Explore Bipolar 'Highs & Lows' Cycle 2012
Please click on 'The Route' (right) for a daily route description.
Leaving Lands End on 31st May 2012 we aim to ride the length of the UK, arriving in John O'Groats 19 days later, having travelled just over 1050 miles through England, Wales and Scotland.
This is no ordinary End to End Cycle - it is a ride by mountain bike, mostly offroad and avoiding tarmac and especially main roads wherever possible. We've digitally plotted the route with the aim to keep to the lowlands wherever possible through England and Wales. Whilst we will be averaging about 56 miles per day we want it to be achievable, and whilst we know its going to hurt, we don't want to set ourselves up to fail, by including too many high mountain sections.
Having said that, there will be plenty of mountainous/hilly stuff - Cornwall and Devon have some of the steepest sections and it will be pretty mountainous through The Malverns, part sof northern England and Scotland. The theme of the ride is 'Highs and Lows' and we will visit one of the lowest points in the UK at Portishead en route, which is 5 metres below sea level at low tide (work that one out if you can!). We also aim to ascend Ben Nevis in the Grampians, which at 1344 metres is the highest point in the British Isles.
Those of us in the core team who aim to ride the full distance all enjoy mountain biking, and often don't manage to squeeze in much more than a couple of hours on our bikes at the weekend. So we will need to do an awful lot of training to prepare ourselves for so many hours and days in the saddle. This event is very much a team event, to be enjoyed by all that take part. It will certainly be a challenge, but it is not a race, and the main aim is to get as many people to the end of their section of the ride as possible.
First training ride - Leith Hill Jul 2011
Why not join us?
We don't know exactly how many will join us on the cycle yet, although we hope to have about 20 riders each day. There are 5 of us in the core team and already 3 others have verbally committed to join us for the entire ride. We would love more friends or friends of friends to join us for the duration or for shorter sections of the ride. We are sure that the 9 day England End to End or Gretna green to John O'Groats (Scotland End to End, also 9 days) will be favourites!
We will also be including a family day, when kids of all ages can join us for a day of pedalling (see full route below) ... so the pace may be a bit slower on that particular day.
We would love you to join us for a day, a weekend, a few days or a week or fortnight...
What do I have to do to join the ride?
Firstly, you need to have a decent bike that is well maintained and can handle backroads, bridleways and offroad sections. Some sections of the ride will be on backroads and canal towpaths, whilst others will be much more rugged offroad terrain. The type of bike you need might depend on which section of the route you are planning to do.
We are asking all participants to commit to raising £100 per day of the ride - so if you are doing a week, you will need to raise £700 through sponsorship for Biploar UK.. for a weekend you would need to raise £200 and for the full ride £1900.
Once you commit to ride with us we will ask you to make a £50 donation to the charity upfront, in order to secure your place.
If you would like to join us please get in touch to register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there other costs?
Yes. You will be expected to cover all other personal costs on the ride, including transport to the start and end point of your section of the ride, accommodation, food and drink along the way. Also any other items such as bike maintenance, spares, clothing, equipment etc.
As a team, and once we know how many people will do the ride, we will endeavour to keep costs to a minumum - for example we hope to have a support vehicle (or two) provided by a sponsor. We also hope to arrange as much accommodation as possible on a free of charge or discounted basis. However, when committing to the ride you should assume that there will be costs for B&Bs, meals in pubs, drinks along the way and in the evenings, packed lunches etc + connecting transport.
How will accommodation be booked?
Once you have committed to riding part or all of the route, we will liaise closely with you regarding accommodation. Some we might be able to book for everyone (farms, activity centres etc), others you will need to book yourself (B&Bs, hotels etc). In all cases you will be responsible for paying for your own accommodation.
What about transport to the start and end?
We will organise transport from Bentley in Hampshire to the start point at Lands End and back to Bentley at the end for cyclists who have done the whole ride (plus their bikes). Again the cost for this will be split between all those doing the full ride.
Other participants will need to make their own arrangements for joining sections of the ride and for getting back at the end. Again, we will liaise closely over locations, timings and accommodation.. but ultimately the responsibility is with the individual to ensure they have necessary transport in place.
Anything else to consider?
Some sections of the ride along canal towpaths require permits. Mostly these are free (though some do charge), but have to be applied for in advance. Where permits are required, it will be highlighted in the detailed route notes. It is the individual's responsibility to obtain their own permits.
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