Planning, Organising and Supporting Corporate and Charity Rides is a Cycle Friendly Speciality.

Charity cycle rides are a Cycle Friendly speciality and one which we have a long history of expertise. We have created original cycle rides for charities such as Norwood, Diabetes UK, Aid International and others in the UK and abroad.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Lakes Everesting

Instead of seeking out cycling distance challenges, there is a new cycling craze of seeing how much uphill you can achieve in a given time. An extreme challenge is to climb the equivalent height of Everest (9000m) in a 24 hour period. To put this in perspective this is equivalent to nearly 6 times the elevation gain of climbing Mont Ventoux. Assuming one climb of Mt Ventoux would take the average cyclist 2.5 hours and 0.5 hours then you are looking at some 18 hours (and 240km) of cycling which I think you will agree is an extreme challenge.

Clearly you could construct your own personal cumulative challenge over as many cycling days as you wish and you need not go further afield than your local hill (Highgate Hill for example would need to be climbed 100 times!). But like the gym and spinning, boredom could easily set in.

But how about if you could find a route which is one of the most beautiful in England which is circular and just long enough before requiring a rest stop for food, drink, maintenance etc and furthermore could be ridden in reverse and has 3 permutations of route – that’s 6 if you include the reversing, and the route is reasonably accessible for a weekend.

The Lake District
The Lake Distrinct in April 2014
Well one does exist! Of course, it is in The Lake District based from a village called Braithwaite, just 2 miles from Keswick. Access is easy by car or fast train to Penrith with a short bus or cycle ride. Bikes can be taken free on Virgin trains to Penrith if pre-booked.

The cycle round includes 2 good hill climbs and obviously 2 good descents. Grade is up to 12% in parts but for short sections only. The circular route varies from 40 km to 50 km –about the distance you would cycle between breaks, thereby allowing Braithwaite to act as a hub for all the rounds with food, drink, maintenance and first aid facilities.

You would travel up on say a Saturday morning, cycle from 2pm to sunset and again from early morning to 2pm on the Sunday and return home late pm. The one overnight could be in one of the many comfortable B&Bs in the village.

The Lake District
The Lake District in June 2003
If Everesting sounds too ambitious for you, then just do a Kili or Mt Blanc!

A prototype weekend is being arranged on April 16th/17th 2016. All bookings will be down to the individual and will include rail fare or similar travel; one nights accommodation, breakfast and dinner. The route will be fully arrowed, so little risk of going wrong (with garmin routes) and supported as described for an entry fee of just £25 per person.

You can go at your own pace, solo or with friends and vary your route as you desire. Breaks at Braithwaite can be to your own prescribed length, or of course anywhere en route if you wish to soak up and contemplate the magnificent scenery. The course will be open for the 24 hours from 2pm on 16th to 2pm on17th April. Needless to say, out of peak season the route will be fairly quiet and the weather could be reasonable. Maximum height above sea-level will be just 1200ft so it’s not too exposed.

Watch this space for arrangements.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

In 2014 we have planned...

May – Croatia for Norwood – not quite a repeat of the 2011 Ride. But this time a seasoned group of cyclists will ride  more challenging distances over 3 full days based in Makarska on the Dalmatian Riviera. Riding will include 2 islands and a classic climb up Croatia’s ‘Mont Ventoux’ – a 5500ft climb with stupendous views over the coast and islands and views into Bosnia from the summit.

May – Croatia for PPP- Project Finance – after an industry conference in Zagreb, those who are keen cyclists will transfer to Dubrovnik to cycle Jonathan’s original route to Makarska via the Peljesac Peninsular and the islands of Korcula and Hvar. An exciting Ride of mountain and coastal scenery all the way including 2 ferries and a private speed boat transfer.

July – Copenhagen to Berlin – for Tech Bikers Germany – from the enthusiasm generated by the Prague- Berlin ride in 2013, the same organisers plan to run another ride into Berlin from a neighbouring country capital. Copenhagen fits the bill perfectly – with the prospect of a long (250 mile plus) 3 day ride including the ferry between Denmark and Germany. Once again a brand new ride being pioneered by Jonathan Friend’s team which will include both German and Danish expertise.

September – Paris to London  - for Tech Bikers UK – a 3rd repeat of this successful formula which again is sure to  attract 70 new riders to raise funds for Room to Read.
In 2014, there are also plans being discussed for a Tech Bikers Ireland Ride on the West Coast of Ireland and a Corporate ‘open challenge’ from London to Paris

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

In 2013, we ran Two Charity Challenge Rides

July – Prague to Berlin for Tech Bikers and an HIV charity- after the resounding success of the Tech Bikers Paris-London in 2012, Google supported the development of Tech Bikers Germany based out of Hamburg. An innovative 3 day Ride from Prague to Berlin was devised which included a 100 mile day! A very exciting and successful ride despite the extremely hot conditions – temperatures above 35deg C. Much water was drunk!

September – Paris –London – repeat Ride for Tech Bikers raising funds for Room to Read – with the success of the previous year’s ride, and the long waiting list, this Ride was repeated in 2013 and as a result of the organisers social networking skills amassed 70 more riders and once again found commercial sponsors to cover all costs. A great event which went almost seamlessly and this time with a transfer from Gar du Nord through Paris in an open top bus to the start of the Ride at the Eiffel Tower. The last day into London was completed in glorious weather reaching Greenwich, a fabulous view over London form the Observatory and a ride along the Embankment, and over Tower Bridge into The City of London.

