Ronde Van Pain

In your mind you might feel optimistic, as if all those cold winter miles you did have benefited, fresh faced and ready for the summer sportives ‘guns blazing’ sorta speak! Alternatively you might feel the complete opposite and feel like you’re going to need the next three months to build the momentum and muscle to enter any 100 mile sportive.

I pretty much feel in the middle of this at the minute… Over the winter period I kept the milage up, Festive 500 was completed and during my first race I felt strong but in the last month or so I feel as if I’ve let myself slip and got tired of being in the saddle.


All that is soon to be put to the test though… Next weekend is the brutal and unforgiving Ronde Van Calderdale – In my opinion, one of the most brutal sportives in the UK – 13 cobbled climbs and 10,000 feet of climbing.


I remember thinking last year how easy it would be, 76 miles is a standard B ride for the cycling club, how could that destroy me?! How wrong was I!!!

I can’t say I feel more equipped for it this year, nor do I feel any better physically but I suppose mentally I know what I’m up against. I have two climbs in which last year beat me, cobbled lengthy climbs that I just couldn’t gather the strength to get up…


This sportive isn’t just about feeling the pain and pushing on; ‘the whole shut up legs’ slogan comes to mind… It was my first proper sportive with the club, I didn’t really know anyone, I was anxious to meet others and to see if I could physically keep up with some of those I’d spoken to online etc.

I’ve never been part of a cycling club before so having the camaraderie of your fellow club mates, having a laugh on the hills, watching your back on the descents and generally having a laugh really made it for me. The club spirit was incredible.

The top of Trooper lane 0.4 miles, 19% of pure cobbled pain, many of the members waiting at the top to spur others on and keep pushing through the pain! That’s what really made this sportive for me.

I have at least 150 miles of commuting, training and then the sportive this week so we’ll see how cheery I am on Sunday eve after it’s been completed!

Ronde Van Calderdale