Grimpeur Goes To The Birmingham Bike Show

Birmingham* is full of surprises. It has a nice new station (or rather, the old one just got a face lift). All the cool cats are making it their UK headquarters.

(*Ameri-fans: for the avoidance of doubt, I’m talking about Birmingham in England, not the one in Alabama, Connecticut, or Kentucky (where it is a ‘sunken town‘?!?)).

Birmingham also has an exhibition centre. A National Exhibition Centre. Where, this weekend, bikes were exhibited. And I went along to have a gander.

Here is my photo journal.

Read moreGrimpeur Goes To The Birmingham Bike Show

Mont Goes To London (Meets A Pro And Falls Back In Love With Spinning)

I’ve had an exciting week (it’s all relative).

On Wednesday I attended the launch of the Wiggle Etape Cymru. Somewhat surprisingly, this was held in a dark room in the City of London.

I also got chance to meet, and briefly chat to, Sky Pro Cycling’s Luke Rowe.

Having watched my performance on the bike, Luke agreed that I might have a chance in the pro ranks and he gave me Dave Brailsford’s phone number.

Or rather he didn’t.

Read moreMont Goes To London (Meets A Pro And Falls Back In Love With Spinning)

Boom! I’m Back (Plus The Best Of Sportive Cyclist 2014)

It’s been rather quiet of late on this here website.

Tumbleweed blows through the deserted Sportive Cyclist streets.

Cobwebs have gathered between my typing fingertips.

Mould is threatening to bloom upon my padded gusset (too much?).



(Oh right, you didn’t notice I’d been away? Fine…)

Read moreBoom! I’m Back (Plus The Best Of Sportive Cyclist 2014)

The Sportive Cyclist Mission Statement (Ground Control To Major Mont)

Look out! I’m about to get all existential on yo’ ass.

In today’s post I’m going to talk about why I’m here.

Not here as in ‘on this earth’ (answer: happy accident).

Here as in why I’m here, coming into your eyes, via the medium of the internets:

  • Why I write the shizzle I do (and why I feel the need to share it).
  • What Sportive Cyclist stands for.
  • What this means for you (and your bike).

[Mounts soap box] “Hear ye! Hear ye! Silence you ‘orrible lot!”

Read moreThe Sportive Cyclist Mission Statement (Ground Control To Major Mont)

What’s New On Sportive Cyclist: New Juicy Bone For Subscribers; Resources Update; Get Lean In July!


I’m excited. The tour is about to go through my home town. My cycling fitness is improving and my enthusiasm levels are high.

I’m also excited about the Sportive Cyclist blog. We’re nearly at 750 email subscribers now. Well over 20,000 people a month are visiting the site, which makes it more populous than the Republic of Palau.

In this post I’ll let you know about a few important additions to the blog (more free stuff for subscribers, a facelift to my recommended gear page) and what I’ve been/will be writing about (cycling for 31 days straight, getting lean and mean in July).

Vive le vélo!

Read moreWhat’s New On Sportive Cyclist: New Juicy Bone For Subscribers; Resources Update; Get Lean In July!

London Cycle Routes Review

I’m a creature of habit. I tend to ride the same routes. I know where I’m going. I know what to expect.

Sometimes though, I want to try a new route. New climbs. New views. Variety.

When it comes to finding those routes, I struggle.

I can certainly go to RideWithGPS, Strava or Cyclestreets and find a route that someone else has posted. The problem comes in knowing whether the route is any good. Is it suitable for me? Has the poster a different attitude to what constitutes a safe road?

That’s where it can pay to go with a collection of curated routes, where an expert has done all the route-finding hard work for you. London Cycle Routes is just such a collection of curated routes.

And this is my review.

Read moreLondon Cycle Routes Review

Grimpeur Goes On Tour [Sadly Not Cycling]

Sportive cycling excusesThis week’s post on Sportive Cyclist isn’t actually here. Sorry about that.

But worry ye not. I have still been a-writing and a-posting.

This week I have been preaching to the cyclists of London, via their most august of internet cycling institutions,

The post, which is one of my ‘amusing’ creations, is entitled “Five Terrible Excuses For Not Riding Your First Sportive in 2014 (Resistance Is Futile!)” and you can read it in all its glory by following the link at the end of this post.

Before you do that though, I wanted to let you know about a few things coming up on this blog.

Read moreGrimpeur Goes On Tour [Sadly Not Cycling]

My New Book Is Now Available [Plus Competition Result]

Release the clowns! Bring out your dead! Glory be, the day is finally here.

I have the utmost (yes, the utmost) of pleasure in announcing that my much-heralded book is now available to buy. You can do so by clicking on the link below and following the instructions.

Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing And Enjoying Your First Sportive

Most of you are pretty familiar with the content (the clue is in the title), and what you gain from reading it (it takes you from novice cyclist to sportive conqueror), so I won’t flog that particular horse.

(To be clear, I don’t flog ANY horses.)

The only additional feature to point out is that I’ve interspersed the advice with vignettes from my own personal journey from short distance johnny* to RideLondon finisher.

You can either use these flashbacks to laugh at my ineptitude or to take heart that even a very imperfect training regime allowed me to complete the 100 mile course, in a sort-of-respectable time, and have fun doing so.

*Technical term – no need to look it up.

Read moreMy New Book Is Now Available [Plus Competition Result]

Competition Time: Win A Copy Of My New Book [FREE to enter]

So I’ve finally finished my (erm..) much-anticipated eBook:

Sportiveur: A Beginner’s Guide To Training For, Completing and Enjoying Your First Sportive

I’m hoping to publish a ‘pre-release’ version of it next week.

For some reason I decided I should include some of my illustrations, which took a disproportionately long time compared with writing. Quentin Blake I am not.

Anyway, to celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve decided to run a little competition here on Sportive Cyclist. The winner gets a free advance copy of the book.

Read moreCompetition Time: Win A Copy Of My New Book [FREE to enter]

Welcome To Sportive Cyclist

You might have noticed a few changes around these parts. (Unless you’re new here, in which case… welcome!)

As well as a tarted up front page and funky new buttons, I’ve gone nuclear and retired the Grimpeur Heureux. is no more. This website (the one which you is on) is now called Sportive Cyclist (with the address,, cunningly).

The king is dead. Long live the king!

Read moreWelcome To Sportive Cyclist