Tag Archive for Cycling

Why I’m cycling 362 miles for Barnardo’s

Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride

Martin Duffy will be taking part in The Big Barnardo’s Holyhead to Barnardo’s Village Bike Ride this October and raising over £2,150. He tells us a bit more about why he chose this challenge.

You’ve pledged to take part in the Big Barnardo’s Bike Ride for their 150th anniversary. Tell us more!

Ok, well after a bit of stalling, I’ve picked a fundraising challenge – and now I know there is no backing out! I will be cycling 362 miles from Holyhead to Barkingside this autumn, following the route that Thomas Barnardo took when he arrived in the UK in 1866.

Why have you chosen to raise money for Barnardo’s?

As Head of Fulfilment Operations at Barnardo’s, I have seen first-hand the difference that our services can make to children across the UK. Barnardo’s has been transforming children’s lives for 150 years, and I’m determined to ensure that continues. Last year alone, Barnardo’s worked with 240,000 children, young people and families including offering counselling, fostering and adoption services, and disability support. I feel very privileged to be able to take part in this unique challenge event.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

Seeing the finish line at this stage of my training! I think that it is also the opportunity to take part in an event with like-minded individuals.

If you would like to sponsor Martin you can do so on his Justgiving page.

Feeling inspired yourself? Join Martin on what will be an historic bike ride – find out more.

7 exciting European challenges to KICK OFF your summer…

Did you know that there are some beautifully picturesque challenges on our very own doorstep? Whether you want to TACKLE some of the UK’s highest mountains or cycle your way around Europe, Charity Challenge has the perfect expedition for you. Check out these breath-taking challenges, and KICK OFF your summer with your next adventure…


1. COAST TO COAST, UK

September 2016
Reg fee: £95

Be inspired by some of the most dramatic scenery England has to offer on this bike ride from west to east. Departing from the Cumbrian coast, you’ll need all your pedal power to tackle big ascents and descents as this challenging itinerary stretches for 140 miles to the North Sea.

Coast to Coast, UK

Coast to Coast, UK

 

2. BORDEAUX TO BARCELONA, FRANCE/SPAIN
May 2017
Reg fee: £325

The cycle from Bordeaux to Barcelona is a truly classic ride that takes you from southern France, across the Pyrenees and eventually arriving in Spain. Prepare for a superb variety of scenery and sights along the way including vineyards, famous Tour de France cols, gorges and fabulous rock formations.

Cycling the Alps

Cycling the Alps

 

3. LAVA TREK, ICELAND
July 2017
Reg fee: £295

Host to some of Europe’s most incredible wilderness, this Icelandic itinerary takes in thundering waterfalls, steaming lava fields, plunging fjords and spouting geysers. The trip is relatively short, but days are long and the terrain is challenging. Your hard work will be rewarded with an indulgent visit to Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon.

Iceland Lava Trek

Iceland Lava Trek

4. LAKES 8 PEAKS, UK
September 2016
Reg fee: £50

Not one, not two, but eight peaks – and in just one day! This is one of the toughest challenges in the UK, testing your strength, endurance and determination. You will tackle some of England’s most rugged and demanding mountains over a matter of hours, including Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike, Lake District

Scafell Pike, Lake District

5. TREK TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA
August 2017
Reg fee: £195

This unusual experience crosses the Transylvanian Alps, taking in huge mountains, rugged wilderness and small villages. We also visit King’s Rock National Park, home to the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project which shelters wolves, lynx and bears. Meanwhile no trip to Transylvania would be complete without a stop at Dracula’s castle.

Dracula's Castle, Transylvania

Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania

6. DOG SLEDDING, SWEDEN
February 2017
Reg fee: £475

A team of loyal huskies leads the way through the snow-covered forests and mountains of Swedish Lapland, across 200kms of beautiful, frozen landscape. Experience the silence of nature while gliding through this winter wonderland, taking the opportunity to spot elk and reindeer and even see the spectacular Northern Lights.

Dog sledding, Sweden

Dog sledding, Sweden

7. NATIONAL 3 PEAKS, UK
September 2016
Reg fee: £79

Brace yourself for a fast-paced and physically challenging adventure, as you take on the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in 48 hours. Considered one of Britain’s toughest outdoor challenges, the National 3 Peaks Challenge takes in Ben Nevis (1,344m), Scafell Pike (978m) and Snowdon (1,085m).

