It seems that we all need something to aim at, with recent research showing that a forthcoming event is the number-one reason to keep riding when it’s cold and wet. There’s nothing wrong with a little motivation, particularly when your first event is just eight weeks away.

Unfortunately I seem to be as unfit as ever, but undeterred I’m aiming for my best-ever finish in the Cape Argus ride in South Africa. It will be my fourth trip to the world’s biggest bike event, but after being buffeted by gale-force winds for two successive years and then suffering food poisoning 12 months ago, I reckon my luck is set to change.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Without doubt this is the world’s best sportive; nothing else comes remotely close for scale, spectacle or scenery.

More that 40,000 riders tackle this 110-kilometre lap of the Cape peninsula, all on completely closed roads and cheered on by thousands of spectators. Last year I was one of the slowest of the 597 British entries but this time, weather and stomach permitting, I’m aiming to beat four hours and a place in the first 10,000 overall.

That’s my first objective, to be followed in quick succession by the Southern Spring Classic in West Sussex on April 1 and then Cycling Weekly’s very own sportive at Sandown Park, Surrey on April 22.

Younger, fitter riders can manage more, but for a man of my years it’s more than enough of a challenge to keep me in the saddle at least once a week no matter what the weather.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • daibananasbrother

    Target? Easy, that bloke from the european TV who talks too much is the target for Dai’s dog, I’ll be happy to complete all the BAR distances 20 years after last manging to do so. GGGRRRRRR!