We’re teaming up with sports retailer Decathlon this summer to offer you the chance to win something really special. All you need is a road cycling dream and the drive to see it through.
Summer of Cycling with Decathlon
Tell us your summer cycling goal, whether it’s an ultra race or your first ever sportive Decathlon
Tell us about your big cycling challenge this summer and why you’re doing it. If we like your story enough, you could win Decathlon’s support to help you reach that goal.
This means that a bike, kit and training advice — for the summer and beyond — could be coming your way. You’ll also get the chance to write about the trials and tribulations of your journey to your goal on BikeRadar as well as in our sister mag Cycling Plus.
Whether you’ve signed up for a European sportive, are entering your first race, or planning an ambitious point-to-point challenge or bikepacking tour, we want to hear from you.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced campaigner looking to up the stakes this summer, returning to the bike after a few years away or totally new to the sport.
How to enter
Visit the competition entry page and outline what your challenge is and why you’re doing it. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm on 9 June 2019.
All you need is a road cycling dream and the drive to see it through Decathlon
If you’re a bit stuck, perhaps you can take some inspiration from us at BikeRadar and Cycling Plus, because we’re also taking aim at our own personal goals this summer.
Mildred Locke, staff writer, BikeRadar
BikeRadar staff writer Mildred Locke is planning to ride a 600km audax in September Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
This year was going to be all about the audax for me. Over the Christmas period I signed up to a ludicrous amount of events for 2019, starting with the 200k Chalke and Cheese in January and ending with the 600k Chalfont St Peter in September.
The 200k was a DNF, and since then I’ve missed another three, thanks to illness after illness, and a crash thrown in for good measure. Not a great start to my audax season! But despite the hurdles, and only having a few months to train, I’m still going to get that 600k under my belt, one way or another. Even if I’m crawling on my hands and knees by the end.
Aoife Glass, women’s editor, BikeRadar
Women’s editor Aoife Glass is planning to overcome her knee injury this summer with lots of mindful stretching and gradual increases in distance Phil Hall / Immediate Media
After developing an unfortunate knee injury, my goal for 2019 is simple and small: pain-free riding by the end of the summer.
I’ve always taken for granted that I just jump on a bike and ride, and haven’t been as diligent as I should have with my post-ride stretching and flexibility training. No more! I’ll be building up my distances gradually while taking more care of my body because, after all, I want it to keep me riding as long as I possibly can!
Matthew Allen, senior staff writer, BikeRadar
Senior staff writer Matthew Allen’s goal is to spend less time on tarmac and more time on gravel Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
My road cycling goal this year is to spend less time on the road and instead explore more of the dirt and gravel on my doorstep. Having embraced my mediocrity and abandoned all pretence of being good at riding bikes quickly, I’m now a convert to the joys of taking road-like bicycles off road, zipping through sun-dappled forests in a cloud of dust and startling wild boar at dusk.
Such a leisurely approach to cycling requires zero training and has no measurable outcomes, and that suits me just fine. The only goal is to do more of it but it’s hedonistic riding with no undercurrent of obligation.
Helen Cousins, head of production, BikeRadar
Helen Cousins, head of production, is planning to get herself organised for more riding this summer Helen Cousins / Immediate Media
This year I just plan to get out and ride my road bike as much as possible. I don’t have any specific goals compared to previous years, but would like to start regularly riding with my local club to help me be more motivated as well as learn more routes and hopefully improve my riding — rather than just pootling along on my own.
I also need to be more organised and get better at remembering to charge my Garmin and preparing all of my kit ahead of time!
Joe Norledge, senior videographer, BikeRadar
BikeRadar senior videographer Joe Norledge will be riding as much as possible to prepare for the upcoming UK hill climb season, which starts in September Joe Norledge / Immediate Media
This summer I’m aiming to spend as much time as possible on my Scott Scale long-term mountain bike. I love long, epic euro marathon races with lots of elevation, so hopefully there’ll be a couple of trips abroad as well.
Towards the end of the summer I’ll be switching back to my road bike in preparation for the upcoming UK hill climb season, which starts in September. I’m also hoping to ride some local TTs.
Alex Evans, technical editor, BikeRadar
Somewhat ironically, technical editor Alex Evans’ goal is to ride less, in order to ride more this summer Alex Evans
Spending what has ended up feeling like an inordinate amount of time commuting to and from the office — regularly clocking up 200 miles a week before I’ve even ridden for pleasure — on my Trusty Marin Gestalt 3, this summer I’m throwing in a curve ball with my cycling goals. I actually want to ride less so that I can ride more.
Now, that doesn’t make a great deal of sense on face value, but dissect the idea and you’ll see where I’m coming from. If I spend less time negotiating aggravated drivers and hectically busy roads I’m hoping I’ll be able to take more time to go on rides that are more fun, less stressful and in places that I’d prefer to be rather than treading down the deep furrows of commuter boredom. Here’s to a summer of peace and love.
John Whitney, features editor, Cycling Plus
Cycling Plus features editor John Whitney is riding the Schleck Gran Fondo Joby Sessions / Immediate Media
My early summer challenge is the Schleck Gran Fondo in Mondorf-Les-Bains, Luxembourg on 25 May, in its third edition this summer and part of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series. Luxembourg will be a new country for me, and I hear it’s hilly, and though the course avoids the hilliest Ardennes region in the north of the country, the 155km course has its fair-share of 3–5km climbs.
It’s organised by the senior of the Schleck brothers, Frank, who won a couple of couple of prestigious Tour de France stages in his career, which ended three years ago. I’ve ridden many such events in my time writing for Cycling Plus, but, because of injury, this will be my first century ride of any description for a couple of years. I’m excited!
Rob Spedding, content director: BikeRadar, Cycling Plus, MBUK
Content director Rob Spedding is setting himself a 10-mile time trial as his summer goal Robert Smith / Immediate Media
Santa’s to blame for my summer cycling goals. Partly because he didn’t leave a £10K superbike under my tree, and also thanks to a Christmas charity fun run that ruined my Achilles tendons. Four months on, long rides leave me hobbling around like a man even older than I really am. So the obvious solution is short (and hopefully fast!) rides.
Once a great (average) 5K runner, the short, sharp, occasionally anaerobic nature of a time trial should suit my innate talents. So this summer I’ll be using my 30-mile daily commute, indoor interval work and weekend rides to prep for a yet-to-be-decided proper 10-mile TT race of truth. Probably…