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

 

Set yourself a GOAL and TACKLE one of these exciting expeditions with Charity Challenge. Sign up before 10th July 2016 and you will also receive 16% off your registration fee! Enter code EURO16 when signing up.

Charity Challenge is turning 16 and offering a 16% discount off the deposit! Somebody get a cake!

CC Birthday FB Banner

This month Charity Challenge turns 16 and to celebrate this wonderful coming of age, we are offering 16% off ALL CHALLENGE DEPOSITS* from 10/06/2015- 10/07/2016, all you have to do is type the promotional code: BIRTHDAY16 when making a booking!

If you’ve already done a challenge with us before, then take advantage of our repeat booking discount which has doubled to £100 (£50 for short haul challenges)! Don’t forget to quote VACU at the time of booking.

Our wonderful suppliers have joined us in celebrating by offering additional discounts to all of you that are currently booked on a challenge. Log into your members area and take advantage of this!

The real challenge is deciding where you you want to be in 2016….so to help you decide we’ve put together some of our Charity Challenge favourites…

ANGKOR WAT?

Charity Challenge,

Pedal off from the architectural phenomenon that is Angkor Wat, through the waterways and rice paddies of Cambodia, past the postcard perfect beaches of Thailand and into the barmy backstreets of Bangkok. This truly is the best way to discover South East Asia, can you take on the 450kms that will take you through the heart of South East Asia? Find out more…

 

Cycle or Trek Beautiful Burma

Burma charity Trek, Charity Cycle to Burma

Mystical Myanmar has managed to remain largely untouched in comparison to its neighbours, perfectly preserving its magic, beauty, culture and secrets. Previously known as The Land of Gems, the views in Myanmar are truly humbling, it is the people however that are its best kept secret – warm, inviting and gentle, we promise you won’t find anywhere else like it on earth. Trekking or cycling through Myanmar offers you the opportunity to explore the lazy villages, meet the lovable locals and soak up all the spectacular views. Whilst this might all sound like a holiday, the terrain and the humidity ensure that exploring Myanmar is an incredibly worthwhile but challenging task. Take a look!

Trek Machu Picchu

Charity Trek to Machu Picchu, Charity Challenge, trekking, PeruThe ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu sit amongst the clouds, set an altitude of 2,667m to see them is to witness something truly magical. To get there however is no walk in the park but an incredible trek through the rarely visited Lares Valley, a region untouched by time. The scenery here is breathtaking throughout and you will be greeted by llamas, alpaca’s and the Quechua people in their brightly coloured ponchos.  The route is hard and you will spend your nights camping, under the Peruvian sky, the sight of Machu Picchu as you re-join the Inca trail and complete the 3000 steps to walk through the Sun Gate will however make any aches disappear. Click here to find out how you can climb through the clouds….

Charity Challenge, Sapa Hill Tribe Trek, Vietnam Trek, Trek

Vietnam Trek – Sapa Hill Tribe

The hill tribes of Sapa combine the iridescent greens of the rice paddies with the vibrantly coloured dress of the remote hill tribes. Trekking here takes you away from the wonderful madness of the eclectic city of Hanoi as we head off the beaten track into this tranquil but rugged region where rolling hills meet the Red River. We will meet remote hill tribes as we trek further into the region, the varied terrain seeing you tackle Mount Silverstone before taking on the jungle terrain as we follow the footsteps of local farmers and camp in this remote and beautiful region. Explore more…

Lombok Charity Trek, Trekking in Indonesia, indonesia, Trek, Mountain

Brank New: Lombok Trek

Lombok Lava Trek! Set in the ‘Ring of fire’ this exhilarating trek offers towering peaks reflecting in ethereal lakes. Taking on Mount Rijani volcano, one of Indonesia’s tallest peaks standing at 3,726m is worth every metre you climb as you stand triumphant at the top overlooking breath-taking views from the natural colours of the forest to the surrounding turquoise bays. This challenge is not for the feint hearted and involves very long days and high altitude. If you think you could take on this sensational landscape then click here to find out how…

A massive thank you from all of us here at Charity Challenge!

