For those Sportive rides when summer hasn't quite arrived, you'll need a clothing contingency plan - especially on longer rides.
For maximum flexibility, it's best to invest in a pair of good quality arm warmers. Wear them when you start your ride early on when it's still cool, then simply roll them down, or take them off and stuff in your pocket when the mercury rises.
Our favourites are these Baa Baa Merino arm warmers from Endura, as they're soft and cosy compared to Lycra, plus they're seamless so they won't chafe on long rides.
They're easy to pull back up on a descent if you get chilly and far easier to carry than bulkier clothing.
If you're travelling a long way to get to your next sportive event, you should really have accommodation booked for the night before the event or after it or both.
Think about where the Sportive starts and ends. Do you need to plan accommodation or transport, at both ends?
Gloves are the easiest accessory to forget when heading to a sportive. There's nothing worse than turning up and you realise you've forgotten one or both of them. Check and double check before you leave. It's going to be a long ride on bare hands.
Need suggestions? Try these Endura Mighty Mitts which have a gel padded area to take the pressure off the nerves in your hands.
Unlike the Tour de France, you're not going to have a support car ready on hand, so make sure you take enough gels and bars to keep you energised for the whole sportive.
For the quickest energy hit, try gels like these Torq Energy Gels - with options including Rhubarb and Custard, or Banoffee with Guarana, they offer super-fast carb delivery in palatable flavours.
If you prefer to chew your energy food, these Clif Bars are a favourite as they're made of 'real' ingredients, like oats, fruit and nuts. Delicious options include white chocolate macadamia nut and chocolate almond fudge, to really give you something to look forward to on your ride.
OK, so this one isn't essential, but seeing how your riding is progressing can be very motivational, and confirm your training regime is working.
There are many ways to track your performance with gadgets like cycle computers and apps like Strava. You can see just how far you've ridden and how fast. If you're a competitive type, make sure you get your ride mates Strava-ing too.
You need to be self-sufficient in a sportive race. There may not always be an emergency support vehicle nearby.
Carry at least one spare inner tube and a pump. At Tredz we do value bundles of three, five or 10 tubes, so get your spares ordered and packed now.
For tyre levers, this set of three from Park nests snugly to fit in your seatpack.
This tiny Lezyne Alloy Drive hand pump comes in loads of colours and you can easily attach it to your bike or seatpack.
If you've never used a chammy cream before, a really long ride like this might be a good time to add it to your kit bag.
Its most obvious use is, of course, to stop your shorts chafing, but if you carry a tube with you, it can work wonders anywhere else you're feeling the burn - glide it along seams or even use it to stop raw spots developing under your gloves or shoes.
With Sportique now making a 100ml tube, it's worth buying one to squash into your pocket or seatpack for emergencies.
Like gloves, socks are so easy to forget because you need to check you've put both of them in your bag. As with hands, feet are an area where you can really find yourself suffering on a long ride. If you've never invested in a cycling specific pair of socks, we suggest now's the time.
The Altura Coolmax Sport Socks are a bargain, especially if you go for the pack of three. They'll keep your feet at a comfortable temperature and help to prevent any sore spots. Happy feet indeed.
Hydration on a long ride is absolutely vital and you need to make sure you have a drink to hand whenever you need it. You should be carrying at least two bottles and refilling them regularly to make sure you never run dry. Get a pair of bottle cages put on your bike in advance and make sure your chosen bottles fit well without rattling.
If you need to stock up now, get an order in for a couple of these SIS bottles. They're clear, so you can easily see how much you're drinking and how much you have left.
Always think about how you're going to get back from your sportive event. Most sportives are circular so you'll end up near your car, but some are linear. You could find yourself exhausted, 100 miles away from home or your car.
It's always worth having a nice friend or family member there at the end who can drive you back. Make sure they have a car rack too. Thinking of taking the train? Check www.nationalrail.co.uk for good train times. On the day you can check to see if trains are delayed - it's worth keeping an eye on.