Typical Questions & Answers for Team Events

When should we send our sponsorship to Challenge Adventure Charities?

Every Team is committed to raising at least £1,000 (see fund raising below)


All cheques should be made out to Challenge Adventure Charities and sent directly to us at Challenge Adventure Charities, c/o Elliotts, Millbank Street, Northam, Southampton, SO14 5AG.  Bank payments can be made directly into CAC’s bank account but please reference the payment by team number and team member’s name and email us a note of what you have done.

Please do not send sponsorship directly to other charities. CAC should receive ALL monies and when the team has completed their fundraising, CAC will calculate the split of 50% to the official event charities and 50% to your own team’s charity, and send out cheques accordingly. The team captain will be sent the team cheque to send on or present to the charity the team has designated.

The Spirit of the Challenge

Add to the Spirit of the Challenge by fancy dress, themed vehicles, beer and cake stops and frankly anything that will bring a smile to another knackered cyclist!

How fit should we be for the Challenge?

Teams will be participating for the achievement and enjoyment, and above all to raise money for charity. A reasonable level of fitness will be necessary, well within the grasp of anyone who likes to keep themselves in good shape.

What sort of training programme do you recommend?

It is never too soon to start training to build up muscles and stamina and to mould into the saddle. If you have access to a gymnasium the instructors will be able to recommend a suitable fitness routine. You should also get out on a bike as often as possible, and build up to riding 100 miles per week during the month before the Challenge. Although a reasonably fit person is likely to cope with the riding without much specific training, there could be a risk of injury or soreness, particularly in the vicinity of the posterior! and certainly the enjoyment would be much less.

What sort of bike do you recommend?

Although a mountain bike with road tyres may be appropriate for some of the steep hills, a road racing bike is far more suitable for the distance involved. If your Team does not have a bike, obtain the advice of a cycle shop to get a size of frame suitable for the largest and smallest members of the Team. Consider buying the bike between you, and sharing the sale proceeds after the event. There is no limit to the number of bikes in each Team and typically teams will have one bike per team member. Getting bikes with the right gearing is essential for inclines and a third “granny” gear at the front in a recommended option.

What clothing should we wear?

All riders must wear BSA approved cycling helmets. Teams should prepare themselves for cold, wet and windy weather although sun cream should also be on hand. Fluorescent vests must be worn in bad light conditions. Good cycling shorts are essential and having the right number of thermal layers adds significantly to comfort. Gloves, sun glasses, clear cycling or safety glasses are all recommended.

Safety Rules

Detailed Safety Rules are shown on this site. All participants must read and sign their acceptance of these before taking part.

Will we need lights?

All Teams may cycle in the dark either at the beginning or end of the day and therefore must ensure that their bikes have suitable lighting front and rear.

What food and drink should we take?

You will be able to stop and buy food and drink during the day but we advise you to take some basics with you. We recommend that you take plenty of bottled water, energy drinks, bananas, Mars Bars, energy bars, flapjacks, rice pudding etc. Plenty of carbohydrate, eg pasta is recommended in advance of riding to ensure adequate energy levels through the day.

What Insurance should we have?

Teams are responsible for their own personal and property insurance which should cover third party liability. Most well known insurers have suitable holiday insurance packages that cover charity non-competitive bike rides. Individuals should carry their European Health Insurance Card.

What are the travel arrangements?

Your team leader will be notified about crossing times, relevant booking references and joining instructions. You will have instructions as to how to get from the arrival port to the starting line and slower teams are advised to start as early as the marshals will let them. Full route instructions will be supplied.

What type of vehicle should we use?

A car with a bike rack on the back will be quite adequate for the event. However a larger vehicle would be more comfortable and give more room to relax in between cycling. If you use a van, you will need to ensure that four people can travel in the van legally. Various methods of bike storage have been tried however a van with a cross beam that allows a bike to hang by its saddle is a good option.

What expenses are we likely to incur?

You will pay your own fuel, parking, non-cross channel ferries, lunches and any additional refreshments. Half board accommodation is typically provided.

Route Directions

Detailed route and joining instructions will be emailed to all teams before the start of the Challenge. Avoiding getting lost is very much part of the Challenge! Support vehicles should ensure that their cyclist has gone the right way through junctions and riders are recommended to know their route, road numbers and the towns they are due to pass through. GPS particularly Garmin are increasingly being used and downloads will be available. Event Marshals will help with directions by placing green route arrows at most junctions, but their prime responsibility is to give assistance to Teams in difficulty and to monitor safety and teams should not rely on arrows always being present or visible. Following the rider in front because you think they must know the route has been many a rider’s downfall. You have been warned!

How is a typical day on the Challenge made up?

You must report to the Marshals at the start and end of each day. Depending on the average speed of your team, and if you are slow, you may decide to miss breakfast and start as early as 6.30am. We have between 10 and 12 hours cycling each of the three days. Teams will decide how often they change rider which could be as often as every 30 minutes. The routine could then be ride for 30 minutes, rest for 30 minutes, navigate for 30 minutes and then drive for 30 minutes before riding again. Teams are advised to cycle in daylight if the weather is wet or visibility poor.

What happens if our vehicle or bike breaks down?

It is the team’s responsibility to overcome any bike or vehicle breakdowns during the trip although there will be an emergency phone number to report problems to. The Marshals will be monitoring riders, and they may be able to give assistance but their availability should not be relied on. Riders should carry spare inner tubes, tyre levers and a multitool and the wherewithal to deal with a puncture, tighten a fixing etc etc.

Should the support vehicle travel with the bike?

With 80 Vehicles on the route, support vehicles must not travel at the same speed as their rider, either just in front or just behind. We recommend that support vehicles constantly “tag” their rider by overtaking them, checking that all is OK, and driving ahead for 10 minutes and pull completely off the road at a convenient parking place. They then need to monitor cyclists passing to ensure they are aware that their cyclist has passed safely, wait for a further 5 minutes before repeating the process.

What accommodation is provided on route?

Teams will generally share two twin or double rooms although there are some four bed apartments the first night. Some rooms will have double beds because of the lack of availability of twin rooms – we apologise for this – but suggest if this might be a problem, that your team packs a spare sleeping bag or airbed, or you just put a pillow down the middle. Noisy snoring, heavy breathing and shared beds have been a feature of the Challenges for the last 16 years and the trick is to take ear plugs, have plenty to drink and be tired enough, generally not a problem, to get to sleep first!

Please do not send sponsorship directly to other charities. CAC should receive ALL monies and when the team has completed their fundraising, CAC will calculate the split of 50% to the official event charities and 50% to your own team’s charity, and send out cheques accordingly. The team captain will be sent the team cheque to send on or present to the charity the team has designated.

Any queries should be emailed to info@challengeadventurecharities.org.uk