Charity challenge, Trekking, Cycling, Adventure travel, charity challenges

Here’s to another 16 years!

*Terms and conditions apply

Spring Fling! Get 10% off our Open UK Challenges* for a limited time only!!

SF1Flowers? Check. Sunshine? Check. A strange thawing feeling in your bones?! Yes! Its official, the Great British Springtime has begun! 

The mornings are getting brighter, the days are getting longer and spring is in the air! To celebrate the beautiful British countryside coming back to life, we are offering a sprightly 10% off ALL of our Open Great British Challenge deposits until the 31/03/15. So, if you want to cycle from Coast to Coast or trek through the night to see the sunrise, we have the perfect UK challenge for you. With options for every ability, from trekking to cycling, there has never been a better reason to end your hibernation and get fit in time for Summer!

To see all our incredible UK Challenges click here and explore the best the UK has to offer, whilst raising money for your favourite charity.

Click here for Terms and Conditions* 

Yorkshire 3 Peaks – HURRY only a few places left!   

SF3

Put your cuppa down because Yorkshire just called, we need you to take on not 1, not 2 but 3 of its famous peaks, part of the Pennine Range. This challenge should not be entered into lightly, it will push you through steep ascents and descents and varied terrain, in total walking for 12 hours and covering 24 miles. The scenery more than makes up for those aching limbs whilst showcasing the best of the Yorkshire Dales as you encircle the head of the River Ribble valley before reaching the finish line, tired but immensely proud! Just click here!

Snowdon Under the Stars 

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It’s time to start munching those carrots as you’ll need your night vision (and headtorch) to trek through the night. This is the ultimate way to tackle Snowdon – under the stars. Challenge yourself mentally and physically against some of the most testing landscapes in Britain, as you attempt to summit the highest mountain in Wales…in a single night! Beginning as the last rays of the setting sun cast their glow across the spectacular landscapes of Snowdonia National Park, you’ll then follow the classic route of the Llanberis track into the enveloping darkness. Tackling one of the most testing trails in the park, the plan is to arrive at the top in time to welcome in the new dawn, to enjoy some of the most extensive views in the British Isles, before completing the route back down to the start, where a celebratory breakfast awaits! Just click here!

Coast to Coast Cycling Challenge 

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Like Big Ben, queuing and fish and chips, this trip is quintessentially British, showcasing our beautiful coastline and everything in between on a challenging 226kms cycle across England You’ll tackle northern England’s most rugged and spectacular scenery from the west to the east coast. Start by dipping your wheels in the Irish Sea at Whitehaven before crossing the northern edge of the Lake District and the North Pennines, heading towards Northumberland and the route of Hadrian’s Wall. The ride ends with you dipping your wheels into the North Sea. Although only 2 days, do not be fooled, this is a tough challenge taking on some very difficult climbs and descents! Just click here!

Snowdon Multi Activity Weekend

So you love trekking, and cycling AND canoeing, that’s alright, it’s okay to be greedy, why not indulge on our Multi Activity Snowdon Challenge, because variety is the spice of life. This exciting and tough challenge will see you summit Mount Snowdon in the middle of a varied, activity-packed day. Set in Snowdonia National Park, this tough but beautiful environment provides the perfect location for such a varied challenge, however this should not be taken into lightly as it involves some steep ascents and descents over diverse terrain on both bike and foot! Just click here!

SF6

Celebrate festivals around the world and get 100 pounds off 2015 Peru and China challenges!

With the season of festivals in the air, we have some fantastic special offers waiting for you to celebrate. August is the month of  “Pachamama” or Mother Earth Festival in Peru and the ‘Moon Festival’ is celebrated throughout September in China.

To mark both festivals and to help us all have a successful season of trekking and cycling in the Andes and in China, we are offering a £100 discount* on all of our 2015Peru and China Challenges! This includes the popular Trek to Machu Picchu, Cycle Machu Picchu to the Amazon,the Great Wall of China trek, cycle, run and multi-activity triple challenge!

To take advantage of this fantastic offer, simply enter PERU (for Trek to Machu Picchu and Cycle Machu Picchu to the Amazon) and MOON(for the China challenges) at the time of booking. Offer ends 30/09/2014, so make sure you book before then!

Don’t forget to include your friends and family in the celebration and share the news of Pachamama, the Moon Festival and the £100 discount!

