The sportive season is well and truly here, and with most of the See.Sense team members being keen cyclists (it's usually only a matter of time for those who aren't) we are always eager to take part in some cycling sportives. It's been a great Summer so far out training together on our midweek team cycles.
Whether the challenges are for fundraising, to smash a few of our own personal goals or to just enjoy a day out on the bike with friends and colleagues there are definitely few things we couldn't live without when in the saddle for any amount of time. The team have revealed their tried and tested favourite bits of cycling kit, essential for any longer ride or sportive:
I'm a big fan of nutrition products and electrolytes especially for long rides and sportives, but I don't always love the consistency of energy gels. These Shot Bloks are really quick to eat while you're out on the bike and taste like you are getting a bit of a sugary treat as well! I've stocked up on the tropical flavour for this years RideLondon. TOP TIP -
Ensure you have two water bottles and some nutrition with you on your ride. Adding electrolytes to your water is a great way to ensure you stay hydrated and replace any lost salts. My best tip is to wrap as many electrolytes as you need in cling film, put them in your jersey pocket and into your water bottle as you need them. Saves them going soggy or you carrying the whole tube with you!
I like to call these the 'sports bottles for lazy people' - I don't drink water out of anything else, even during the day in work. TOP TIP - If you are doing a longer sportive, start eating 10 minutes into the ride - trust me, it will help. There's nothing worse than feeling starved at any point in the cycle. Bring a couple of cereal bars and a banana to keep you going.
The Shimano road shoes are one step down from their top of the range s-phyre shoes but at less than half the price the quality and performance of the shoe far outweigh the reasonable price. Super comfortable and boa dial tightening system to ensure you get the perfect fit. The white pair are super sleek and go with the majority of kits. TOP TIP - Give your bike a quick check over to ensure nothing is loose, your tires are pumped up to the correct pressure and your chain is oiled.
Over the years I've found out that you don't need to spend lots of money for a decent pair of sunglasses - which is great if you are as clumsy as me. TOP TIP - I think the most important thing is to make sure you enjoy the sportive and the experience of riding in a group. Once you reach the finish there are usually refreshments to enjoy with your friends, and reward yourself!
Once you go bib - you don't go back. dhb is my favourite - the straps are white so even if you are wearing a lighter coloured jersey it will look great. TOP TIP - Enjoy the day and go at your own pace. I like to take as many photos as I can along the way as well.
I like wearing gloves for a bit of comfort during longer cycles. These ones are really lightweight which is good for Summer Sportives and hot weather, if you are lucky to get a bit of sun! - TOP TIP - Have a look at the route map so you have an idea of where the route goes on the day. At the start everyone will be together but later on in the sportive you may be in a smaller group and knowing the way will be super helpful.
An old one but a good one - especially if there are any showers throughout the day of the sportive. TOP TIP - Be prepared for any type of weather, and don't forget your suncream (I have learned this one the hard way) It is important to bring a gilet or light waterproof jacket in your back pocket as well, as the weather is changeable as I have found out.
This gilet is great as it fits easily into your jersey pocket along with your other items. It has pockets on the inside which is good for your phone and keys. I also like the fact that it's highly visible as well. TOP TIP - If travelling to a sportive make sure to pack your kit and bag the night before to ensure you don't forget anything.