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    The 6 Best Sportives To Get You Off The Couch This Autumn

    If you’ve read a newspaper, or turned on the TV recently, you’ll know that summer is over. The worst winter on record is on the way, and we’re all going to be covered in snow for the next 6 months. Might as well pack the bike and running shoes away then, right? Wrong! Now is the time to stick two fingers up to the weather man, defy all the nay-sayers and book yourself into an event. Summer might well be over, but it’s going to be a glorious autumn, and now is the time to really push yourself!

    1. Air Ambulance Double 100 Cycle Challenge

    When: 27 September 2015
    Where: Kent Air Ambulance Trust, TN12 9QJ.
    How much: £15 - £35

    Make the most of the last of the ‘late summer’ weekends with this Kent sportive – with the added bonus that it’s all for a good cause! The routes (100m or 100km, you can decide on the day depending on how you feel) take in the North and South Downs, some tough climbs and some spectacular descents. There are 2 start points; either Redhill in Surrey or Marden in Kent, both easily accessible from London by train and car (free parking at both sites). Why not combine with a weekend away in nearby Tunbridge Wells, a beautiful and relaxing Georgian retreat. Check out our guide here – Dirty Weekend in Tunbridge Wells.

    2. Wiggle Peak District Punisher

    wiggle peak district punisher

    When: 27 September 2015
    Where: Bakewell, Peak District, DE45 1AQ
    How much: entry from £33

    Three incredible routes; short 40 miles, standard 77 miles and epic 100 miles, set in breath-taking countryside and expertly organised by the guys at Wiggle, make for an excellent days riding. As you would expect from a Peak District route – it’s hilly and tough, but there are plenty of feed stations, and views are definitely worth the climbs! Bakewell can be reached by train from Derbyshire, and there are plenty of accommodation options in the area – so why not make a weekend of it! 

     3. Mendip Madness

    When: 4 October 2015
    Where: Ston Easton Hall, BA3 4DA
    How much: £10

    The South West of England provides some of the best cycling routes in the country, and the Mendip Madness ‘Imperial 100’ is no exception! Including Cheddar Gorge, Salisbury Plain and finishing with a tough climb up Jack and Jill hill, the 50 and 100 mile routes have something for everyone. The craziest thing about the Mendip Madness is the price. For just £6 you get a fully signposted route, emergency back up and free refreshments! Make the most of the weekend and head to the lovely Roman city of Bath. Weekend guide here – Dirty Weekend in Bath.

    4. Wiggle South Downs 100

    wiggle south downs sportive 2015

    When: 18 October 2015
    Where: Chichester College, Chichester, PO19 1SB
    How much: entry from £33

    The South Downs 100 is fast becoming a staple on every cyclists calendar, and with 2,500 riders taking part last year, it’s only going from strength to strength. The South Downs are synonymous with cycling, and thanks to another great event from the Wiggle team, we can see why! Again, a choice of routes, mean that there is something for everyone, and the views from the top of Buster Hill are all the sweeter thanks to the challenging climb. Chichester is incredibly easy from London by train and car, and after the ride, why not head into Brighton for a night, or the weekend?

    5. Zappi's Gran Fondo 2015 Cycle Sportive

    zappi's gran fondo

    When: 18 October 2015
    Where: Kirtlington Park Polo Club, OX5 3JQ
    How much: £27

    We’ve often wondered what becomes of a pro cyclist when his days on the road are done. In the case of Italian ex pro Flavio Zappi, the answer is start a highly successful cycling café and club in Oxford. The city of dreaming spires is fast becoming famous for great road cycling, thanks in no small part to Zappi’s Cycling Club (twitter link). So what better way to say thank you, than to join Flavio on his ‘Grand Torno’! With 35 to 115 miles of route, full signage, chip timing and mechanical assistance, it’s clear to see that Flavio isn’t messing about! Combine the ‘Grand Forno’ with a trip to Oxford for a perfect Dirty Weekend! Full details here – Dirty Weekend in Oxford.

    6. Human Race Wildman Duathlon

    human race wildman duathlon

    When: 21 November 2015
    Where: Ash Vale, Surrey
    How much: entry from £46

    The distances aren’t the longest on this Surrey duathlon, but the gruelling terrain of Ash Ranges (a working Army training area), will definitely put you through your paces. Plus, as it’s off road and in November, it’s guaranteed to be a mud bath! Not necessarily a race for your purist road cyclist, but a hell of a lot of fun! Thanks to British Bike Hire (official sponsor), you can hire a top quality mountain bike for the day, and then just give it back all covered in mud!