Tag Archive for Rajasthan Tiger Challenge

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.

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 4!

A quick transfer back to Gulistan Tourist Complex this morning to pick up our bikes,

our lovely guide Vasanti is a a strong commanding negotiator and puts the boys in their place and negotiates the coach into the complex without any hassles so we are on the road on time.

With Vineet leading the show and Raoul supporting the pack from behind we set off out of Fatephur Sikri to get back into the hustle and bustle of the Indian Roads. As we are moving further away from Agra the villages we pass through welcome us with ‘hello’, and the children run and wave alongside us,  and men on mopeds and bikes slow down in harmless curiosity to ride alongside us asking ‘what are you doing?’, Where are you going? And “Why?” (Doubtlessly in confusion as to why in this world we would be cycling when surely we can afford a car!).

In India the Cow is Sacred hence it does what it wants when it wants, which Hitesh soon established as he is nearly taken out by one. The cow is the head of the household and also, apparently something we were not warned so much on, ‘rules the road’. So if that’s not enough, Hitesh seems to want to get his falls over and done with and manages to somehow take himself out this time at the snack break just standing still and then again later on into the ride.

We cycle through the village until we reach some back roads where we step down a gear for some ‘off roading’ as we cycle through the sand dunes that make up the rest of what is left of this road. For me personally I think this is great and it gives you a chance to take your bum off the seat and ease the pain as you struggle through the soft sand and rocks. For others they seem to get a little over confident and feel the need to complicate the whole process by battling the sand and navigating around the rocks whilst with one hand off the handle bars taking photos of those behind them. Now there is one lesson to be learnt from this, and one thing that is evidently  going to happen, and yes Richard soon learns that as he falls face down in the sand with the bicycle neatly intertwined between legs and arms. All in all this was a graceful and harmless fall from him, I think his camera suffered the most (poor thing). Rich was left with no scars but an awful look of orange fake tan, unlike Hilary who decided today was the day to get more acquainted with the locals and threw herself into a crowd of them suffering a few war wounds to the legs.

While Hilary is having her moments with the locals, Hiten is chatting again to the children in his pigeon Hindi, as a young boy is checking out his bike whilst on the way to School. The Kids journey to school on a rickety old bike is 50km each way every day. The boy says to Hiten that he has really nice gears and Hiten explains that he doesn’t need gears as his gears are in his legs and the boy replies ‘my gears are in my head’. That certainly gave us the motivation we needed to complete the cycle today, as the boy is quite right, no matter how many gears you have, the source of the power comes from your mind and if we maintain mind over matter this week then we will complete our 430k with no problems!

The Afternoon is spent with an additional cycle to Keolodeo National Park adding 13km to the challenge, totalling 101km so far in two days! So I think everyone is a little apprehensive about doing that distance plus some in one day tomorrow… an early rise for sure and a long day ahead.  The evening is spent with some traditional dancing in the courtyard to loosen the muscles for a good night’s sleep, so hopefully we’ll wake up with ease for our 120km ride tomorrow!

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 2 & 3

So we’ve arrived at Bharatpur after a busy day yesterday spent in Agra visiting the Taj Mahal, jaw aching for its magnificence, but also very noteworthy for the endless amounts of photos taken in front of it to fill a family album for a life time… You have to really don’t you it’s the Taj Mahal… you never know when you will be back!

An afternoon of bike fittings adjusting saddles, testing the brakes – thank god they work! Is followed by an early dinner, a briefing on the rules of the road from the guides… It seems there are none! Just ring your bell endlessly and just keep going… oh wait I forgot one ‘do not under any circumstances stop under a bridge with a moving train above unless its good luck to have someone’s bowels deposited over you, and I’m pretty sure it’s not very lucky!!

So with a more respectable wake up time than on day 1, and a peaceful sleep until the calling for prayer at 5.30, we breakfast and are on the road out of Agra. With only Nescafe offered at breakfast we were soon to realis

e that the caffeine fix hit us in the form of complete ‘organised’ chaos on the roads of Agra. It was a close call on many an occasion with Marcus wedged between two tuc tucs trying to be ahead of the game, horns beeping, cycles, tuc tucs, busses and cows all weaving their way in no order what’s so ever! Half an hour and we are out of the chaos of Agra to find ourselves cycling along a pleasant stretch of road… well so we thought. To describe pleasant on this cycle is to say that the roads are tarmacked and the end result of the day is that we can still sit down on a chair for dinner. We stop 20km in for a snack break to be welcomed by our support team. We build up a bit of speed having a chin wag to your fellow cyclist, every so often swopping partners like musical chairs. Suzanne dec

ided that she likes her chin wag partner so much that she falls into Toms arms … Unfortunately they are cycling at the time and both took a little tumble. Only a few scratches thankfully!

