As the club looks to promote cycling in all its forms, a Sportive championship is organised aimed at distance based events rather than time used for most other forms of cycling. The rider who completes the most miles in Sportive (UK and overseas), Reliability Trials and Audax rides over the year is deemed the winner and is awarded the John Parfitt Sportive Trophy.
Details of events members have and will be taking part in can be found at Sportive Calendar and Results . To get credited with the mileage, rider names need to appear on the offical finishing list. So no point just doing the ride without formally entering,
Please could all participants let me (David Dyer) know what so that I can up date the table. I have no way of knowing who is entering events, unless I informed.
What are Sportives
Sportives in the UK are non-competitive road cycling events in which participants are often motivated to test their cycling endurance capabilities. Many continental European sportives are races, though some are not officially timed and are non-competitive. A typical distance for this sort of event is around 160km / 100miles, though there are often shorter routes for the less adventurous and many events are well over 200km. Terrain is varied, but generally somewhat hilly. The best non-cycling analogy for a sportive is the marathon, in that the highest profile events tend to be won by former professionals or semi-pro riders, making the chief competition for many riders themselves rather than the rest of the field. Also, because your colleagues will likely think you've gone slightly nuts for wanting to spend so much time exercising in one day.
The site http://cyclosport.org/ is a good source for all information regarding Sportives events.
Entry is normally online. Riders are either sent or need to collect on the day a timing chip which automatically logs times.
What are Audaxes
An Audax is similar to a Sportive, but there are differences. The joke goes that Sportives are ridden by people pretending to race and Audaxes by people pretending not to race. They are usually smaller scale than Sportives but a lot cheaper due to the key of self-sufficiency. You will be given a routesheet (and usually now a GPS download) and have to make your way between various controls that are usually cafes that you check in at and can buy your own food. There are also information controls marked on the route sheet where you have to record, for example, 'the name of the pub in the village square' to prove you were there. You can't expect official mechanical assistance, although you will always get an offer of help from others on the ride. The 'standard distance' tends to be considered as the 200km, but there are plenty of 100km rides as well (including a number that start in Maidenhead). Rides build up to 600km classics and the four yearly London-Edinburgh-London (taking place in 2013) and Paris-Brest-Paris (next in 2015).
The site www.aukweb.net/events/ gives the calendar of Audax events.
Why would I want to ride one of those?
It is a great excuse to travel with your bike and ride other than on the same roads you regularly use to train. Much of the world's best cycling is a few short hours from the average Londoner's doorstep, yet this person may need the extra motivation of having paid an entry fee and been assigned a race number just to go use this amazing cycling resource. Having a sportive marked on the calendar can be this motivation. Seeing a different part of Britain or another country by bike is a great way to tour any destination. You will get a better sense of the terrain, the sounds and the smells than you ever would traveling by car. If your event takes you to continental Europe, you will be exposed to cultures that readily embrace cycling and are keen to make a festival of a cycling event.