Monday, 31 December 2012

In 2012 we organised 9 Charity Challenge Rides and 1 Ride/Walk

March – Israel - UJIA – this was a Ride and a Walk in Northern Israel – ending up in the Galilee. A group of  25  either cycled or walked the route being fully escorted by coach. The routes were designed by Max Kramer and gave a varied view of Northern Israel with a good deal of mountain scenery.

May 5-7th - Hampstead to Bruge - One to One Children’s Fund – this 3 day Ride commenced in Hampstead, passing by many iconic landmarks in London, following the Thames Path to Greenwich and then striking out into the Kent countryside to Folkestone. After a transfer to Calais and following the French coast to Dunkirk, we linked up with the Belgium canal system all the way into Bruge.

May 6th - Buckingham Palace to Leeds Castle – Nightingale House – a one day Ride for up to 40 riders through iconic London, Greenwich and the North Downs of Kent.

May 10th to 15th – Italian Coast to Coast – Breast Cancer – the inaugural innovative crossing of Italy from Cecina south of Pisa via Volterra, San Grimignano, Sienna, Florence, The Apennines, and San Marino to Riccione on the Adriatic Coast. This route was challenging and despite unusually cold weather we experienced glorious scenery most of the way plus visits to historic and cultural centres.

May 24th to 29th - Riccione – Italian Adriatic – Aid International – a repeat of the successful 2010 Ride for this charity in the hills between the Coast and the Apennines including visits to San Marino and Urbino.

June 10th to 13th – London to Luxembourg - Langdon – a 4 day extravaganza from Hampstead to Leeds Castle (same route as May 6th above), then transfer to EuroDisney followed by a 3 day Ride to Luxembourg via the Champagne District into Belgium. En route we stayed in an historic castle and were welcomed into Luxembourg by the British Ambassador and staff.  This was another unique ride created by Jonathan Friend.

July 17th to 22nd – Dublin to Sunderland – Sunderland FC Trust – a special Ride for the Sunderland Football Club Trust starting in Dublin, following the Irish Coast to Belfast via the Mountains of Mourne, up the Antrim Coast to Larne and a ferry to Cairnryan on to the Scottish mainland. We rode the beautiful and remote Galloway Hills, through Dumfries and into England along Hadrian’s Wall, finally picking up the Coast to Coast Route into Sunderland to finish at the Stadium of Light.

September 7th to 10th – London to Paris – Diabetes UK- the 4th L2P for this major charity taking Cycle Friendly’s traditional route.

September 23rd to 25th –Paris to London – for Tech Bikers. This organisation was supported by Google tech start-ups which found 40 riders to raise funds for Room to Read, a charity with both US and UK bases which opens and fills new libraries with books in several developing countries in Africa and Asia and then supports the local communities to improve  literacy for its children. The Ride was fully sponsored by commercial entities allowing 100% of funds raised to go direct to Room to Read. The Ride was a great success despite the torrential rain on the last day. The route was the reverse of the traditional London to Paris route but taking the ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven for the final day to London through the South and North Downs of Sussex and Surrey. Because of the extreme weather, the ride was stopped outside Westerham (this had never happened on a CycleWild/CycleFriendly Ride in all the 8 years of operation), with everyone transferred ro Clapham for the last 8 sensational miles into The City. Despite the upset, the bonding and spirit of the Riders was almost unbelievable.

September 30th to October 2nd – London to Paris – Project Finance – this L2P was arranged for the Project Finance business sector in aid of a Trust Fund operated by one of the companies in that sector. Another successful L2P in good weather, and the last charity ride of the year. 

Saturday, 31 December 2011

In 2011 we organised 6 charity Challenge Rides and one Challenge Walk

May - London to Paris – for One to One Children’s Fund on our traditional 3 day route from London to Folkestone- then Eurotunnel and coach transfer to Dieppe after which we experienced 2 days glorious riding on quiet French roads down to the Seine and then following the river all the way to the Eiffel Tower. We had a select group of 10 who had a memorable ride.

May- Lithuania Heritage Walk for Jewish Care – a completely new unique heritage walk through Lithuania and Estonia for over 40 walkers. All had a very rewarding time following in the footsteps of their ancestors.

May- Croatia for Young Norwood – a brand new location for Norwood – beautiful cycling on the islands linked with boat trips and a full scale hike up the 5000ft local mountain thrown in. This event was so good that Norwood are planning a similar cycle ride with us in 2014.

June –London to Brussels for Langdon- another fascinating bespoke 3 day Ride via Folkestone, Calais, Dunkirk and Bruge for a group of 25 riders with a wide range of experience. Virtually all achieved this innovative and unusual ride.

June – London to Paris for Headmasters – a Ride to Paris on our traditional route –see above- with the hairdressers, Headmaster for Gt Ormond Street Hospital. An exciting time was had by all.

July – Coast to Coast for Aid International – the classic ride through the Lake District, across the Pennines and into the NE’s heartland ending up at the Millennium Bridge in Newcastle. Being July it rained every day, but the Ride was sensational with the Pennines taking on a mystical appearance and the group spirit won through despite everyone being soaked to the skin. So a memorable Ride was had by all which will be repeated but hopefully in drier conditions.

September – London to Paris – Diabetes UK – our 3rd and most successful Ride to Paris in 2011. The weather, the riders and the organisation were close to perfect. This Ride was repeated in September 2012.

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