23 April 2019

5 tips for riding your first cycle sportive

May 21, 2015

The Great Manchester Cycle takes place on Sunday 28 June and is the perfect event to choose for your first sportive. Taking place on completely closed roads the event offers three different distances: 13, 26 and 52 miles.  Read on for some top tips to get ready for the day and enjoy some two-wheeled fun.

Photo credit: VeloVixen 

Check your bike

Top of everybody’s checklist should be to make sure that your bike is working; after all, you have zero chance of completing your event if it isn’t! Cleaning your bike will always help it run smoother, as well making sure that the chain and any moving components are properly lubricated. Little tricks like using sand paper to rough up worn break pads can improve the feel of the wheel of a ride.

Wear comfortable and suitable kit

You wouldn’t go swimming in your jeans, so why would a bike ride be any different? Not everybody feels comfortable donning the lycra, but specialist clothing really does help.

Specialist kit is made from material that is designed to be breathable and comfortable, and while padded shorts might feel strange at first, those that have ridden a distance without them are missing out – you could even layer a jersey skirt over the top if you prefer.

Fuel up

Like running a car, it is impossible for you to get around your event without putting fuel in your personal engine. Start the day with a good breakfast of some slow release carbs, like porridge with berries.


If you are taking part in an event that is a longer distance, then you need to keep yourself topped up. Your body requires about 60g of carbohydrates and at least 500ml of fluids per hour.

Pace yourself

Remember the Tortoise and the Hare? Even if you are chasing a record time, nobody ever achieved a good PB at the start of an event. Particularly in longer challenges, remember to pace your ride evenly – organisers often like to put a sting in the tail and put a difficult section somewhere near the end. Make sure you have something left in the tank to deal with this and make sure you get across the line.

Enjoy the ride!

The reason that we all started cycling is for enjoyment, isn’t it? Events can be quite stressful by their nature, they take a lot of organising, and you can have a lot to remember. But occasionally it is worth sitting back in your saddle, having a drink and a bite of your energy bar, hopefully feel the sunshine on your face and remember why you are there – enjoy!

For more information on the Great Manchester Cycle, visit www.greatrun.org/great-manchester-cycle

The Women’s Sports Magazine

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Select a sport

Find out how to get started, training plans and expert advice.