A new take on sportives! Sportives are mass-participation events where riders gather together, start together, ride together etc – in both small and larger groups – and therefore not acceptable under coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Instead these Rallyé events mean riders choose their own routes and distances but book a time slot to arrive at the event village (for food stop and photographs and socially distant chatting). Only limited numbers are able to be in the village at any one time so there will still be the sense of riding in a big event – but without riders actually congregating at any one time.
There are 3 events planned:
26 July – the event village for this one is about 12 miles from home so I plan to head into Suffolk first and aim to ride about 120 or so miles that day
Saturday 15th August: This was to have been the Tour de Broads double weekend (2 x 100 miles) – and – for me – it still will be though I’ll be entirely on my own today – I plan to ride to Walberswick and Southwold using a different route to the one I used for the July Rallyé event. Riding to the seaside is a new exploit for me (the swim not so likely) :
Sunday 16 August This is the proper Tour de Broads Rallyé – the event village is in now in Filby ( a village near Great Yarmouth); I had been hoping to ride to Great Yarmouth and include some of the Broads as well, but in view of the hot weather being forecast – and therefore the crowds expected at the seaside, the event village has moved inland and I’ll be exploring some smaller roads to avoid the coast road:
Oops – got that wrong! Sportives are almost invariably on Sundays and I assumed that the Sunday was the big TdeB day – nope, that was the Saturday when I was doing my own thing. Went to the event village on the Sunday and was puzzled to find no activity. Eventually went my own way and realised my date mistake when I got home.
Happy that I did manage 2 x 100 mile rides over the weekend though. Deliberately kept the pace down but was surprised to find a very similar average moving speed on both days (15mph is a fairly good speed for me over 100 miles) and it was only after about 80 miles on the second day when I also lost the tailwind I had been enjoying that the tiredness kicked in.
Sunday 6 September – the event village is in Norwich – again about 12 miles away away so I plan to do my own round Norfolk ride first before heading to Norwich and then home:
Well, the day was largely cloudy, but fine and I enjoyed meandering around Norfolk – some pleasant lanes, an unexpected but dry bridleway (which avoided a busy road). Kept the heart rate and therefore speed down and this worked well. Got a bit lost in the Northern Distributor road series of cycle paths (couldn’t understand what my bike computer wanted me to do), then got lost again in the Broadland Business park until I came to roads I recognised.
At around 90 miles I was steeling myself for a short, sharp and busy hill when I got overtaken by a young lady on a sit-up bike who just sailed past me, closely followed by another young lady on a regular road bike. I caught up with them on the flat and, yes, the first was on an electric bike. I had another 30 miles or more to go so the motor was an interesting idea!
I had wanted to do more than the 120+ miles, but I’d already been out more than 8 hours so kept to plan and didn’t extend the ride.