We are now on Strava. Some of you may have had an invite to the club. The club is there for anyone to join and has been created for riders to interact with each other in the run up to this years event. Feel free to pass on to friends and family and anyone interested in joining. The discussion area is yours to use. Only 85 days to go.
Thank you for taking part in this years event. As a rider in this years Sportive your entry fee has helped to raise £1800 for Jane's Appeal.
In an effort to increase the amount that we raise for charity there will be some changes to our relationship with Jane's Appeal. We will be working closely with the charity in order to increase our charity donations. This does not mean that the entry fee will suddenly increase. We want to keep this as a reasonably priced Sportive which provides great value for money and still raises money for charity.
What it does mean is that some parts of organising the ride will be done by Jane's Appeal. Why do you need to know this I hear you ask.
One of the parts that will be handled by Jane's Appeal is promotion of the event. We are intending to give Jane's Appeal the details of all riders in previous events so that you can be informed of important information relating to the Sportive and other Jane's Appeal events. When I say details all that we are intending to give Jane's Appeal are the names and email addresses of each rider that has taken part in our events. This information will be handled in accordance with Jane's policy on data handling and will not be passed to any other organisation. What we do not want is you getting hounded by other charities. Jane's Appeal will only send you emails relating to RTB and Jane's Appeal events and news.
Of course in order to do this we need your permission.
If you DO NOT want us to pass your name and email address to Jane's Appeal in an effort to improve the event then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org in the next 28 days. In the subject please put the word NO & your name. There is no need to write anything in the email as long as your name is in the subject line. If you are happy for us to share the above mentioned details with Jane's Appeal then you do not need to reply to us at all.
We are wanting to build on the success of this years event and we hope that this will help us to do that. Please look out for more details of next years event on the website. A date has been decided and we will let you know when this is soon.
Dave, Mark & Daz
Having seen that the 65 Roses Spring Classic navigated it's way around my turf, there was no reason not to enter. Being my first sportive of the season, 65 miles was always going to be a tester for me but the fact that there is very little in the way of mammoth climbs in South Yorkshire the best you can hope for is a route that gives you the mileage and finds any hill there is within the vicinity. Team Cystic Fibrosis have managed to pull this off spectacularly with the added promise of a Paris-Roubaix style ride. The Team raise money for, yes you guessed it, Cystic Fibrosis, and what a great job they do. Their last sportive, the 65 Roses Holme Moss Classic raised 18k for the charity. Surely 65 miles of early season cycling would be nothing compared to the issues this condition causes it's sufferers.
Eagerly joined by the brother in law, Joe, and a colleague, Mark B, tactics for the ride had been discussed for months. The event sold out quickly with the 300 places sold within weeks of the event. Sunday 8th March came and after easily finding the Dorothy Hyman Stadium starting point and the expanse of parking we were ready, well sort off, after setting off on the 500 yard ride to the stadium from the parking area, Joe helpfully asked if I intended doing the whole ride in my trainers? Eager beaver. After a quick change, and a last minute decision to wear the shoe covers I had placed in my bag at the night before (a good decision as it turned out) we were off to sign in. 300 eager riders on a coldish starting line awaiting the off. After the obligatory selfie we were in the 4th group to leave.
The route took us from Cudworth along the quite Sunday morning A-roads and into Brierly. We wound our way through the still sleepy villages of South Hiendley, Ryhill and Fitzwilliam, before turning left down what looked like the entrance to an industrial estate. Those that were unsure may have been a bit worried, I however had been intently studying the extensive welcome pack provided by the organisers (very informative) and knew we were on the right road. Sector 12 was here. A narrow concrete path was the pave to be negotiated. Concentration was key on the Sector that was the inspiration for the ride, but you were rewarded with a fast, if sometimes bumpy sector. We emerged onto the A638 in Ackworth, home turf, and having ridden some of the route in training for the ride, I knew what lay ahead. The pace of the ride was excellent by my standards we were keeping a steady 18 mph average with some parts even quicker. East Hardwick came and went, followed by Sector 11, a slight downhill towards the first climb of the day. The Wentbridge Hill ascent. A nasty little climb that goes up towards the A1 and Darrington. Atop the climb waited (apart from Joe and Mark for me) Sector 10, a muddy little affair. Darrington next and a quick descent, including Sector 9 and Castle Hill, towards Norton. 26 miles in saw the first food stop at Askern Lakeside Café. Food, in the form of sausage sandwiches, cake, bananas and Hi 5 drink, a plenty. Our first 26 miles had been ticked off in just over 90 minutes. The next 25 would not be the same.
