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Just brought yourself a new bike? Looking to take part in a sportive? Here’s what to do next:

1. Be realistic about your fitness and don’t bite off more than you can chew in terms of the distance you can ride. The last thing you want is to struggle and never get on your bike again!

2. When you pick your sportive, check to see if the course is supported and has feed-stations/ pit stops. You may also want to check the profile. Routes described as “hilly” or “lumpy” will require preparation!

3. Once you have picked your distance get out on some training rides.

4. If you’ve not been on a bike for a while start little and often which will increase strength and fitness allowing you to gradually build up to your chosen distance.

5. The most efficient way of cycling is picking an easy gear and spinning so your revolution of the pedal (cadence) is high. The stronger and fitter you become, your cadence should remain the same as your gears get harder.

6. Hill climbing top tip: Pick an easy gear and spin up the hill. Try to pick the right gear at the bottom of the hill to avoid changing gear whilst on the hill.

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