Have you set your goals for 2016 yet? We all know that a clear and specific goal gives you focus and helps you maintain motivation when times are tough. If you’re struggling to set your goal, take a look at some of our top 10 cycling challenges for 2016. We’ve covered everything from short rides for beginners to epic challenges for the more experienced, so you're sure to find the perfect inspiration.
1. Eroica Britannia
When: Sunday 19th June
Where: Bakewell, The Peak District
Price: From £60
Do you have a pre-1987 bike in the garage that is just gathering dust? Get it out, clean it up and sign up to the Eroica Britannia 30 mile route. This quirky event - named as the world's most handsome bike ride - offers challenging Peak District terrain, add to that the significantly heavier frames of bikes of old and you have a tough challenge for any beginner cyclist.
2. Wiggle Yorkshire Tour
When: Saturday 20th August
Where: Thirsk, Yorkshire
Price: From £26
If your goal this year is to complete your first sportive, why not choose one which makes you feel like a pro? On the Wiggle Yorkshire Tour you’ll be riding through some of the best scenery Yorkshire has to offer and you’ll take in parts of the Tour de France’s ‘Grand Depart’ so you can truly see what the pro’s contend with during the Tour.
3. Cycling Weekly Box Hill Original Sportive
When: Sunday 9th October
Price: From £25
Step up a notch from a beginners sportive with the Cycling Weekly Box Hill Original. You’ll need to have a great power to weight ratio to contend with the hills made famous in the London 2012 Olympics.
4. Track accreditation
When: Courses run throughout the year
Where: National Cycling Centre Manchester, Lee Valley Velopark London, Derby Arena, Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome Glasgow and Wales National Velodrome Newport
Price: Varies by location
If you are serious about cycling and you’re looking to try something different, why not make 2016 the year you get track accreditation? Accreditation allows you to ride structured quality training (SQT) sessions and take part in track leagues.
5. Windsor Triathlon
When: Sunday 12th June
Where: Windsor, Berkshire
Price: From £89
When you have been riding for a while it’s easy for things to become repetitive. You ride out with the club at the weekend and complete your structured training during the week. If you’re stuck in a repetitive cycle and you’re losing motivation, mix things up this new year by signing up for something completely new like the Windsor Tri.
6. L’Etape London
When: Sunday 25th September
Where: Lee Valley Velopark, London
Price: From £41
Bringing the glamour of the Tour de France to the capital, L’Etape London takes in many of the roads ridden by the pro’s during the 2014 Tour de France, before culminating in an incredible lap around the Lee Valley Velopark.
7. Wiggle The Long One
When: Saturday 18th June
Where: Frontwell, West Sussex
Price: £35 for the 125 mile epic
Wiggle The Long One Sportive is the ultimate test of endurance with the longest route taking in 125 miles of West Sussex, Hampshire, North and South Downs countryside - yes, the route really is that long.
8. The Dragon Ride
When: Sunday 5th June
Where: Port Talbot, South Wales
Price: From £47.50
If you are looking for a tough sportive to challenge your limits this year, then the Dragon Ride - one of the UK’s most prestigious sportives - is one for you. The South Wales event starts from the picturesque Margam Park and features some of the UK’s toughest climbs, including the Devil’s Staircase with a gruelling gradient of 15% and elevation of 480m, this is not one for the feint hearted.
9. London - Paris
When: 26th - 29th May
Price: From £1,495
If you are a keen cyclist then this is likely on your bucket list already. With 5 months to train for the epic challenge of riding 520km from London to the Eiffel Tower, why not make 2016 the year that you take on London- Paris?
10. Haute Route
When: Events start from 20th August
Where: Pyrenees, Alps or Dolomites Swiss Alps
Price: From €1650
The Haute Route is a series of events dubbed the ‘highest and toughest cyclosportives in the world’. With four events to choose from, you will ride through some of the most incredible cycling terrain the world has to offer and you’ll truly experience what it means to ‘ride like a pro’.