The long loop, which we were determined to complete consisted of flat roads around the villages of Moss, Fishlake and Thorpe in Balne. Having cycled these roads previously they are notoriously windy. Today would not disappoint. Despite the wind, TT style riding by the 3 of us provided some shelter. I am sure that we looked exactly as Team Sky do during the Team TT. Sectors 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4 were ticked off in the process with 4 being the most difficult. The loop had taken some casualties, with at least one rider ending up on the deck. Plenty of medical staff around to sort him out though. We decided on a further stop at the Café after the loop and this was a good decision as I knew the hilly parts of the course still lay ahead. More cake, Hi 5 and coffee before the last 20 or so miles home.
Sector 3, Abbes Walk in Burghwallis passed and then into Campsall and the hillier road of Bone Lane. This section of the Blog shall be entitled, Cometh the Rain, cometh the fatigue. 55 miles in and I had been dropped. It was now everyman for himself. I knew that the ride was actually about 68 miles and Sector 2 was the last time I saw Joe and Mark until the end. I wasn't bothred I just wanted it to stop being windy!!! Hooton Pagnell came and I was just glad that the Team had shied away from using Hooton Pagnell hill, which is a bit of a nemesis for me. Carlton was down hill from Hooton, but after that the gradual incline added to my torment. A final blast through Brierly and I knew the Stadium wasn't far. The finish was set up on the running track which made it feel special. I was just glad I had finished, especially with a top class goody bag for finishers sponsored by Planet X.
All in all The 65 Roses Spring Classic was a great day out. Well priced at £25,considering the food, goody bag and the fact that the Team raised £5000 for the charity. September brings their Holme Moss Classic which I will definitely be entering if it is half as well organised as this one. See you in September Team Cystic Fibrosis. Or may be July for a crack at RTB?
We are go for launch of the RTB 2015 event.
After a great first planning meeting with our Charity partner we are pleased to announce that the date for the 2015 event can be confirmed as Sunday 19th July 2015.
The event has been submitted to British Cycling and should be open for registration in the next few days.
We have a new pricing structure for the event which we are sure will please everyone. Please remember that this is a charity event and all money after costs goes to our charity partner The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.
The time is nearly here for the opening of the 2015 event. A little later than we would have liked but due to some unforeseen events it is a little late. Our provisional date is Sunday 19th July 2015. We are 98% sure that this will be the date so book it with the wife, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend. What we do know is that we will once again be raising money for The Jane Tomlinson Appeal and we will once again be using the Wetherby Sports Centre as our base. Which means the gruelling 104 mile route will be rolled out!! Feel free to suggest any changes to previous events via the blog or the Facebook site. See you on the 19th July.
Oh and you might want to get some training in!! I will be posting some events that we are entering in the coming months. Let us know of any you hear about or reviews of any that you have competed in.
Sunday 21st September saw my first Sportive in a while. The Wakefield Hospice Dark Peak takes in iconic climbs at Emley Moor, Snake Pass and the infamous Holme Moss. What was not to look forward to?
Their ride HQ is at Nuffield Health in Wakefield. A working upmarket leisure centre on Denby Dale Rd. Easy enough to find but parking was minimal We arrived at about 7:40am to be told that the car park was full. We quickly found a space on a nearby road about 200 yards away.
Sign in was no problem even though there was quite a queue. 15 minutes later with ride number plus timing chip in hand we were back to the van and ready to ride.
The ride itself was well signed with plenty of volunteers early on to point us in the right direction through the many roundabouts that took us down Denby Dale Road towards Emley Moor. Once out of Wakefield the roads quietened down and the hills began. The first challenge being the Jagger Lane climb up to Emley Moor Transmitting Station, a testing climb at just under ½ a mile and an average gradient of 9%.
