A real test of endurance and the opportunity to ride in large groups in different, challenging locations.

Sportives have boomed in the last decade and now there is hardly a weekend in the year when there isn't at least one taking place somewhere in the country. To ride a sportive you usually enter and pay online, turn up at the start venue where you are given a number to wear and an electronic timing chip to attach to either your bike or yourself. Depending on the number of riders you may be given a start time or you just simply join the queue to ride over the start line. As you cross the start line your time is recorded electronically as is your finish time as you cross the finish line. In between there are usually two or three check points that you have to ride over to make sure you're not cheating! The route is usually availble as a GPS file and is signposted with the organisor's arrows at every turn.

Sportives vary in length to suit all abilities. Some like the Dragon Ride in South Wales can be as much as 222km with a lot of climbing, others can be as little as 40km and relatively flat. The results are usually published on the organiser's website in alphabetical order. Sportives aren't supposed to be competitive but many riders take part to try to achieve the fastest time or beat the time they did the year before. 

The costs of taking part in sportives has risen with their popularity and prices can range from £25.00 to nearly £60.00. For this you get a timed ride; feedstops where sports drink, water and snacks are provided; a meal, usually pasta, at the end. You may even receive a certificate and a medal in a bag full of sponsors promotional give aways.

There are plenty of local Sportives classics like the Hell of the AshdownCircuit of KentKentish KillerCastle Ride or the Wolfe of Westerham and many Southborough riders take part in these and events further afield like Chase The Sun and Ride London.

Sportives also take place all over the world and many club members have taken part in rides such as La Marmotte and L'etape du Tour in France. These are extremely challenging rides that take place in the mountains of France each year and consist of over 5000 riders from all over the world.

A full list of sportives can be found at