The days passes on and then there we are enjoying the lush yellow fields of mustard and taking in our first experience cycling in

India and then …..HONK!!  They (our fellow Indian road uses) seemingly creep up on you and then sound their horn at its loudest just as you’re least expecting it, Leaving you with a wobble! The adventure continues, we have been told by our guides  to‘keep on the left’..but on the left is a tractor racing along (and when I mean left, I mean its driving up the highway in the opposite direction!)And so you swerve to miss the tractor and then find yourself back to your pleasant leisurely cycle with now a couple India boys cycling along with their school racks looking at you like you have just stepped straight out off the planet Mars!

In India cycling is the lowest class of transport. Any Indian who had to cycle would do anything to have a car or even a moped… so when they see a line of westerners choosing to cycle they immediately think that we must be form a different planet. To top it off we are also all wearing these alien objects on our heads… The kids run out to wave and the buses of people that drive by all have mobile phones hanging out the window to take pictures of these weird foreign objects choosing to cycle for no apparent or sensible reason that they can work out at all.  Young boy Q. What you doing? Mick A. Cycling, Young boy Q. WHY??(very inquisitive look on his face followed by are ‘are you crazy’ look.. followed by a  ‘Il take your car anyday!!) Mick A. to get fit, Young Boy. Q. WHY(even more confused look!) and then Young Boy Q. Where you going? Mick A. That way. Young Boy Q. WHY(Now he is just completely lost and has no idea how to comprehend this and so the conversation comes to a standstill.) A conversation of many to come…so a good start to our cycle today from Agra to Jaipur. Five days to go.

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 1

The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge December 2012 Cyclists have touched down safe and sound here in India! After a quick turnaround we hit the bustling streets of Delhi, swarmed with the preparations of wedding season. As we jump aboard a cycle rickshaw we are soon swept into the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi following trailers full of what at first looks like old English Dictionaries – the pages are so think! – but we soon realise that they are actually truckloads of wedding invites on their way to the invitees!

Since the jet lag from the sleepless night on the flight was kicking in, most of the group put themselves to bed early, but only to be serenaded by the sound of a brass band! Those of us who had the front rooms peeped our heads over the balcony, in time to see the magnificent bridegroom parade by on a white horse. Looks like wedding season runs day and night in Delhi!

After a couple of hours sleep, we are awakened by a VERY early morning wake up call at 3,30, turns out we’ve been woken up an almost an hour early! So we lie in until 4.15 before we head out and walk through the deserted streets of Delhi to the central station to Agra, where we arrive to the announcement of ‘we are sorry the train to Agra is delayed by ……6…..hours!!’ and not even a bat of an eye lid from those around us…Thank God we had prebooked tickets on the fast train,  which arrived for us exactly on time!

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.mailing list.

Essex to India Rajasthan Bike Ride Part 1 – In the City of Djinns

Throughout Denise Van Outen and Lydia Rose Bright’s epic cycle challenge across Rajasthan – “Essex2India” – arranged in conjunction with Hello Magazine and Charity Challenge, our veteran tour leader, Trevor Gibbs, was on hand to make sure that everything went off without a hitch. Below is the first instalment of his reminisces of the fascinating, and eventful, journey that they undertook…

“My name is Trevor and over the past few years I have had the privilege of working on a number of Charity Challenge trips throughout the world. My latest adventure saw me riding across Rajasthan with Denise van Outen and Lydia Bright, as they attempted to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. The following is a brief glimpse into the incredible journey that they undertook…

The adventure began amongst the chaos of Delhi and, in particular, its old Muslim quarter. Built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century, the labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi still exude a little of the magic and mystery of a city that is all but lost now amongst the bustling thoroughfares of India’s thriving capital. Once surrounded by high walls and dominated by the imposing majesty of the Red Fort, this is home to the magnificent Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque and a spectacular piece of Mughal design capable of holding some 25,000 worshippers. This was where our journey began in earnest, as we headed out to explore the rambling back streets by rickshaw.

The city was beginning to take on a party atmosphere, with tomorrow heralding the start of the Holi festivities and, as we negotiated our way through the meandering streets, making our way past ruminating cows, spice stalls and tea houses, we could sense that celebration and mischief were in the air. The first water bomb came out of nowhere and hit Lydia. The second covered Denise in purple dye. Then suddenly, from all around us, water and dye hit us from every side. Our gentle amble through the back streets had turned into an ambush!