What is Pachamama?

Every year, in the Peruvian Andes, August is recognised as the month of the “Pachamama” or Mother Earth. The celebration consists of a ceremony called “Pago a la Tierra” (payment to the land) where Andean people offer mother earth the best of last year’s produce. Traditionally, it would include corn, wheat, potatoes, coca, but in more recent times also includes sweets, huayruros (mystical seed jungle), wine and animal foetuses – especially llamas. They are all placed together and buried as an offering to ask for a successful harvest in the coming year, to be sure that it will be good and healthy.  Click here to see how Pachamama is celebrated in Peru.

The Moon Festival

The Moon Festival (also known as Mid-Autumn Festival) is one of the most important traditional festivals celebrated in China. The festival is an inherited custom of moon sacrificial ceremonies. The ancient Chinese observed that the movement of the moon had a close relationship with changes of the seasons and agricultural production. Therefore to express their gratitude, to the moon and celebrate the harvest, the Chinese offered a sacrifice to the moon on autumn days. The Moon Festival is celebrated when the full moon rises, and families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems!

If you have any questions about these challenges, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts. Sylvana (the Operations Manager for our Peru challenges), is from Peru and has been to Machu Picchu over 50 times and Carmel (the Operations Manager for China) is managing over 25 departures to China and has a wealth of knowledge about the all the challenges in China. They will be more than happy to help you with any queries so feel free to drop then a note at sylvana@charitychallenge.com and carmel@charitychallenge.com.

Tupananchiskama/ Zài jiàn! (See you soon!)

Firdous
Marketing Manager

T: +44 (0)208 346 0500 | E: info@charitychallenge.com | W: www.charitychallenge.com

*Please note you must enter the promotional code PERU at the time of booking to claim the £100 discount. If you book on a challenge with the Self Funder or Flexi Payment option, the £100 will be deducted from your final balance, £100 will be refunded to participants who have booked using the Minimum sponsorship payment option. Offer valid from 01 Aug to 30 Sep 2014. Only one promotional code can be accepted per booking.

Our Range of “Great British Challenges”

As a company, Charity Challenge has previously concentrated and specialized in overseas challenges, with incredible new challenges such as our Burma Cycle and Cycle Zambia being recently launched onto our website. However, the recent summer weather has been an inspiration to us, and proof that to experience the great outdoors you need look no further than your own back garden!! We’ve launched a range of new challenges within the UK, and still have a couple more up our sleeves so watch this space!

This blog is designed to talk you through our new fantastic range of UK challenges and the differences of these challenges in terms of fitness, difficulty, length etc, in order for you to find the most suitable one for you.

Trekking Challenges

Yorkshire 3 Peaks
This is a 2 day/1 night challenge in the Yorkshire Dales. As a ‘starter’ UK challenge it is a good one for people who have never trekked or hiked before, and involves a night of camping.

As with most of our other UK challenges, you arrive in the late afternoon before beginning the trek the next day. The trekking day is long – around 11 hours depending on the group’s speed, and 38km in total!

However, the peaks in Yorkshire are not as high or demanding as the likes of our other treks, and it is a nice introduction to hill walking in the UK. The highest peak, Whernside, stands at 736m, and the terrain is a mixture of tracks and moorland. The ascents and descents are not too tough, although trekking poles would be an advantage.

Lake District 5 Peaks Challenge
Again a 2 day/1 night challenge, this time in the Lake District, with one night’s camping. This is a step-up from the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge, although not in terms of length, as with 23km of distance to trek this challenge is actually 15km shorter than the Yorkshire challenge. However, the peaks become much more demanding in terms of terrain and height, and there are 2 extra summits to ascend before the end of the day.

The beauty of this challenge is that it involves climbing Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.

This stands at 978m and is the final peak climbed throughout the day. It’s a great challenge for those who have done some hill walking but would like to challenge themselves within a tougher environment. It would also be a great training trek for tougher challenges like Kilimanjaro or Everest.

24 Peaks Challenge
This is our toughest UK trek, and certainly one for those people who have done long hikes previously, preferably summiting Snowdon, Scafell Pike or Ben Nevis before.

