday October 21, so hurry if you don't want to miss out.
Route options: 100 miles
Event address: University of Westminster Sport Ground, Cavendish Road, Chiswick, London, W4 3UH
Entry fee: £45 (or £60 each for a tandem bicycle)
[part title="Sunday October 27, 5th Tour of Worcester"]
4. Sunday October 27
Back for its fifth edition in 2013, the Tour of Worcester Sportive returns on Sunday October 27. It's not one for the uninitiated, with a testing route that follows roads tackled by the riders of the Tour of Britain in the past.
Offering two distances, 62 and 92-mile options, the longer route includes a rather tough challenge, taking in the epic climbs of Worcestershire. Both options will be fully signed and have feed stations, with Clifbar providing the much needed nutrition.
Route options: 62 or 92 miles
Event address: Worcester Racecourse, Pitchcroft, Worcester, WR1 3EJ
Entry fee: £25 for both distances (teams of 4 or more can enter at £20pp)
[part title="Sunday November 03, Evans Cycles RideIt! Biggin Hill Sportive"]
5. Sunday November 03
The course starts in Biggin Hill and riders will cycle through some of the best country lanes Kent has to offer, exploring Edenbridge and Westerham . This is a fantastic event to get your first taste of a sportive, as there are 4 distance options, starting from 15 miles ranging all the way up to 70 miles.
Why not gather a group of friends together and give it a go!
Route options: 15, 30, 50 or 70 miles
Event address: Farichildes Primary School, Fairchildes Avenue, New Adlington, Nr. Biggin Hill, Surrey, CR0 0AH
Entry fee: £12.50 for all but 15 mile distance, which is £5.00
[part title="Saturday November 09, Colomba Chemo Classic"]
6. Saturday November 09
Setting off from our Editor’s home town of Richmond in North Yorkshire, Kirsty can vouch for the beautiful scenery you will be cycling through on this wintery sportive.
The ride in its fifth year was originally the brain child of Rob Knibbs who at the age of 17 was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He has now made a full recovery and with the support Ben Swift of Sky Pro Cycling and all of the entrants has continued to support Cancer Research UK in the excellent work they do.
The route is a challenging 63 miles course with beautiful scenery throughout. Refreshments are provided at the start and finish and also at a feed station in the village of Thoralby. The route will be clearly signed and there will be support vehicles travelling around the route on the day. Places are limited so book early folks!
Route options: 70 miles
Event address: Richmond Cricket Club, Hurgill Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL10 4AR
Entry Fee: From £15.00
[part title="Sunday November 10, South Somerset Screamer Sportive"]
7. Sunday November 10
One for climbers among our readers, the South Somerset Screamer Sportive takes in some glorious ascents, including the lung-busting Cheddar Gorge and Ham Hill that reaches a 20% gradient in places
Full mechanical back-up, support van, broom wagon and food stops are included in the entry price. Although the majority of the route is a flat and rolling ride, as mentioned there are a few serious climbs to get your legs working. This is definitely one to get your legs working.
Route options: 80 miles
Event address: Adventure Café, Frogmary Green Farm, West Street, South Petherton, TA13 5DJ
Entry Fee: From £24.00
[part title="Sunday November 17, The Essex Season Ender"]
8. Sunday November 17
Entrants to the aptly named Essex Season Ender sportive receive a free High5 trial pack plus a 750ml water bottle if they sign up before October 31st. If this isn't enough of a lure, then the two stunning route options should be.
The Essex Season Ender heads out North East from Redbridge Cycling Centre onto quiet rolling countryside roads. Both routes take in stunning scenery that are extremely popular amongst local cyclists due to the variety of terrain on offer – as both routes take on hills such as Hoe Lane, as well as offering flatter sections for those looking to get their average speed up.
The film above is from SportiveUK who organise the Essex Season Ender and who also organised the successful Hertfordshire 100 in August. It shows you the fun that you're in for with the winter sportive!
Route options: 43 or 72 miles
Event address: Redbridge Cycling Centre, Forest Road, Ilford, Greater London, IG6 3HP
Entry Fee: From £14.30 and £17.30 respectively
[part title="Sunday December 01, Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive"]
9. Sunday December 01
Put away your turbo trainers and rollers and get yourself in the Christmas spirit with the Wiggle Wight Winter Sportive 2013 at the start of December.
The event has its start and finish from just outside Yarmouth ferry terminal. There is a ferry ticketed option, which includes entry, return ferry crossing and free parking on the Lymington side of the ferry. For those already on the Island, there is a non-ferry ticked option, which includes entry to the event and limited parking in Yarmouth.
Why not give it a go in a festive inspired costume, that’ll definitely add a certain something to your ride and cheer the other riders along their way.
Route options: 43 or 62 miles
Event address: Yarmouth Primary School, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, PO41 0RA
Entry Fee: (with ferry) £28.00 for both distances (without ferry) £39.00 for both distances