Sportives are a fantastic way of exploring a new area without the pressure of planning your
own route. Everything is done for you, just simply turn up and ride! You can ride with your
friends, make new ones during the event, or ride solo and see if you can beat a planned
time. Sportives are inherently non-competitive events, but some organisers choose to
categorise your finish time into performance brackets depending on how fast you rode the
course. There are plenty of sportives in the UK this year, so we’ve rounded up some of the
best ones taking place in spring and summer and (at the time of writing) still have places
Salisbury Plain Gravel X, 20th March
This is the first event of many for the Glorious Gravel organisers who put on sportives
across the country. This springtime ride takes place across the Salisbury Plains in the
south of England with plenty of fast, non-technical bridleway and military maintained
tracks. The route is 75km and has 1,000 metres of climbing for you to contend with. A
great early season opener for gravel lovers.
Hardest Hundred: Peak District Epic, 10 th April
Not one for the faint-hearted, this road ride takes in as many of the most fearsome Peak
District climbs as the organisers could fit in. There are two routes to choose from, the long
option is 159km and has 3,763 metres of climbing, while the medium choice is 113km and
has 2,843 metres of climbing. If you’ve always wanted to test yourself against famous hills
like Mam Tor and Winnats Pass, now is your chance.
Muck N’ Mac Fest, 29th April – 1st May
A gravel riding festival taking place in the Tweed Valley in Scotland, Muck N' Mac Fest
promises to be a fun-filled weekend for the family. You can choose the road over that of
the gravel one, but it still promises to sting the legs. You can either buy a full weekend
ticket or choose one day to ride. It has a similar format to Grinduro with enduro-style
stages you can race against the clock on, and a festival for the whole family when you're
not on the bike.
The Struggle Dales, 22nd May
Many sportives try to claim the crown of 'hardest route in Yorkshire', but with just shy of
10,000 feet of climbing over 100 miles, it's difficult to look past this event from the Struggle team. Taking in some of the famous cols of the region such as Malham Cove, Greenhow
Hill and Park Rash, this is not a sportive you can just rock up to without any prior training.
Battle on the beach, 2nd and 3rd April
Suitable for mountain bikes and gravel bikes, this unique event takes place in Pembrey
Country Park, near Llanelli in southern Wales. Riders tackle the beach and surrounding
trails for a total of 45km over three laps. It may have a little bit more of a competitive feel
about it than other sportives, but there will be a laid-back atmosphere as most people
enter to have fun and not compete. At the time of writing, there are only a few tickets left
so be quick if you want to experience this exciting event.
Grinduro, 23 rd July
Always a sell-out and promising a rad time, Grinduro is back in Wales for another year. It
has a chilled atmosphere and the camaraderie among riders is legendary. It takes the
same format as an enduro mountain bike race, in that there are timed stages on the route
to ride and try and see where you finish on the leaderboard. Competing isn't the aim of the
weekend, however, as there is a festival and a great atmosphere. Be quick to sign up
though because at the time of writing, there are places available which as any experienced
sportive goer will tell you, is very rare.
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