The trek takes place over a full weekend, and lasts 3 days/2 nights. Each day will last around 12 hours, with a distance of 18kms hiked. Don’t be fooled by this being a UK challenge – it is incredibly tough, as the days are long and there are constant ascents and descents which take their toll on the legs.  The terrain is varied, from rocky inclines and scrambling sections to long stretches of moorland

One difference from the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and the 5 Peaks challenge is that the accommodation is in a hostel rather than a campsite. Again, this challenge would be excellent training for tougher mountain challenges like Kilimanjaro or Everest.

Cycling Challenges

Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge
The classic English cycle challenge! Our route takes you from the Irish Sea in Whitehaven to the North Sea at Whitley Bay, Newcastle, during a challenge that lasts 3 days and 2 nights.

There are some very tough climbs during the 2 day cycle, and with 80 miles a day this is a difficult challenge which will require a lot of pre-challenge training. Although it isn’t necessary for you to have previously cycled, if this is the case then at least 6 months is recommended to train and reach the standard desired to be able to complete the challenge. You should be able to maintain a steady speed of at least 8 miles an hour.

Racing bikes are not really suitable for this challenge; touring bikes are preferred, in consideration of the terrain. While much of the cycle takes place on country roads, there are many sections which are potholed or gravelly, and a few short sections which pass over off-road trails, and would be risky with road tyres.

Overall, this is a great challenge for those who are ready to take on something more challenging, although you should certainly have cycled a long day before, and preferably cycled for 2 consecutive days in training.

London to Paris Cycle Challenge
Although not strictly within the UK, we thought that this challenge merited inclusion as a step-up from 2-day weekend cycling expeditions.
As a 4 day challenge, which involves 3 days of cycling and one free day in Paris, this is slightly longer than most people might be used to and is a real test of endurance. The first day out of London is tough in terms of climbs and ascents, as it winds its way through the North and South Downs, to Portsmouth.

The 2nd day is the longest, at 74 miles, and proves a real test as you are still recovering from the first day’s cycle. The final ascent into Paris on day 3 is a climb of 1000m, and really pushes your endurance with another long distance of over 60 miles.

This is an endurance challenge which can test you to the limits, and is certainly for someone who is looking for a challenge. You should have cycled for at least 2 consecutive long days, hitting distances of 60 – 70 miles each day, in order to feel prepared for this challenge.

Something for everyone!

Snowdon Multi-Activity Challenge
This is a really exciting challenge and for someone who fancies something a little more varied. A 2 day/1 night challenge, this itinerary gives you the chance to cycle, trek and kayak in the Snowdonia National Park. It is for someone with a good overall fitness, but not necessarily someone who is a keen cyclist for example.

The cycling is only 12 miles, but the national park is incredibly hilly and so there will be some good climbs to take on. The group then summits Snowdon, which will require endurance and certainly some experience of hill walking. The final activity is a 3.5km kayaking section. This doesn’t require experience, but a good level of fitness is necessary to be able to continue after the tough cycle and trek.

It is very different to our other trek and cycling challenges on offer, but an amazing chance to experience all sides of Snowdonia and test your endurance to the limit.

To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Train for your Charity Challenge with Cyclebeat

Training for your charity challenge can sometimes be a bit of a mission, especially if you live in London.  This is where Cyclebeat fits in.

Cyclebeat is the country’s leading indoor cycling studio (aka spinning) with classes all day every day.  They are based in the heart of the City of London.
Cyclebeat can help you with your fitness training and prepare you for your challenge. Their indoor cycling classes are a great way of improving your general fitness, so they will help prepare you for any challenge, not just cycling! It’s indoor cycling, but so much more.

Here’s what they have to say:

  • Unique to Cyclebeat, they offer the Beatboard.  It shows your work rate on a screen in class, so you can compete with other riders (don’t worry, its bike numbers only, no names, and you can opt out if you don’t fancy it).  It’s incredibly motivating, and will push you to work harder
  • The results of every ride are sent to you by email and saved to your account.  You can track your improvements over time, and watch yourself getting stronger and faster.  This is an ideal tool for anyone training for a Charity Challenge event.
  • Their instructors are simply brilliant.  They have tracked down London’s finest to challenge and inspire you.
  • And all in a beautiful new studio, specially designed for indoor cycling.  It’s an awesome place to ride.

