Archive REVIEW: The Tour of the Black Mountains REVIEW: The Tour of the Black Mountains

 The Tour of the Black Mountains took place in Abergavenny and included a climb up the Iron Mountain itself, The 'Tumble'. "This is my third season riding sportive events, and there is only one event, from the 50+ events I have attended so far, that I have ridden three times - The Tour of the Black Mountains." writes Howard Johnson for

Read More » REVIEW: Anthony Maynard Sportive REVIEW: Anthony Maynard Sportive

 "If you look in the diary on, on any weekend there must be over a dozen rides to choose from all over the UK, many run for profit, which is fine, and many run for charity. Maybe, just maybe you might think a charity ride will not be as well organised, well think again." Howard Johnson writes for

Read More » REVIEW: Cycling Plus Sportive REVIEW: Cycling Plus Sportive

When he previewed this route six weeks ago, Howard Johnson had no idea that come the day of the sportive the Great British Summer would play quite such an integral part in the difficulty of the course. Seeringly hot sun made the climbs in the Bike Radar Cycling Plus Sportive feel even harder. Howard Johnson tells us how everyone coped.

Read More » REVIEW: The 1066 Cyclosportive REVIEW: The 1066 Cyclosportive

"Everyone knows about 1066, William the Conqueror, King Harold's last words - "watch out, those arrows will have someone's eye out!" - and the Battle of Hastings. Roll on 944 years, and the battle on Sunday was dehydration and wind, it was a battle of survival." Howard Johnson writes for

Read More » REVIEW: The Dartmoor Classic REVIEW: The Dartmoor Classic

"How many times is the word classic becoming over used? Classic album track, classic car, classic comedy, and now there are a number of classic cycling sportives. The Dartmoor Classic is without doubt, a classic. Don't just take my word, ask the 1500+ riders that took part." Howard Johnson braves the heat to report for

Read More » REVIEW: The Trossachs Ton REVIEW: The Trossachs Ton

"Over the years, I have spent quite a bit of my time driving all over the UK, especially Scotland. But when you are on business, its hard to really appreciate the scenery around you, furthermore you are often stuck on main roads. Sunday's ride around the Trossachs was a revelation: the scenery was amazing, the route tough, and the weather was superb." writes Howard Johnson for

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BLOG: Mid-Year Review by Howard Johnson

BLOG: Mid-Year Review by Howard Johnson

The season so far has been hectic to say the least. It has certainly given me a focus with riding events, talking to riders to get their comments and then writing the reviews afterwards. And also with attending press days and preview rides, it seems the bike is either in the car or on the road, writes Howard Johnson as he reviews his progress this year so far.

Read More » REVIEW: Chiltern 100 Challenge REVIEW: Chiltern 100 Challenge

Designing a sportive route isn't easy. With sportive riders becoming more and more picky about the events they enter, organisers need to find courses that really stand out from other events. In the case of the Chiltern 100, the draw of their selected routes is helped massively by the surrounding terrain. However, as Adam Tranter     found, hill after hill proved to be more of a challenge than most bargained for.

Read More » REVIEW: Verenti Dragon Ride REVIEW: Verenti Dragon Ride

When an event has been voted the most popular sportive in the UK for the past two years, it must be doing something right. With over 3000 places sold within a few days and a further 300 places snapped up in seven minutes, The Verenti Dragon Ride must have something special to offer. The challenge is on from other sportives to have more riders, but featuring the "spirit" of the Dragon is a different challenge enitely, says Howard Johnson. The offer this year was a choice of three routes, the Corto at 40km, The Medio at 130km and the Gran Fondo at 190kms, all challenging routes to test the strength, will power and sanity of the riders.

Read More » REVIEW: Wiggle Super Series Sussex Surrey Scramble REVIEW: Wiggle Super Series Sussex Surrey Scramble

It can take a couple of years for a sportive event to gain popularity, increase the rider numbers and obtain a good reputation. But not so in this case. The marriage of UK Cycling Events and Wiggle has been harmonious to say the least, and with rides getting close to capacity, and riders booking future events on the back of riding their first, it appears this relationship has the potential to stand the test of time, writes Howard Johnson.

Read More » REVIEW: Pearson 150 Sportive REVIEW: Pearson 150 Sportive

The average non-attendance for a sportive event is usually 10% of the riders registered, I doubt if any riders that pulled the curtains back on Sunday morning to a warm sunny day were going to stay in bed. 480 starters lined up for the Pearson 150 event, a ride from South London to Brighton and back, which also included a 75km option with less challenging climbs, writes Howard Johnson.

Read More » REVIEW: The Midland Monster REVIEW: The Midland Monster

If confirmation is needed of the growing popularity of sportive events, then the presence of three professional riders at one small event is a testament to sportives and their attraction. The Midland Monster, run by CC Giro in association with Wheels in Wheels, is in its second year and with 400 riders registered, and over 40 paying on the day, the turn out was good, writes Howard Johnson.

Read More » REVIEW: The White Horse Challenge REVIEW: The White Horse Challenge

Barbeque weather was predicted for the weekend, and in the Midlands on Saturday it certainly was warm and sunny. With rain overnight, Sunday dawned grey and miserable.  The drive to Shrivenham didn't ease the tension of what to wear, and whether to dress for the cold and the option of rain, or to go for the summer option. Many riders chose the latter and the reward was a warm day, with the sun breaking through on the White Horses of Wiltshire, writes Howard Johnson.

Read More » REVIEW: Wiggle Super Series New Forest Sportive REVIEW: Wiggle Super Series New Forest Sportive

After riding and reviewing a number of events this season, Howard Johnson is very clear is the raising of standards of both organisation, course route and the day's "experience" factor. The introduction of the Wiggle Series of Sportives and Mountain Bike events has raised that standard even higher.'s roving reporter rode the New Forest Sportive in perfect sunshine, taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. Event video now added.

Read More » REVIEW: Essex Roads Spring Lambs REVIEW: Essex Roads Spring Lambs

Sportives don't need to have excessive steep hills to be tough. A long distance, exposed course and some wind will give riders a challenge, and the Essex Roads Spring Lambs Event proved this correct. Starting in Bilericay, the clockwise 150km route was going to test the legs and stamina as this was not a ride for beginners, there were many seasoned riders turning up for this event and with only one route option available, and a circular course with no escape routes. The challenge was on for Howard Johnson.

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