Start growing your sideburns now

The Ride with Brad sportive will return to Lancashire on August 11 this year. As the name suggests, the ride is a chance to join Sir Bradley Wiggins for a bit of a pootle around his favourite roads.

“It was a great event last time, riding round this beautiful area where I train when at home and meeting so many riders and spectators. We want to keep the event growing and becoming the best sportive there is. So I urge everyone to put the 11th August in their diary and crack on with their training,” says Sir Bradley.

The Ride with Brad event is run in support of the Bradley Wiggins Foundation which aids young people in getting involved and developing their potential in sport.

This year’s Ride with Brad will offer three distances, with a 50km route added to last year’s 160km and 100km options, all taking in around the beautiful countryside and villages of Pendle and the Ribble Valley.

As well as the rides, there will be plenty of events for non-riding friends and family. Mark Sandamas, director of organiser Pennine Events said: “While the riders are out taking part in the sportive, families, and friends of riders and visitors will be treated to a fun day of sport celebration. 

“Yes, of course there will be cycle activities and in keeping with the Foundation, the event will also feature a wide range of other sports activities including a fun run, rugby tasters and many other activities which we will announce at a later date. 

“It was a fantastic honour to organise Ride with Brad and our team are looking at every element to ensure that the quality we achieved last year is surpassed.”

For more details see the Ride with Brad website. www.ridewithbrad.com. Online entry for cyclists will open in late June.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.