People have many different reasons for undertaking a challenge such as Ride to the Somme and the stories from our 2017 Ride …
Join Ride to the Somme 2018
29 August - 2 September
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is the UK’s oldest national tri-service charity and at the outbreak of World War One, the Government called on it to take care of the families of the Armed Forces going to the Front. Ride to the Somme is a fundraising event with money raised helping servicemen and women, veterans and their families in need following present day conflicts.Click to learn more
What is the Ride to the Somme?
Ride to the Somme 2018 will commemorate the cycling soldiers that fought and fell along the Western Front. The Ride will commence on Wednesday 29 August and will culminate at Armistice Glade on Saturday 1 September. The Ride will be centred on Amiens and we will visit the most important Somme battlefield sites of The Great War. Riders will have an option of riding either approximately 50 or 80 miles per day.
At the the outbreak of The Great War the British Army was considerably smaller than other armies across Europe. It was supplemented by a Territorial Force of part time soldiers and included 15 Cycling Battalions. After suffering heavy casualties at The Battle of Mons in 1914 the British Army started recruiting a larger force.
Army Cyclist Corps
The Army Cyclist Corps was founded in 1914. The bicycle in World War I was deployed at the front line involved in the movement of men, reconnaissance and communications whilst at home cyclists were recruited for coastal defence work. During the Great War 20,000 men were members of the Corps.
When you enlist for the ride you will be asked to select a battalion that you wish to represent. We will visit a number of cemeteries which have graves of soldiers from the Army Cyclist Corps before reaching Thiepval. We are keen to hear the stories from rider’s family histories and if possible will incorporate areas where they fought on the route.
The British Army lost nearly 1 million men in The Great War with over 2 million wounded. In total some 65 million men were mobilised with 37 million killed or wounded. Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918 near Compiegne where we will conclude Ride to the Somme.
We believe that not only will this be a fantastic cycling event but it will be an appropriate way to pay respects to those cyclists from 100 years ago who volunteered for their Country and made the ultimate sacrifice. As part of our team we will have an historian on the ride.