Skylark Newsletter – March 2015: The latest newsletter emailed to participants in the Skylark Sportive. Let us know at the email at the foot of the page if you’re not receiving yours!
The Skylark Sportive takes place in the South Pennines, on Sunday 12 April 2015. Full details including route maps can be found on the event website http://www.skylarksportive.com
In this newsletter we are starting to cover some of the on-the-day practicalities.
COMMUNICATIONS: We’ve always favoured running the event as paper free as possible. That’s one of the reasons we’ve provided lots of videos and regular newsletters. We will not be mailing out rider packs as we don’t believe this is a good use of resources – you will however receive links to a downloadable rider pack in the last few days before the event.
FINDING THE EVENT: As you should already know, we’re starting the event from Marsden Golf Club, close to the small town of Marsden some 6km to the West of Huddersfield. The Golf Club is located on Mount Road. When travelling to the event, don’t use the golf club’s address for sat nav as it will take you onto the wrong road. Use HD7 6HP, which will get you onto Mount Road in central Marsden, about 500m from the club – simply follow Mount Road up (it’s a climb!) till you see the event signs on your left.
CAR PARKING: The event HQ is Marsden Golf Club, with car parking shared between the golf club and the adjacent broad, quiet country road. There will be plenty of parking for all riders, all of it just a very short walk from the event HQ, the golf clubhouse, where we will be hosting signing on and start, and where facilities such as toilets will be located. When you arrive at the venue, please follow signs and instructions of the parking marshals. The sign-on area is actually inside the main golf club.
AT THE START: Signing on will be as streamlined as possible. Simply come into the event HQ, right next to the main car park, sign on and receive your event number. You must show that number to the starter, who will record your departure time.
The start itself involves you leaving the event HQ and turning left onto a quiet, wide country road. The first half mile or so is a climb, so you should be well warmed up and mentally switched on before you encounter descents, navigation points and traffic of any kind. The climb should also split you all up nicely! The event HQ has male and female changing rooms, plenty of toilets plus showers. There is also a bar.
START TIMES: We will be starting riders between 8am and 10.00am on the morning of the event, Sunday 12 April 2015. The main issue with starting a large number of riders is avoiding lengthy queues at the start. With this in mind, we are allocating every rider a 30 minute window in which we would prefer them to start:
- 08.00 to 08.30 – riders on 100km route with surnames beginning with a letter between A and I
- 08.31 to 09.00 – riders on 100km route with surnames beginning with a letter between J and Q
- 09.01 to 09.30 – riders on 100km route with surnames beginning with a letter between R and Z
- 09.31 to 10.00 – all riders on 75 and 50km routes.
However, we also understand that many riders will want to ride with friends, who may be in other time slots. In this case, we’d ask that you leave in the earliest slot of your group. We also understand that due to travel times to and from the event, you may wish to start earlier or later than your allocated time slot. Again we are happy to be flexible. However, if at all possible, please stick to your allotted time slot – if everyone tries to start in the first half hour, you will encounter a lot of queuing! When you have signed on and are ready to start, simply report to the official starter and follow their instructions. We will get you on the road as soon as possible.
SUMMONING HELP: At the start you will be given a phone number to call should you run into trouble. We will have a mobile first aider available and we will also be able to rescue riders stranded by a major mechanical issue or tiredness. Don’t forget to bring your mobile phone!
CLOTHING: The weather in the South Pennines can be variable all year round, so in early April we’re asking you to check weather forecasts very carefully. Even if it looks like being a fine day, a fully waterproof jacket has to be a sensible precaution to take with you.
EQUIPMENT: Please carry a form of ID in case an incident is to occur, emergency food, money, mobile phone, basic tool kit, spare clothing, working pump, and spare inner tubes. Your bike should be in tip-top condition, particularly the brakes and tyres.
VISIBILITY: The upland stretches of the event might just be mist-shrouded on the day. Weather forecasts might not cover this – so we’d suggest you have a rear light on your bike, just in case you find yourself “up in the clouds!”
HELMETS: Wearing a helmet is compulsory in the Skylark Sportive.
TIPS & TECHNIQUES – we’ve built a central home for all the recent articles on cycling that we’ve published on the Skylark website. Recently added articles include a fascinating piece on cornering, an oft-ignored technique that can actually win you many minutes of time over a long day in the saddle. Also in there are tips on training, clothing, nutrition and climbing: https://skylarksportive.com/home/skylark-tips/
There will be more from us in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we wish you safe cycling!
The Skylark Team
PS don’t forget our Autumn Skylark Sportive, taking place on 27 Sept – autumnskylark.com