Got a question about the Drover Cycles Sportive Series? Read on! If you can’t find an answer to your question, please get in touch.
What is a sportive?
A sportive is a road cycling event over a set distance. The route is marked and everyone rides at their own pace. It’s therefore a non-competitive event rather than a race although of course you can challenge yourself as much as you like! Sportives usually involve a large number of cyclists and everyone starts riding at the same time or rather, within a specified “start window”, instead of being set off at intervals. Food, drink and support are provided at a number of “feed stations” along the route.
How much does it cost and what is included?
The entry fee for each event is £27 payable in advance. Booking closes the day before the sportive but there are a limited number of places available on the day, for £35. The price includes a pre-event information pack, food and drink at the event HQ and at the feed stations along the route, number board and timing chip/device so that we can give you a personalised ride time, mechanical assistance, first aid cover, a goody bag and 10% off at www.drover.cc. Free parking is also included but please note that this is on a first-come, first-served basis.
How challenging is the route?
That depends! Every rider has a different level of experience, fitness and conditioning. Ultimately you are probably the best judge of your ability. Check out the individual page for each of our sportives and look at the distance options and the amount of elevation gained (aka hillyness). Have you ridden these kinds of events before and what distance are your comfortable cycling in a day? Even if you are a regular commuter with a good level of fitness you may find 5 or 6 hours in the saddle a different proposition. If this is your first sportive or long ride then for your health, safety and wellbeing we strongly recommend building up gradually and training in the months preceding your chosen event. For more tailored advice on fitness and nutrition we’d recommend having a chat with our friends over at TORQ.
Will I have to navigate?
No, in short. The route will be signposted with brightly coloured directional arrows throughout. Your pre-event information includes a gps file which you can download for use with a GPS, smartphone, cycle computer or other device. Written route notes are also available and there will be maps at event HQ and feed stations. You will of course need to keep your eyes open so that you don’t miss any signs and it is your responsibility to ensure you have familiarised yourself with the route prior to setting out on the ride. An emergency contact number will be provided in the unlikely event that you stray from the designated route.
What is provided at the feed stations?
We think the way to a cyclist’s heart is through his or her stomach so rest assured that our feed stations are well supplied! Expect to find TORQ Performance Products in the form of their all natural energy bars and energy drink. It’s vital to take on board those all important carbohydrates if you’re riding all day and the TORQ range really is the best we’ve come across – scientifically proven fuelling that is also easily digestible and tasty. Now, although everyone benefits from TORQ’s fuelling strategy we appreciate you might be thinking we cater only for the high-performance athlete! Fear not, because we also provide large amounts of “normal” food such as bananas, flapjacks, trail mix, jam sandwiches, savoury snacks and gallons of tea and coffee. Anna is Drover Cycles resident cake maker so look out for home-made caramel shortbread, carrot cake, bara brith (Welsh tea bread), rocky road and more. There will always be vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options at our feed stations and we use as many local and Fairtrade products as possible.
Is there back-up?
Yes, each Drover Cycles sportive has a team on standby to assist any rider who has succumbed to a mechanical problem, had an accident or needs assistance for another reason. We will never leave a rider stranded but do remember that it is your responsibility to ensure you are adequately prepared for the event, which includes making sure your bike, equipment and basic mechanical skills are in good working order before you set off!
How do I find the start point?
A map showing the start point of the ride is included on the individual event pages for each sportive. In addition, your pre-event information includes the postal address, post code and grid reference of the venue.
What is your policy on refunds?
If you have booked a place on a Drover Cycles sportive and you are no longer able to take part please get in touch. We are reasonable people and understand that things do happen. Please get in touch and we will make a decision on a case by case basis according to the specific circumstances.
Can I enter on the day?
Yes, a limited number of entries for each Drover Cycles sportive will be available on the day but we strongly recommend pre-booking. We cannot guarantee you a place unless you sign up in advance. It’s also cheaper – entry on the day costs £35 as opposed to £27 if you enter in advance. Online entries close just before midnight on the day before the sportive, so you can leave it to the eleventh hour if you wish!
Is the event insured?
Yes, public liability insurance is in place for all Drover Cycles sportives. This insurance covers the event organisers and support team against claims from third parties if an incident happens during an event. It is not personal accident cover for you nor does it cover theft of or damage to your bike and equipment. Find out more about how you can get Personal Accident Insurance by becoming a member of British Cycling or check out the CTC’s range of insurance products for cyclists.
What’s the best bike for a sportive?
The recent surge in popularity of sportives and non-competitive road cycling in general has prompted bike manufacturers to offer an ever increasing range of “sportive specific” models. Truth be told, you could ride just about any bike and still complete the 2016 Drover Cycles sportives be it a full-sus MTB, a hybrid or a time trial featherweight – but perhaps not in the most comfortable, efficient or enjoyable manner! We believe British bike brand Genesis are hard to beat when it comes to comfortable, reliable, ride-all-day steeds which still give a nod to performance. Their 2016 line-up looks superb and includes several contenders for the title of perfect sportive bike. If you are in the market for a new bike, head over to the Genesis website or get in touch to have a chat about a demo ride.