The Paul Kirk North Lincs Cyclosportive REVIEW
Distances: 100km or 100 miles
Participants: 250 (Entry on the day)
Start: Ancholme Leisure Centre, Scawby Brook, Brigg, Lincolnshire, DN20 9LH
Catering: Hot and cold food available at the finish, in Leisure Centre
Timed: Yes (Manual timing)
Signs: Black arrows on a luminous yellow/green
Roads: Generally very good, considering there were many lanes
The North Lincs CycloSportive has been re-named as the 'Paul Kirk North Lincs Cyclosportive'. This is as a memorial to local cyclist Paul Kirk who was a keen cyclist and charity fund raiser whose chosen charity was the Lindsey Lodge Hospice in Scunthorpe which was his chosen charity for personal reasons.
No profit was made from this event, simply all costs are covered, marshals and administration is done on a voluntary basis so that majority of the event entry fee goes to local charities.
Arriving at the Leisure Centre, it was once again cold, but thankfully dry. Still very much in start-up mode the 100mile option is out for me, but the 100km offered a challenge. If you have followed my reviews and blogs over the years, you will remember I am not a climber. A descender yes, but climbing is not a strong point of mine, mainly due to the fact I am a fat boy, which doesn’t help. So to ride an event that does not have leg ripping climbs is always a pleasure, but it can still be a challenge.
Registration couldn’t have been simpler, sign on, get your number, and at the start you were manually timed out. Simple.
Since my first ever sportive, I have been paranoid about getting lost, and have either imported the route provided by the event organiser, or created my own to import into my Garmin. This I duly did the night before the event, and put the Garmin in my bag, still switched on. Consequently, when I go to switch it on for the ride, it is dead. I am now not a happy bunny as not only do I have to ride blind, so to speak, I have no heart rate data either.
I was promised by the organisers that the route will be clearly marked, so with the 8am start, it was westward bound from Brigg to Scawby and Messingham
The rolling undulating quiet roads allowed the big ring to be used a lot, in fact most of the day, and soon a group of two became three, with me wheel sucking on the back, then it became six, then ten, with the first 10 miles covered in a decent pace, then it was a turn southerly towards Laughton Forest. The North Easterly wind was by now biting, it really was a cold start and the temperature never got above 8C all day, but it was the wind that kept me cold. And the route certainly honed my old wheel sucking skills of finding shelter behind a rider, as the roads turned from block head wind, to side wind.
Heading southerly towards Normanton, it was a left turn for a very long 5 miles and dead straight road at Stow that eventually brought us onto the A15. A quick left then right and back into the lanes towards Spridlington
Riding on “feel” I never knew what my heart rate was registering, the only feedback I had was an iPhone App from Map My Ride, and this gave me at least time, distance and pace. At thirty miles I stopped to check the App, and couldn’t believe i was only 2 hours into the ride.
More Flat Lands...
The first feed at Market Rasen was at 46 miles and this was suitably located in a Tesco car park, where there was a suitable spread of cakes (many homemade) and energy drinks. This was also the route split where the brave headed off towards the Humber Bridge to add another 35 miles or so to their event, whilst the not so brave or not so fit turned left and headed back for home.
The showers that were looming overhead for most of the day, tried their best to unload their contents, but it didn’t rain for too long, thankfully as I had left my waterproof back in the car!
With a short ride up the A46, it was once again back onto the quiet B Roads towards Kirkby, South and North Owersby, South and North Kelsey and into the cold headwind homeward bound. At 62 miles covered, it was a left turn, and downhill all the way back to Brigg where a warm welcome awaited.
I need not had been concerned about the signs, there were many, and every mile even on the long straight sections, there were reminder arrows to give peace of mind. As I said before, sportives don’t have to be hilly to be tough, and a flatter route with a good cold wind is still energy sapping.
Did I mention it's quite flat?
If you’re looking for an early season reliability ride, or a flatter event if it’s your first sportive, then this is the ride for you. All of the helpers on the day were friendly, and many thanks to you all.
Another quiet flat road
A great little event that should be in everyone’s early year calendar.
The Paul Kirk North Lincs CycloSportive
- 15/04/2012 - Brigg, North Lincs
Rating: 92.2% based on 1 review - See Previous Ratings
The Paul Kirk North Lincs CycloSportive
- 14/04/2013 - Brigg, North Lincs
Rating: 95.6% based on 1 review - See Previous Ratings
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