Road Cycling Events

Non-Scary Sportives for Beginners from 15 Miles

Looking to enter your first sportive? One of these could be for you...

Sportives are mass participation rides. Organisers provide way marking, feed stations and mechanical support, leaving you – the rider – to concentrate on the simple act of pedalling over beautiful terrain.

Events can vary dramatically – from century-plus rides over mountains to much shorter beginner friendly rides. As a beginner, the epic trials offered by some organisers may seem intimidating, but it’s important to remember that there are plenty of rides out there for those who don’t want to rip their legs off.

We’ve rounded up a few of the more beginner friendly rides. Entering one of these could provide fantastic motivation to get you out riding in the run up to your ride, and we promise the sense of achievement you’ll feel after finishing will be well worth the effort. It’s addictive, too – it may not be long before you’re signing up for a bigger challenge!

Pilgrims Hospice Divas on Wheels

When: Sunday June 12

Where: Freewheel Cycling Pub, Greveney near Faversham

This women’s only ride will visit picturesque countryside roads of Kent. There are two routes – 25 miles with 1,600ft of climbing, or 50 miles covering 3,000ft.

For those who are newer to cycling, the route will be peppered with ‘Bike Heroes’ – there to provide any advice, mechanical assistance or motivation you need, and they’ll be leading small groups if you want to join one.  This one is suitable for women of all levels of fitness, and any female over the age of 11 can enter – though parental consent is required for anyone under 18.

Entry costs £25, or £35 if you sign up on the day – find out more here.

Davina’s Big Sussex Ride

When: Sunday June 12

Where: East Sussex National Golf Club, Uckfield

Specifically designed to be female friendly (though men are allowed to ride), this event also offers the opportunity to share the ride with TV presenter and cycling enthusiast Davina McCall, as well as raising money for Action Medical Research.

McCall rides the 68 mile route (£38 for entrants), and tries to catch up with (and chat to) as many women as possible along the way. There are 21 (£25 entry fee) and 40 mile options (£38 entry fee) available too.

The route will take riders through the stunning lanes of Sussex, and there will be a hearty BBQ lunch at the finish as well as medals, feed stations, mechanical support and reliable chip timing.

Find out more here.

New Forest Sportive

When: Sunday June 19

Where: Brokenhurst Sixth Form College

The New Forest is a stunning venue for a ride, and this event offers you the chance to enjoy a 15 mile spin on traffic free forest tracks (hybrids/mountain bikes only) or a 30, 45 or 60 mile ride on the surrounding roads.

The routes utilise quiet roads and cover gentle hills – and we’re promised the last ten miles will be an easy downhill spin!

Find out more here.

Bike Bath

When: Sunday July 3

Where: Bath Recreation Ground

Bath is surrounded by beautiful riding grounds, and this event celebrates the beautiful lanes – hill and dale.

There are three routes available – 80 miles, 50 miles, or a beginner friendly 25 mile route. All three promise clear signage, feed stations and first aid support.

The 25 mile ride costs just £20 (the others are £33) and is sponsored by Curo – a not-for-profit housing and support organisation based in Bath. The ride will raise money for Dorothy House – a Bath-based hospice charity.

The route loops through the green areas of South Stoke and Midford, and covers 1,500 ft of climbing, so though it’s not hilly on the scale of some sportives, there will be some challenges along the way. If you’re after a greater challenge, the 50 mile route covers 2,600ft and the 80 miler 4,100ft.

Interested? Find out more here.

Daisy Chain Sportive, Llandrindod Wells

When: Sunday July 10

Where: The Lake, Llandrindod Wells

Daisy Chain events organise women’s only rides and this Welsh event looks to be fun and challenging thanks to some climbs along the way.

Routes start at 24 miles, which covers just over 2,000 ft of climbing, and there are 40, 60 and 70 mile options too – all priced at £28.

The organisers promise feed stops, a broom wagon, finisher’s gift, manual timing and free parking. There will also be a separate ride for men, so you can even bring a partner if you like.

Find out more here.

Wiggle Work From Home Sportive – Dorking

When: Friday July 22

Where: Denbies Wine Estate Dorking

A bit of a cheeky one for those of us who ACTUALLY work from home (eg: Team TWC), this summer treat is a Friday ride for those who can make it out on the bike mid-week.

The ride starts from Denbies Wine Estate, a stunning location surrounded by tons of great country lanes, and just a stone’s throw away from the Box Hill Zig Zag of the 2012 Olympics. You can opt to cover 15, 32, or 64 miles on your ride and entry costs £35.

The Epic route covers both Whitedown and Ranmore as well as Box Hill, whilst the short route is rated 2/5 for difficulty so shouldn’t feature too many climbs.

Find out more here.

Macmillan Cycletta Cheshire and Bedfordshire

Cheshire: Tatton Park, Sunday October 2 2016

Bedfordshire: Woburn Abbey, Sunday October 9 2016 respectively

Cycletta rides are women only events specifically designed to allow female riders to celebrate cycling with camaraderie and we’ve only ever heard good things about these events.

At both events, distances start at 20km (12 miles), but there are also 40km (25 miles) and 70km/80km (45miles /50 miles) options.

Entry for all rides is £29, and as well as way marking over a safety conscious course there will also be electronic timing chips, a finishers medal, and you’ll even get your time texted to you as you cross the finish line.

See both events (and more) here.

Biking Belles Sportive

When: Sunday August 21

Where: Aldingbourne Trust, Chichester

This event is organised by the Chichester based cycling club, the Biking Belles, in conjunction with British Cycling. There are three routes available – all of which are open to women only – over 12, 36 or 50 miles.

The routes will journey into Hampshire and West Sussex, touring the local area – you can see route maps here. 

The 12 mile ride is pretty flat, covering just over 300ft of climbing, and there will be a ride leader and back marker to ensure everyone has a good time. The longest 50 mile route isn’t too hilly either, covering 2,600ft – enough to feel challenging, but not so much it’s not approachable.

Find out more here.

Evans Cycles Thetford Road Sportive

When: Sunday November 27

Where: High Lodge Forest Centre, Brandon

Evans Cycles offer a range of sportives, all year round – and most events feature a range of distances to make sure everyone is well catered for. The Thetford ride is their most beginner friendly event, rated 1 out of 5 for climbing, meaning there are just a couple of gentle rises along the way.

You can ride 15 (560ft climbing), 38 (1165 ft), 53 (1630ft) or 74 (2265ft) miles and rides start from High Lodge Forest Centre in the heart of Thetford Forest.

There will be way marking, food and drink stops, chip timing and a nice hot meal at the finish – and rides start from £7.50, the most expensive being £25.

Find out more here.

You might also like… 

Everything you Need for your First Sportive 

How to Plan Training and Stick to It

Training Plan: 100 Mile Sportive

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