You can find Cyclebeat here at 8 Lombard Court, London EC3V 9BJ (just a few minutes from Bank and Monument tubes).

Cyclebeat would like to support your efforts in preparing for your challenge by offering you an amazing introductory offer.  You can enjoy unlimited rides at Cyclebeat for 20 days for just £15.  To find out how to sign up, click here for more details.

Good luck with all your efforts in preparing for your challenge, and have a great time taking part!

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 7 !

The final 100km cycle from Ranthambore to Jaipur via Bhanderej took us through two days of new scenery and continued surprise for how unique this cycle really is. Venturing into parts of Rajasthan where the kids are running from their schools to the side of the road shouting ‘white man’ and ‘crazy’! Tourists in these parts just do not exist.

After a night Glamping, ‘another’ early rise for our Tiger safari in Ranthambhore National Park. With only 33 Tigers in a 1334 sq km of wild jungle scrub we knew that the chance of sighting the Tigers would be an exclusive one. With one sighting in Five we had a good chance but unfortunately for us footprints were as close as we were going to get.  This however was fine for all of us as we witnessed the courting walk of two antelope and were surrounded by deer, wild Boar and the chance to cruise around in a safari truck for a few hours before putting ourselves back on the bikes.

I have to say one of the highlights of the Challenge is the food, and that includes the packed lunches. The  food is delicious and there’s lots of it, but then the calories burnt on the cycle justifies the amount you can eat. With lunch on the bus we are transferred a short distance to the start of the cycle today where our amazing support team, Matt, Vineet, Naveen, Raju, Baba (our mechanic) and Bhola are waiting for us.

We soon discover that the Safari has made us a little sluggish and its taking some time to get the legs working. After 45km of better roads than yesterday’s Sahara Cycle, we cycle into the grounds of the Maharajas Palace. With a few more aches and pains today we have some real troopers; Sue has been an inspiration to us all this week, Moyra pushing through with an earache that’s taking its toll and Kate who’s knee is progressively being a pain. Vineet is going the extra mile and offers to push Kate up the hill which she declines and so seeing as the offer is out there, I choose to take it up instead(after all why not – Kate you missed out there !!.) Tonight sees many retire to their beds fairly early in preparation for the final days Challenge and evening Celebrations.

All raring to go after a good nights’ sleep for our final days Cycle we set off and within an hour we are starting to see some different scenery. With the sight of rolling hills we are a little apprehensive that we may have to cycle one of these but soon discover that the few days we have had with hills previously, we’ve dropped our gears and pushed through it. We are however relieved to know that we are cycling between the hills and enter a lush tropical environment where the roads are quiet and palm trees line the route with monkeys and cows lurking. We suddenly feel like we are cycling through a tropical paradise for our final 10km leg to the finish line. As we regroup for our finale km cycle we hear drums and clapping and as we approach up over the hill we are welcomed by Sian and Vasante and a team of drummers at the finishing line in Jaipur.

We celebrate at lunch with some relieved it’s over, others sad its come to an end, but  all proud of  what we have accomplished this week. Feasting once again on delicious food and a well-deserved beer we relax and reflect on the week. The afternoon brings shopping for some and a snooze and freshen up for others before we come to the end of our week with our last night dinner and dance. Six days cycling and 430km has flown by leaving us with new friends and lifelong memories. What an incredible experience of India. Thank You to Sian and the team for their Support and each individual in the group for being  team players and supporting each other through the challenge including the jokers (you know who you are ) who kept spirits high and continued to hide pieces of my bicycle at each break stop. You should all be very proud of yourselves.

You can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 6!

Another early rise to head off just as the sun rises, although today we have a slightly warmer start to the day. Leaving from the Maharajas Palace, Matt picks up the pace from yesterday so we have a chance to warm up, and then throws us in at the deep end to ease the tenderness of our bodies form the day before. With Raju supporting the back of the group, he finds that on today’s cycle more of us seem to stay back and chat with him…maybe due to his charming personality, or perhaps it’s because  of yesterday gruelling ride taking its toll on our bodies and energy levels.

