Monty - Sportive Cyclist
Monty is an enthusiastic road cyclist with only moderate talent. He started Sportive Cyclist in 2013 to record the journey to his first 100 mile ride, the RideLondon 100. Over time the blog has expanded to include training advice, gear reviews and road cycling tales, all from the perspective of a not-very-fit MAMIL. Since you're here, Monty would also like you to check out his YouTube channel and subscribe to receive email updates. Also, Monty really needs to stop referring to himself in the third person.

What The RideLondon Route Would Look Like As A Cartoon

RideLondon Route Cartoon

I’ve been busy with my (digital) pencil.

In today’s post I’ve eschewed my usual wordsmithery in favour of letting my artistic juices run wild.

It’s a bit like an ‘infographic’ (hmm, Zeitgeist-y) but without too much in the way of info. A spot of therapy for those that completed RideLondon last year; an insight into what’s to come for this year’s cohort.

If you like it (or even if you don’t) I would love (LOVE IT!) if you could share ma petite peinture with as many people as possible. Just click some or all of the share buttons on this post.

(Also, remember you can subscribe to the Sportive Cyclist email list and receive my free Sportive Cyclist’s Toolbox – including the ebook: 4 Steps To Your First Long Distance Sportive.)

Box Hill Cycling: Gradient, Elevation and Length of the Surrey Alpe

Box Hill

This post is going to discuss Box Hill, the doyenne of the south-east cycling ‘scene’. All the cool cats are climbing up it. You dig?

The format mimics that of a similar post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Box’s uncouth RideLondon cousin, Leith Hill. Both posts relate back to one of the most popular articles on the Sportive Cyclist site – my ‘analysis’ of the RideLondon route.

*** If you found this post because you’re looking for information about the RideLondon 100 sportive, then you might like to check out the RideLondon section of this blog – all my RideLondon posts (route, experience on the day, etc) all in one place – click here to take a look ***

I wanted to produce more detailed descriptions of Leith and Box, both for cyclists looking to tackle them on an informal weekend ride and for those riders that would ascend them in the intense athletic cauldron that is RideLondon.

I wanted to do that, so I did do that. Capisce? (which is the correct spelling)

In a future episode I’ll maybe even have a butchers at the not-quite-a-hill-until-RideLondon-decided-it-was, Newlands Corner (I can tell you’re salivating already).

Read moreBox Hill Cycling: Gradient, Elevation and Length of the Surrey Alpe

Leith Hill Cycling: Gradient, Elevation And All That Fandango

Climbs of Ridelondon button

In this post I’m going to look at Leith Hill as a cycling route. As well as discussing its ‘vital statistics’ (length, gradient, elevation), we’ll talk a little about how to get there and how it might fit into a longer ride in the area.

*** If you found this post because you’re looking for information about the RideLondon 100 sportive, then you might like to check out the RideLondon section of this blog – all my RideLondon posts (route, experience on the day, etc) all in one place – click here to take a look ***

Known to Surrey cyclists for years, Leith Hill entered the consciousness of the British public at large (well, those with a passing interest in cycling) as being a major feature of the inaugural 2013 RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive and the associated professional race.

Many first-time RideLondon participants seem to have considerable trepidation about the Leith Hill climb. But are those fears justified? Let’s take a look.

Read moreLeith Hill Cycling: Gradient, Elevation And All That Fandango

Eleven Reasons To Sign Up For RideLondon 2014

Is it that time already? It feels like only yesterday that I was doing RideLondon 2013.

But now we have to think about RideLondon 2014. The ballot opens on Monday. Yes, next Monday. Crazy shizzle.

To be honest, you’re likely to be someone who did this year’s event (and can make their own mind up on 2014) or you are sick to the back teeth of people going on about how great it was.

Whatever. Here are my top eleven reasons why you should enter the ballot for a place in RideLondon 2014.

That’s right. Eleven.

Read moreEleven Reasons To Sign Up For RideLondon 2014

RideLondon 100: Race Report (And A Brief Run-In With Authority)

Long-time (and even short-time) readers will know that RideLondon has been a major theme on this blog over the past few months.

The inaugural running of the event took place on Sunday 4 August (two days ago as I write). I thought you might like to know how I got on.

Oh, you don’t?

Well tough, I’m going to tell you anyway.

Read moreRideLondon 100: Race Report (And A Brief Run-In With Authority)

The Night Before RideLondon: The Perfect Preparation

The key to maximising your performance in Sunday’s RideLondon 100 is to get smashed the evening before.

Not just a little drink to settle the nerves. The whole nine yards (100 miles?).

In this post I’m going to espouse my considerable wisdom on how to make the final finishing touches to your pre-ride preparation.

I’ve thought outside the box. I’ve searched for every incremental gain. I’ve consulted my psychologist. Dave Brailsford would be impressed.

Follow my exclusive guide, and I guarantee you’ll see the effects on your race performance.

(Oh yeah, it’s not a race. Don’t race. Or sue me.)

Read moreThe Night Before RideLondon: The Perfect Preparation

What To Carry (And Wear) On RideLondon

What to take on RideLondon
I think that just about covers all the bases

Time is ticking down to the off of the inaugural RideLondon 100. Are you getting excited?

The hard work is done (or should have been). Further fitness gains are unlikely; by now you should be well into your taper period (unless you’re one of those machines that sees a 100-mile pootle around south-east England as a ‘rest day’).

So apart from relishing the opportunity to spend extra time on the sofa, what more can you be doing to help prepare for the weekend?

Answer: you could have a think about what you need to take with you.

Read moreWhat To Carry (And Wear) On RideLondon

RideLondon Nutrition: What Should You Be Eating On The Ride

Cycling nutrition RideLondon

In this post I’m going to be looking at my nutrition plan for RideLondon.

By ‘nutrition plan’, I mean what (and when) I plan to eat and drink during the ride in order to provide the energy to propel me to victory on the Mall.

I wouldn’t normally produce anything resembling a formal nutrition plan for a ride. I’m a ‘Snickers and a bag of Haribos’ kind of rider. In sportives I rely on whatever is provided at the organised feed stops (with the aforementioned confectionary as emergency back up).

But RideLondon is bit different from what I’m used to.

At 100 miles, it’s longer than I’ve ridden before. There are time cut-offs to beat. I want to leave less to chance (having raised in excess of £1,000, I definitely want to finish).

Hence, ‘the plan’.

Read moreRideLondon Nutrition: What Should You Be Eating On The Ride

Training for RideLondon 100: mid-June update

Welcome back to the third post in my series recording my training for the inaugural RideLondon 100, taking place on 4 August.

That’s a disappointingly short 52 days away from now (as I write this, obviously).

If you want to read posts 1 and 2 in this sorry series, they can be found ici and aquí.

First let’s start with some stats

Read moreTraining for RideLondon 100: mid-June update

Training for RideLondon 100: March – mid-May update

This is the second instalment in a series of posts recording the progress of my training towards RideLondon 100, the 100-mile cyclosportive taking place in and around London on 4 August.

My first training update can be found here.

As readers of this blog will know, my cycling prowess is very much at the lower end of the athletic range. As well as providing on-going motivation and accountability with regard to my own training ‘regime’, these updates aim to provide encouragement to other non-athletic types and those that struggle to balance training with everything else they have going on.

Read moreTraining for RideLondon 100: March – mid-May update