Ten Sportives You Need to Do Before Your Arthritic Knee Explodes

In this day and age we really don’t need to think at all about what we have to achieve in life. It’s all there in the ‘self help’ section of the….do we still have bookstores? There’s the 1001 Places to See Before you Die, then the originally titled 101 Things to Do Before you Die. I’m sure I could go on, but really, if you’ve got those two books I think your life is good and covered.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, Haute Route just posted a video on their Facebook page with someone’s (Global Cycling Network) Top Ten Best Sportive and Gran Fondos to Cycle in the World video. I really don’t know how I’m going to fit them in, with the 1102 things and places I need to do and see already, but this Top Ten list at least sounds fun.

f106a0864595064619731e29e387b6c1On the list is a 235 km sportive in Australia; Levi Leipheimer’s Gran Fondo in California; something called the Dragon Ride in Wales, with ‘famously poor weather and bad road surfaces’ (why the hard sell fellas?); a cobbled sportive in logo-homeBelgium the day before the pro Tour of Flanders; a 312 km(!) race on the island of Mallorca; Paris-Roubaix (ouch); the Gran Fondo Santini, in the Dolomites of italy; La Marmotte, in the French Alps; La Haute Route (surprise!); and l’Etape du Tour, which all of my devoted readers know well by now.

Yes, completely random, I suppose, but tell me this video doesn’t make you want to sign up for something right now. I have a few others I’d add to this list, like Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Belgium, and the Maratona in Italy.

If you have any you think must be on the list, let me know. If we get 101 we can write a book.

18 thoughts on “Ten Sportives You Need to Do Before Your Arthritic Knee Explodes

  1. A friend did the mallorca. he said the route is on the more boring parts of the island. to test your knee, think about trondheim-oslo..

  2. Ok Gerry, I found the ultimate single stage race in the world. Being a fellow Canuck you will be proud to know that it’s here in Canada. Check out http://www.tourdebc.com

    It has 48000 meters of climbing and is 5100kms in length. As a solo rider you would have to race for 300kms a day for 17 days to complete it. Now that’s what I call an Endurance race

  3. Tour of Flanders is celebrating her 100th birthday this May. For the occasion there will be a sportive on 25 May with a distance equivalent to the original, 324 km, and including all the punishing cobbled climbs.

    • I think they say that in the video. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to finish something so long and brutal, I’m pretty certain.

  4. Sportives are only beginning to catch on in my neck of the woods. Far more popular are the untimed touring rides, usually centuries. When they do exist, we tend to use the term, fando. NYC’s Grand Fando has a good reputation, though I haven’t tried it. For a more modest event with a criterium feel, I can recommend the US Air Force Crystal Ride – 100km on eight laps around the Pentagon, USAF Memorial, and Crystal City. The first two laps are crowded and full of mayhem – kinda like the chariot races in Ben Hur without the scythed chariots.

  5. Good list.

    I’m not too clear on the definition of a sportive, but I would think Paris-Brest-Paris would count.

    As for US rides, I think Cycle Greater Yellowstone would be a good one (and it is not sponsored by admitted dopers).

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