A busy start again through Karauli.  Today’s eye captures the excitement of the trucks with their colours and decorations. After our first snack break we hit some road works which had dumped the whole of the Sahara desert on our Rajasthan route! 20kms of cycling through soft deep sand was an unexpected experience. As the thighs start to burn, we slip and slide and the chatting comes to a halt as our concentration grows

10 hours in, and the afternoon becomes slightly more manageable on the road, we reach our Hotel in preparation for our Ranthambore Tiger Safari tomorrow morning. Another 5.30 am start for us – ouch! But maybe we will spot some Tigers?? Check tomorrow to find out…

So To hear more updates from Jo in India, stay tuned to this blog! Whilst she’s out in country, you can get in touch and follow Jo via her twitter feed at @jojowarren82

you can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 5!

We finally arrived after our long haul 113km cycle at Hotel Bhanwarvilas Palace; the most magnificent Maharajas Palace. We checked in and checked out all the rooms with awe. A quick massage for some and sitting by the fire in the courtyard with the Maharajas Son reflecting on the day. 

Cycling from Keoladeo National Park to Karauli is where we really saw it all! With only 5 punctures and an eventful day for Caroline as seemingly events come in threes, a near miss with a moped, two punctures and to top it all off a locked wheel taking Rick out as locals were mesmerised by his bright orange top coming tumbling down! The experience today I have to say was a once in a lifetime. The mix of scenery and experiences on the road just kept on changing.

We set off as the sun rose at 6.30am to a cool crisp ride up a quiet road (as really who is up at 6.30?!). We really became thankful for being here in December. The evenings may be cool but the days are beautiful, fresh with a warm sun.

We soon  approached the first village to a run of kids high fiving as we cycle by, shouting ‘ta ta’, ’ta ta’ (bye bye) and busloads of school children  waving and taking pictures on their mobile phones(yes mobile phones).  Averaging 22km an hour yesterday, today after 3 hours of cycling, we have knocked that down to 18km as the roads turn from sand to rough tarmac, busy villages and plenty of road hog as well as buffalos and lazy dogs. Pot holes and then random speed bumps are also situated too frequently for our liking. Although India on the roads is chaos it’s an organised chaos and the vehicles, people and animals move at a crawl. So the need for speed bumps just beats me!! To overcome this, Vineet teaches us the bunny hop  – well tries to teach us, as we are not doing too well at it, but we still have 3 days to go to practise to ease the rest of the challenge.

With Camels to the right and buffalo with the indian flag painted on their horns to the right, the hours fly by, village after village with colours, people, music, tuc tucs, ‘hellos’ after hellos’ just makes time fly until we hit our 78km mark after a 5 hour ride in a quaint clearing in the grounds of a temple. We park our bikes and stop for a much needed lunch as we turn to see 10’s of people crawling out the woodwork to innocently watch the ‘aliens’ sitting near their land. Their faces express ‘who are these people?’, ‘ what are they doing?’. “Tum Kaha Ja Rahe Ho?” which means ‘where are you going’ as we jump up and back on our bikes to head off to complete the reminder of our 113km day.

As we stop for a water fill and snack in the middle of nowhere, within 5 minutes we find ourselves surrounded by children and teenagers. Where have they come from??! I go off for the toilet and return to find my saddle has disappeared from my bike. If they think I’m cycling with no saddle they have another thing coming! So we have a joker in the group but no volunteers. Sometimes when something is right under your nose you don’t spot it, so I later rather than sooner discover it is sitting on top of the support truck, but still with no volunteers to who was the culprit…….Rick!!
As I’m searching for my seat I turn around and Laura is surrounded by children analysing her ‘heinz bake beans t- shirt’. From here on during the day no matter where we are we can spot Rick with his orange and Laura with her Heinz baked bean tshirt…winner of the fashion statement of the week so far!

So heading off we cycle past a lush oasis, such a contrast from the dusty off the beaten tracks we have been cycling so far. Our final 45km leg after lunch challenged us with an undulating terrain and our last leg of a steep climb dropping our gear to its lowest. We start to descend but we are still pushing hard in a low gear as Rachel states ‘this road is covered in treacle!’ Out later discussions of why we were cycling downhill but it still being so tough was due to an optical illusion, treacle on the roads or some sort of gravity force!!! Or were we just all tired!

To hear more updates from Jo in India, stay tuned to this blog! Whilst she’s out in country, you can also get in touch and follow Jo via her twitter feed at @jojowarren82

you can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.