On Saturday is my first Cycling Sportive. I elected to do the “short” 37 route which has somehow transformed to a 39 mile route on the organisers website. The route is below:


The event will start and stop from Oakham. The altitude profile is below:

altitude profile

To be honest I do not cycle outside enough to know if the above is good or bad, but to be it seems like going down Everest and then cycling back up it.

I will say this, I have never cycled more than 16 miles on the roads and once did 21 miles on Zwift. So to me this is a challenge.

Bike Preparation/Checklist

In order to prepare for this (epic) challenge I came up with a list of tasks that seems sensible

  • Check bike is roadworthy (brakes, gears)
  • Wash bike
  • Chain Lubricant
  • Learn to change tyre/inner tube
  • Ensure toolbag has all the relevant bits

Wash Bike

Erm, it looked clean enough and it was “only” a month ago since I last washed and during that time it’s not been out on the road.

Lubricate Chain

I had some Wet Lube (oh er) and popped a little on the chain while turning the pedals with my hand. I didn’t want to bath the chain in lubricant so only used a little


Roadworthy (Brakes and Gears)

I checked both brakes work, and that all the gears shift nicely



Also checked that the tyres were pumped up and install detachable front and rear mudguards, the rear ones were tricky as they interfered with the saddle bag but managed to adjust the angle to just about fit them on.

Unfortunately I didn’t change the wheel or inner tube but did watch a YouTube video – what could do wrong ?!?

Saddlebag Tools

I added a light to the saddlebag and packed enough kit to change a inner tube. I only have 1 spare inner tube and only 1 cannister, so lets hope I stay lucky. I will also be taking a phone with me (just in case of emergency)


I am expecting to be cycling for about 3 hours. If I was running for 3 hours I would take 2 bottles of drink (one a sports drink) and that would be sufficient. For this I am expecting something similar but will also take a couple of small flapjacks.

Maybe I am being flippant but I am not expecting to dying of hunger. 3 hours cycling will burn less calories than 3 hours of running.


The weather forecast shows that it will be warm (10 degrees centigrade) and some chance of rain.

The plan is therefore to wear the following:

  • Shimano SPD shoes but without using clips
  • Cycling Tights
  • Running shorts to wear over tights for modesty sake
  • Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey
  • Gore Windproof Gilet
  • Heavy cycling gloves
  • Fleece snood
  • Running beanie
  • Helmet

Let’s do this!