Posted On Sep 08, 2023 |

Whether you're into multi-day events, lesser-known adventurous challenges, or the thrill of gravel events, there is something for everyone.

At Njinga we know that training smart and effectively works best when our riders have clear goals in mind. We also know that riders are more likely to achieve long-lasting fitness and health gains, after all the bicycle is a vehicle to better health, if you also have a target event or two planned into your year.

As cyclists we are spoilt for choice for events you can attempt, be they official sportives, multi-day tours or challenges you can take on and organise yourself.

The advantage of organised challenges and sportives is that someone else has taken a lot of the logistic headaches away from you. You will normally have supplied feed stops, a well-planned route, the benefits of riding with 100s of others (in some cases many many more) and the opportunity to learn from previous participants.

With that in mind, we have highlighted 12 of our favourite organised challenges for 2024.

Do you have a cycling challenge you are thinking of doing and need help preparing for it? Book a free coach call and we will help develop the right training plan for you. 

UK Events

1. Dragon Ride, Wales

Date: June 23, 2024
Distance: Approx. 296km
Climbing: Approx. 4614m

Why Ride It: Take on challenging climbs in the stunning Brecon Beacons, including the infamous Devil's Staircase. It’s not for the faint-hearted.  


2. Dunwich Dynamo (London to Dunwich)

Date: July 20, 2024
Distance: Approx. 180 km
Climbing: Approx. 1,200 m

Why Ride It: “A barely organised adventure.” Join hundreds of cyclists on this overnight ride from London to the Suffolk coast, finishing with a sunrise swim. Good lights and a good sense of humour are essential for this uniquely British ride.  


3. Chase the Sun (Thames Estuary to Weston-Super-Mare)

Date: Saturday closest to the longest day in June
Distance: Approx. 320km
Climbing: Approx. 3000m

Why Ride It: A coast-to-coast ride from sunrise to sunset. Starting in the Thames estuary, the diverse 200+ mile route bi-sects south London, passes Kingston and Njinga’s stomping ground, before seeking green country lanes, quaint villages, the lush Vale of Pewsey, climbing the Mendip hills, descending the breathtaking Cheddar gorge, before finally arriving on the seafront finish at Weston-Super-Mare. 


4. Etape Loch Ness, Scotland

Date: April 28, 2024
Distance: Approx.106 km
Climbing: Approx. 900 m

Why Ride It: A traffic-free loop of the legendary Scottish loch. It’s not the longest but riding in Scotland in April will always throw up a challenge. The scenery is stunning and there’s always a chance you’ll spot Nessy. 


European Events

5. Ride Le Loop, France (Plus wherever else the Tour de France is going)

Dates: 21st June - 15th July 2024
Distance: Variable
Climbing: Variable

Why Ride it: Following the exact route of the Tour de France, one week ahead of the race, Le Loop offers you the chance to do the whole 21 stages or shorter sections. The 2024 edition starts in Florence and features a time trial stage in Nice. 


6. Maratona dles Dolomites, Italy

Date: July 7, 2024
Distance: Approx. 138 km
Climbing: Approx. 4,230 m  

Why Ride It: One of the most famous and infamous sportives in mainland Europe, the Maratona, has been running since 1987 and takes on seven legendary mountain passes in the Dolomites. It's been described as ‘one of the biggest, most passionate and most chaotic races on Earth’. 


7. La Marmotte, France

Date: July 2024
Distance: Approx. 186 km
Climbing: Approx. 5,530 m

Why Ride It: You climb the Col de Croix de fer, Col du Telegraph, and Col du Galibier and if those three aren’t reason enough then La Marmotte finishes on the 21 hairpins of Alpe D’Huez. Named after the large ground squirrel that lives on the mountain slopes, it's one of the must-do sportives.  


8. Amstel Gold Race Sportive, Netherlands

Date: April 13, 2024
Distance: Approx. 240 km
Climbing: Approx. 3,706 m  

Why Do It: Experience the thrill of a classic European race on closed roads. With 15,000 places available it's your chance to mirror Phillip Gilbert, Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.  


9. Mallorca 312, Spain

Date: April 27, 2024
Distance: 312km
Climbing: Approx. 5,050m

Why Do It: The Mallorca 312 is a legendary one-day cycling event that takes participants on a challenging journey around the beautiful island of Majorca in Spain. It is a favourite of ours at Njinga and in 2024 we are planning to take a group of riders over. You can read about our 2023 experiences here.


10. Lofoten Insomnia, Norway

Date: Typically held in June
Distance: Approx. 235 km
Climbing: Varies by route, but expect significant elevation gain

Why Do It: The Lofoten Insomnia is a unique and unforgettable cycling event that takes place under the stunning midnight sun in the Lofoten Islands of Norway. The Lofoten Islands are known for their dramatic fjords, rugged mountains, and picturesque fishing villages. It's one we’ve not done yet but is certainly on our list to attempt in the future.  


Beyond Europe

11. Cape Town Cycle Tour, South Africa

Date: March 10, 2024
Distance: 109 km
Climbing: 1600m  

Why Do It: It wouldn’t be a Njinga list of events without at least one event taking place in Africa. The Cape Town Cycle Tour lays claim to being the biggest timed race in the world with over 30,000 riders. Looking to get away for an early season challenge in 2024? This is the ride for you.  


Official Cape Town Cycle Tour Photo taken by Action Photo SA

12. Unbound Gravel (Formerly Dirty Kanza), USA

Date: June 1, 2024
Distance: Approx. 330 km
Climbing: Approx. 2770m

Why Do It: Join 4,000 riders in the Flint Hills of Kansas to attempt the world's premier gravel riding event, in the spiritual home of gravel. The weekend is a festival of gravel riding and there’s a whole host of distances to ride and fun to be had! 


And finally, let's not forget the Njinga Challenge Series.

Riding with like-minded cyclists, all the logistics sorted and in super locations, the Njinga Challenge series has earned its reputation as a must-do trip for our riders.

This year come join us as we eExplore the stunning roads of Sicily, a true cycling paradise with a perfect blend of beautiful Mediterranean landscapes, lush vineyards and the magnificent Sicilian coastline as your backdrop.

The highlight of the trip - conquering Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano and an iconic climb summited many times in the Giro d'Italia. With its rugged terrain, hairpin turns, and the rewarding panoramic views from the summit, it's going to be epic. 


Need help preparing for your upcoming event?

Check out our structured and progressive 8-week Live Group Training Programmes, providing you with the coaching, accountability and focus you need to dramatically improve your cycling.

Or, why not build up your climbing-specific strength and endurance with our comprehensive 8, 12 and 20-week plans in the Njinga Cycling Academy? Here you will also gain access to our expert, immersive on-bike training sessions, progressive training plans, off-bike training sessions, nutrition and mindset support and so much more. It's like having a personal cycling coach in your pocket.

Categories: Events, Ride Smart

and access our FREE Stretching video series. 

Includes: dynamic PRE-ride, static POST-ride, and restorative DEEP stretching routines, ensuring you start to feel the benefits immediately.