The hard work that is taken in preparing a route for a sportive is never really talked about. Its not simply about a few clicks on the favourite mapping tool to make a pretty loop taking in some scenery, missing some dual carriage ways and trying to find somewhere for feed stations.
Creating a route is like creating the adventure, its the veins and heart of any event. A good route will lead to less on the day issues, high satisfaction amongst riders and importantly getting everyone back safely.
So whats our approach: our approach is take some of our favourite routes, some of the best features, try and make the route as clockwise as possible (left turns are easier for cyclists as not to cross the path of traffic), avoid the inevitable cow pats and then get that balance between effort, strain, pain, reward and enjoyment. We think its an art form that we are still developing.
Testing the route is essential. We are not yet at this stage. Our approach is and always has been, to sit down and plot favourite bits, put it into our mapping tool, publish it, ask for comments, in the meantime we will drive it and then cycle it. We then sit with coffee and cake and mull it over. Sometimes we change bits, sometimes we leave it. We have been known during this stage to take riders on dirt tracks and so have had to quickly change these bits.
We never said we got it perfect first time or have stopped learning right?!
Just so you know as riders, we do use signs and we do chalk the roads where required. We try not to do the latter as it sometimes gets us in trouble.
In the meantime, if you are thinking of signing up, here are our routes for your viewing and commenting:
Our Long Route:
Our Short Route:
In the meantime, if you want to join our group find it on strava at: