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 What sort of bike can I use for a cyclo-sportive? 

All of the cycling events run by ITP Events are on-road, ie on tarmaced surfaces. The routes are planned so they are predominantly on quiet lanes, so any type of bike can, and is, used in these events, from mountain bikes to the latest full carbon road bike. 

How is a cyclo-sportive different from a cycle race?

A cyclo-sportive is a non-competitve timed challenge. Each individual rider is given a time for their ride but their time is not published in order of performance as against other riders. A full list of individual times is published at the end of the event.

Will I be fit enough?

There is only one way to find out! However, by way of advice, the best thing is to do in training what you expect to do on the day. For example, if you are entering the 100 mile Discover Rutland event, check the profile on the events page map and ride something similar in your area several weeks in advance of the event. If you get round your route tired but happy then you are fit enough. If, however, you barely make it home then you may wish to consider changing to a short option within the same event. This can be done through the entry system. I am not qualified to give any specific coaching advice but one of the best things you can do is join a cycling club, where you will receive plenty of advice, useful or otherwise, and whether you want it or not.

What is provided for me free of charge on the day?

On signing on you will recieve a free energy bar and an energy gel, a timing chip and a map. The route will be fully sign-posted. Depending on which event you enter, there may be free food at the end of your ride. There is free mechanical support at the HQ at the start and on the road (major parts will be charged for, labour is free for something that can be repaired at the roadside). There is also changing and shower facilities at all events venues. 

What should I provide myself?

The right approach is to go prepared as if you are riding unsupported. This means enough food fo support yourself and spare inner tubes, multi-tool, cash etc. If you go off course, and it happens more than you may think, and you do more miles than expected, as least you are able to continue and still enjoy your day.  

What happens if I have a mechanical breakdown?

The events are supported by Neil Exton of All-Geared-Up in Bourne, Lincs. He will be at various points on the course and carries an extensive rang eof part, enabling him to fix most things. Roadside labour is free, although there will be a charge for anything other than very minor parts. Neil will invoice for this after the event if necessary. Larger events will have multiple mechanics out on the course and all will be endevouring to fix your problem and get you to the finish. Please bear in mind that the course is long and it may take a certain amount of time for the mechanic to reach you. Again, please try to be self sufficient to some extent by fixing punctures or other minor problems yourself if you can. 

What should I do in case of minor accident or emergency?

If an incident is serious please dial the emergency services without delay and then contact the organizer as soon as possible. If the incident is more minor, please ring the organizer who will arrange 1st Aid or a vehicle to collect a rider and return them to the HQ. All accidents should be reported to the organizer in a reasonable amount of time. 

What if I get lost?

If you suspect you have missed a sign (or signs have been tampered with) please contact the organizer immediately. I make a point of memorizing all of the routes of my events and the area and so will be able to talk you back on course. Please do not wait until you are a long way off course before reporting it. 

Is there a time limit in which to finish the event?

No. The event is finished only when all riders are accounted for. The events are long distance, so I expect a long day, so no riders need feel they have to ride outside of their comfort zone or take risks to get back in a particular time.

Are helmets compulsory?

For insurance purposes helmets are mandatory. Anyone involved in an incident on the road whilst not wearing a helmet will be deemed to be not part of the event.

Are tri-bars allowed?

Tri-bars are road legal and therefore permitted. They are used entirely at the discretion of the rider. Please do not use them when riding in a group and on bends or poor road surfaces.