Jagger Lane was followed by a few welcome downhill sections before the steady climb into Shepley. Shepley to Holmfirth was a quick affair with the terrain dropping away unlike the anticipation of what was to come on the ride out. Having cycled the road to Holmfirth before I remembered that the only drawback to the fast downhill was the fact that vehicles on the road have to brake for a couple of bends, this can slow cyclists down a tad but it is still a quick descent down the -6.3% Strava graded road.
The ride through Holmfirth was a chance to chat to a couple of cyclists, admittedly, as they passed me on their way towards Holme Moss and I gained a few tips for my first ascent of the Strava rated cat 2 climb. The climb went well and the messages of encouragement daubed on the road from the Tour de France helped me along, especially as in my head I was Jens Voigt during the tortuous, endless hill. The ‘Shut up Legs’ mantra was echoing loudly in my ears. Those who know my cycling style know that rather than a natural cyclist, I am a bit of a plodder and this accounted for my dreadful average speed of 4 mph up the iconic climb. Some would say that I could have walked it faster but where is the fun in that. As is customary on Sportives, and the same can be said for RTB, the event photographer was positioned almost atop the climb giving me and most other cyclists that extra push to give the impression that this was a walk in the park, judging by mine (priced at £3.50 for a web version of the photo) I failed miserably in my attempt to look fresh.
The sight of the Feed Station loomed and what a view to have whilst enjoying the muffins, flapjack, sandwiches and bananas on offer. Food was of a good standard. The OTE energy drink on offer however was not to my taste and there were many others that were of the same opinion. After the customary photo with the Holme Moss Summit sign we set off on the eagerly awaited descent. There is a fine line between an adrenaline rush and fear, this descent may have crossed that line for me. The 47 mph top speed, although not as fast as I had hoped was very enjoyable/scary.
The split for the Hard and Extreme route was next at the junction with the Woodhead Pass, we had signed up for the Hard route and turned left uphill on the Woodhead Pass. This was a long uphill drag that took its toll in the wind. That was not the end of, in my opinion, the toughest section of the ride as the hills kept on coming past Winscar Resevoir and all the way towards Upper Denby. I was helpfully informed that the worst was yet to come with the ever nearing Haigh Bank at the end of the ride. But for now the undulating scenery whizzed by as the average speed on the cycle computer pleasingly increased on an enjoyable section towards Haigh Bank.
Haigh Bank was not a disappointment, as with Holme Moss I could see the never ending climb, which rose like a tarmac wall, every inch of the way. The last 100 yards increasing in gradient to a welcome stop at the crossroads. A quick breather, only waiting for a gap in the traffic and nothing to do with the physical exertion or thigh cramp, and the end was in sight. Again a quickish section that increased the average speed all the way to the end and the rapturous applause from family at the finish.
After collecting a finishers t-shirt with the ‘I survived the Dark Peak’ motif it was off for a welcome shower in Nuffield Health, which was a nice touch by the organisers. There was also complimentary use of the facilities thrown in, but the call of The Wetherby Whaler next door was far too tempting to hang around.
All in all this was a good event that I would recommend to others. The distance for the Hard route was listed at 48 miles but I clocked it at 53 which towards the end of the ride was a tad annoying. The only drawback for me was the use of OTE energy products but this could be personal taste and next time I would take my own product. For the £20 entry fee I will definitely look at this one again next year.
Planning for our 2015 event is due to begin in the coming weeks.
What would you like to see at the next event?
What would make 2015 the perfect Sportive?
Let us know so that we can move towards providing a better experience.
July saw the world's largest sporting event land on our doorstep. Some of us were in a privileged position and able to get close to a few of the teams. Daz got a jersey signed by the Mighty Jens Voigt of Team TREK FACTORY RACING, Tommy Voeckler and other members of the Europcar Team. He did however miss Alberto Contador by 5 minutes, gutted. The shirt will be raffled off for charity at the next event.
Meanwhile on the other side of Yorkshire, Dave was busy putting the finishing touches to his high 5 practice before heading out in the pre peloton convoy, jammy sod. His highlight being a high 5 with Daz on the infamous Ripponden Bank on Day 2. Now that took some organisation. A good day was had by all and the 3 RTB Sportives kids even got an appearance on the Sunday Politics Show on BBC 1, some free, blink and you missed it, advertising for the ride.
Find out how preparations for the 2015 event are going.