No doubt you have lots of questions about the Ride to the Somme Charity Bike Ride. Hopefully the following list of the most frequently asked questions we get asked about the ride will help answer any queries you may have.
How far will I ride each day?
We will confirm the exact routes once we close entries. There will be two options daily of approximately 50 miles per day and a 80 miles per day. Both routes will share refreshment stops so there will be plenty of opportunity for both groups to interact. At certain times all riders will ride together.
When will I need to decide which route I will take?
We will release the routes when entries have closed. Riders will then have the opportunity to indicate which option they would like to take.
Will I have the opportunity to change my mind?
Yes we will be as flexible as possible and leave you as much time as possible to make up your mind.
Will I be able to change groups on the Ride?
We will be as flexible as possible.
How long will we ride for each day?
The target is to be at the hotel by late afternoon each day. There will be regular stops for food and drink with the maximum time between breaks around 2 hours. Lots can happen to slow down progress but a day largely free of punctures could see an earlier arrival time.
How fast will we be riding?
There will be approximately three groups. You will ride with cyclists of a similar ability.
What is the terrain like?
Belgium and North West France is largely flat especially around the Somme area. There are some climbs but traffic is very considerate of cyclists and the roads are generally quiet.
Will I be on my own?
No – this is a fully supported ride with each team having an Officer and Corporal accompanying them. The more senior Commanders will keep track of the rider’s position using the latest GPS software. All teams will be supplied with files showing exact routes and stopping points.
What support will there be?
In addition to the Medical Corps and Cycle Artificers there will be recovery vehicles tracking riders. Our catering team will also be out on the route. We carry your luggage in our vehicles leaving you free to enjoy the riding.
What about food and drink on the ride?
It is important that you eat and drink properly during the day. Your Team Officer and Corporal will monitor what you eat and drink to ensure that you take on board the calories and fluids your body needs. We will provide energy drinks and suitable food.
What about accommodation?
Will be on a shared basis and in hotels close to local restaurants.
What kit do I need?
We will provide a full kit list closer to the time. Every rider will receive two shirts – one to display your personal sponsors and a commemorative cycling shirt. The commemorative shirt must be worn of the final day of riding. A waterproof jacket is essential as are a quality pair of cycling shorts!
What expenses am I responsible for?
You will be responsible for the following expenses – transport to and from the recruitment centre, providing your own bike, personal kit, evening meals, personal expenses and parts for cycle repairs. We ask each rider to bring 4 inner tubes.
What about a cycle helmet?
No helmet no ride – that’s an order!
How much luggage can I bring?
15 kilos maximum please.
What does being an Officer entail?
We will ask you to take care of a particular aspect of the tour.
What will happen at the Recruitment Centre?
You will see displays, photographs and films of The Western Front and an introduction from our Historian who will accompany us for the duration of the event.
What about training?
You will receive details of what training is required and we will monitor your progress via Strava.
What about training days?
We will be organising training days where everyone will be invited to meet the team and fellow riders. We appreciate that riders will come from a wide area and will put you in touch with riders from your area and particularly from your chosen regiment.
What help will I get to raise the sponsorship?
The team at SSAFA have great experience supporting fundraising and we are looking at potential joint events to help each rider achieve their goal.
When will we get home?
You will return to London in good time for onward journeys home however we cannot account for unforeseen delays.
Who is organising this ride?
White Rock Events is a new company but the Directors have combined over 50 years experience in cycle events. Key staff have all ridden in previous overseas rides.
Do I need insurance?
Yes, you will need to provide your own insurance. Some annual holiday insurance policies will cover your bikes but please check with your insurer. Explain that you are taking part in a charity cycle ride (not a race).
If you still have any questions then please contact us and we’ll be glad to help.