Road Cycling

6 Autumn Sportives to Keep you Active This Season

Don't let the end of summer stop your pedalling passion, get involved in Autumn Sportives

I don’t know about you but Autumn is my favourite season of the year. The colours are vibrant, everything is a little damp and the countryside comes alive for the avid cyclist. So don’t get down about the end of summer, relish in the new season of cycling that is upon us with these awesome sportives.

Sportive events have been growing in popularity for some time now, largely owing to the non-competitive nature and social atmosphere. They provide a welcoming environment for newcomers, while still catering for the more experienced riders with challenging course options.

Getting started in cycling sportives: What you need to know

Although the long summer days are drawing to a close, and the supermarket stores are painfully early to flog their Christmas wears, it’s the perfect time to get involved in a sportive event. Stretch your legs, make some friends and you’ll give yourself a great start after the winter hibernation period.

Go Explore: Newport Family Cycling Festival

When: Saturday 24th September and Sunday 25th September 2016

Time: 11:00

Where: Tredegar House, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8YW

Cost: FREE

The first annual Newport cycling event is being held to promote the sport and encourage children to take part. There will be guided rides by Sustrans Cymru, along with Changing Gearz offering cycle proficiency training and bike inspections by Dr. Bike. This 2 day event is totally free, and you can come for a ride or just to enjoy the entertainment on offer.

Saturday will see demonstrations and entertainment, with for 3 mile rides being ran for younger riders. On the Sunday, 20 mile loops of the surrounding areas will be guided by professionals and open to everyone.

For more information, head over to their website here.

Wiggle New Forest 100

When: Saturday 24th September and Sunday 25th September 2016

Where: Somerley House, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 2DF

Cost: £26 – £35 (depending on route)

After resounding success in previous years, and from the Spring 100 ride, the Wiggle New Forest 100 is back.

With three challenging distances to choose from – 54, 66 and 101  miles – this sportive is ideal for all abilities and ages. This event is one for any keen cyclist as each route includes a range of killer climbs, and swift flowing descents through some stunning landscapes and forestry areas.

Registration is open now, but you can sign up on the day also. For more information, head over to the Wiggle New Forest 100 website.

The Autumn Epic

When: Sunday October 2nd

Where: Knighton, mid-Wales

Cost: £22 – £25 (depending on route)

The Autumn Epic cycle sportive has been running for over a decade, and with great success and even greater numbers, it returns for 2016.

This year sees the classic 150Km route with 8 leg busting climbs, a majority of which are over 2Km in length.Notorious climbs include Abbey-cwn-Hir, the Elan Valley and Glascwm – the killer 25% ramp just after 100km.

Fear not as there is a shortcut version which is a 130Km route, missing out the most gruelling of climbs from the Classic. In addition to these two, there’s a new 80Km route being added this year which will follow the same route up to Abbey-cwm-Hir then turn back for a high ridge return to Knighton.

For more information on the routes and how to enter, check out the website here.

Cotswold Autumn Classic Sportive

When: Sunday October 2nd

Where: Cirencester College, Fosse Way Campus, Stroud Road, Cirencester, GL7 1XA

Cost: £28

This classic Autumn sportive has been a favourite for the cycling calendars over the years, and rightly so with incredible riding and a team of supportive organisers.

There’s a Short 35 mile, Medium 64 mile and a Long 101 mile route to choose from. Each route has been carefully considered to enable the widest range of ability amongst riders. Although the climbs can be brutal, they are suitable for the appropriate length of route, and not to mention the descents seriously make up for them.

For more information on the event and to register, head over to their website here.

Otley Sportiva – Women’s Only

When: Sunday October 9th

Where: Old Otliensians RUFC, Chaffer Fields, Pool Road, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 1EG]

Cost: £25

If you fancy something a little different, and just for women then the 3rd annual Otley Sportive is the event for you.

Cycling across the stunning Yorkshire countryside, you can choose from two routes: a short 20 mile route with 2,000ft of climbing, or a longer route of 58 miles with 4,900ft of climbing.

The Otley Sportive is designed to encourage women to take part, meet like minded people and ride bikes. There’s no competitive pressure to win, or race, it’s just about you riding your bike and having fun. Each rider will get a finishing goody bag and both routes will have feed stations for that essential re-fuelling.

For more information, head over to their website here.

The Winter Warmer

When: Sunday October 16th

Where: Maghull Therapy Clinic, Space Solutions Business Centre, 39a Sefton Lane Ind Est, Maghull, Merseyside, L31 8BX

Cost: £18 – £20 (depending on route)

Before the cold days start snapping at our pedal strokes, it’s a good idea to get a little warmed up with some seriously fun riding.

The Winter Warmer provides a short 43 miler, and a longer 74 mile route to choose from. The shorter route is ideal for beginners, families and children as it’s relatively flat with just 1,618ft of climbing.

The longer route is more challenging with 3,715ft of climbing, however the pedal pain is rewarded with stunning scenery throughout.

For more information and to register, check out their website here.

It’s getting darker earlier and temperatures are dropping, but don’t retire your bike for the winter. Get out there, get pedalling and feel pumped and ready to go when next Spring welcomes us with a new cycling season.

There’s plenty of cycling sportives on the British Cycling website, so if one of these don’t work for you, then there’ll be something on there to tickle your fancy.

You may also enjoy:

The do’s and don’ts for riding a sportive

How to approach your first sportive

Non-scary sportives for beginners


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