I don't know about you, but the Fenland nights are drawing in and there is an early morning chill in the air.

My miles for August are feeble enough as it is with family gatherings and other commitments, but the weather isn't encouraing me to get in the saddle and put in the training.

Which is a bit of a swine as Kilotogo event "The Rut" is looming on a hill laden horizon and I need to get my a**e moving.

Rutland is a wonderful (albeit technically non-existent, but don't tell a resident that) county. Lots of rolling lanes and steep little peaks. I think of it as a British Flanders... Let's hope I am still as misty eyed about its beauty after the sportive!

There has been a lot of talk about the competitive nature of sportives across the forums this summer, and not all of it has been praising participants.

I only have "Flat out in the Fens" under my belt so far in 2010, but I really enjoyed it, even when it was lining out early doors and when someone sat in on our little group.

At the end of the day they are designed to give a flavour of the 'real thing' not neccessarily simulate road racing at its highest level. There has even been discussion within our club as to someone describing it as a "race" and whether there is any merit in that.

All I know is that I really enjoy them and the opportunity it gives me to meet new riders and push myself as far as I can without the competitive element. 

Sportives may be getting more challenging and the riders may be getting better trained and faster, but sportives have still given my cycling a new lease of life.  


James has been blogging for road.cc for 5 years and racing bicycles (averagely) for 20 years.