Guidance for riders
On the day it is of the utmost importance that everyone enjoys the ride. This means that no-one will be left behind or feel that they are holding anyone up. There will be a designated rider at the back to ensure that everyone is ok.
What this ride is and is not
This is not a ride with a support van, replacement bikes, bike repairs, food or any of those frills. It IS a planned and led ride on as pleasant roads and paths as possible within our overall route. We will have a max of 8 riders (plus two leaders) on each stage. There will be a joining/leaving point on each stage to allow some riders to choose a shorter distance.
Average moving speed will be 10 mph. Each stage will involved a lunch stop (bring your own) and some shorter breaks.
All types of bicycles are welcome. We will ride mostly on paved surfaces with only occasional unpaved sections. See each route page for details.
The routes will all be on good surfaces. Where a traffic free option is available, that will be included, unless it’s impractical for where we want to go.
Wear comfortable, stretchy clothes. Be as visible as possible. We will supply high-visibility tabards with the FfT logo. Shorts or leggings will ensure that your legs are free of the chain and gears. A sports tee-shirt will help you to stay cool.
You are free to wear a helmet or not.
It is essential to stay hydrated during a cycle ride. A dehydrated rider makes errors of judgement which can be highly dangerous. Bring water in a bottle or in a hydration pack on your back. However you do it, ensure that you drink enough water. You might want to get some electrolyte tabs to put in your water. They help to stabilise energy levels.
Pack some energy bars and chocolate, though there will be a ‘cake’ stop or two on each leg. A bag of Haribo or wine gum sweets is a good idea – nothing beats them for helping to get up the odd hill.
Phone and maybe a camera
Bring your charged phone for emergencies and so that the ride leader can contact you if you are out of sight and s/he is concerned. Bring a camera too if you wish. Do ask people to take pictures with your phone/camera so that we have a small bank of images to upload on our website, Facebook and Justgiving pages. They will encourage other people and celebrate our success. On the other hand, if you prefer not to be included in photos of these rides, please do ensure that people know that.
You can send photos or updates to email@example.com and we will post them to the various sites.
Suncream and a waterproof
Apply and bring suncream, regardless of the weather. You will be out of doors all day! Pack a waterproof jacket unless the weather forecast gives you complete confidence to leave it at home. It helps to keep you warm in chilly wind too.
Remember that you have to carry your own kit on most legs of this ride so only pack what you need including any overnight stops. #Packlight
Our donation team page is
This is the page for the whole ride and is made up of team members. It’s really easy to set up a member page within that team. Alternatively, you can share the link of your nearest group or another rider with your family and friends who wish to support you. Local groups and some individuals are setting up member pages.
Make sure your friends and relations have that (and any other) link! People are only likely to donate when they know someone who is directly involved. Sharing photos (of you training?) on Facebook and Twitter is a great way to attract donations and to let friends know you are doing this without directly asking them for money. Our Facebook page always has updated photos and (we hope) even has some videos. Feel free to use and/or share those as you wish.
And, finally ….
Tips from a cyclist
Susan Dowling did her first cycling event at 55. Her tips might be useful / reassuring and/or inspiring to some of the team.
HOW FAR SHOULD I BE ABLE TO RIDE BEFORE THE EVENT?
You should gradually increase your distances as you prepare for the event, and I aim to be able to ride at least 80% of the distance before the day of the ride. Breeze is a great way to find other people to ride with, and even if the distance is not what you’re looking for you may still find ladies within the group who are also looking to ride further distances.
WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER?
The night before a sportive I will usually have a bowl of pasta. On the day I sometimes will struggle to eat if it’s a very early start but ideally I like to have porridge. If it’s too early and I’m driving to the start, rather than setting off with an empty tank I will have croissants or a Danish pastry on the way.
While I’m waiting at the start line I’ll usually have a boiled egg and a banana, and after the ride I normally just eat whatever I’ve been craving in those last few miles!
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE ON THE DAY?
Aside from the usual inner tubes, pump and multi-tool I take a few emergency energy snacks and plenty of fluids. For a long summer ride I will always apply P20 Once a Day sun protection which sees me through the day.
HOW SHOULD I PACE MY RIDE?
I try to work out what time I need to be at each feed station by to complete my chosen distance, and avoid overstaying at stops so that I don’t cool down and find it harder to restart. I tend to count my miles up to the halfway point and then count down on the way back so that I see the end getting closer!