Now rickshaws are not renowned for their speed, or their manoeuvrability. Neither do they offer particularly good protection against a concerted assault from water bombs and buckets. As water and paint rained down on us we made a frantic, but ultimately futile dash for safety. By the time we finally escaped the alleyways of Old Delhi we were a bedraggled and bemused mess, with Denise and Lydia bearing the brunt of the afternoon’s onslaught. Conversely (and bizarrely) our team photographer, Gareth, had managed to run the entire gauntlet unscathed. Whilst the rest of us looked as if we had just swum through blancmange, he still sported a pristine T-shirt and a sparkling camera. The Lord Vishnu obvious had his favourite!“

To find out more about Trevor, and read more blogs of his adventure, please visit his website at www.agamaconsultants.co.uk. Also, if you loved these vibrant pictures of the team exploring India, you can visit  (the before mentioned Lord Vishnu favoured photographer behind these great images) at www.garethgatrell.com.

To learn more about all our Rajasthan tiger Challenge challenge and many more, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Charity Challenge of the Week: The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge

Denise Van Outen and Lydia Bright last Thursday completed their epic cycle challenge, cycling 430kms through Rajasthan, Land of the Kings. Despite the limb numbing nature of the challenge, the Essex Girls had only good things to say/tweet about their Indian Escapade!

“Just finished our 485km cycling challenge around India Bst experience of my life Ill never forget…a dream” – Lydia

“I would also like to thank @charitychall for making this trip possible. You never let me down! Best experience of my life” – Denise

We’re glad they liked it! And we’re really pleased to see that, inspired by Denise and Lydia’s fantastic effort, more and more people are taking an interest in the challenge and are keen to follow in their glamorous Essex footsteps. So if you think an Indian cycling adventure might be for you, keep reading!

The first day of our Rajasthan Tiger Challenge begins in the hustling bustling capital of Delhi, where you have a chance to soak up the atmosphere and explore it’s labyrinth of streets and markets, crowded with exotic produce and a bewildering mix of people. Journeying on to Agra, the cultural exploration of India continues with a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the most awe inspiring and extravagant monuments ever built. The serenity of the Taj Mahal is just the peaceful interlude needed before the real hard work begins!

Starting from Taj Mahal, the serene and classical Indian vision quickly becomes the wildest dream of a Mountain Biker, as the roads terrain turns from tarmac stretches, to country lanes to smaller more pothole ridden dirt tracks.

As days pass, the sheer variety of Rajasthan’s roads is matched only by the beautiful and imposing nature of its landscapes. Your eyes can’t help but stray from the road as you cycle through dramatic desert landscape, lively cities, tranquil country-side and old forts seemingly frozen in time.

On day 7 the roads and backdrop take a backseat to the spectacular array of Indian Wildlife that make their home in Ranthambore National Park. As your journey takes a meandering route through the park, keep your eyes peeled for sambas, cheetahs, wild boars, leopards, sloth bears, jackals, hyena and of course the eponymous and majestic Tigers, the namesake and symbol of this challenge!

On day 9, you’re forced dig real deep for the final 80km stretch from Bhanderej to Jaipur. For many these final few hours are turbulent, as emotionally and physically you’re spent, but glimpse of villages and locals waving to you in support spur you onwards on road to Jaipur. And what more jubilant place to celebrate the victorious end of the challenge than “the pink city”. Jaipur is  Rajasthan’s vibrant metropolitan capital, where colours, cultures and seemingly traffic combine as vegetable laden camel carts thread their way through the streets jam-packed with rickshaws, bicycles, tempos, motorcycles and traffic dodging pedestrians! If you’ve got the energy, there’s plenty to do in Jaipur, there’s lot of beautiful and historic sights to be seen or you can take a leaf out of Denise and Lydia book and hit the shops!

So if you’ve been inspired and want to take part in one of our Rajasthan Tiger Challenges, please click here to see all our available departure dates, and click on the date you’re interested in to see the itinerary, costs, kit lists, and much more!

This month, in honour of Lydia and Denise epic challenge, we’ve also got a £50 discount on our Fri 15 February 2013 challenge, check it out here!

You can also click here to see a Lydia and Denise Essex eye view of the challenge, and watch this amazing video that was filmed on location in Rajasthan last year.

To learn more about all our challenge, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

#ESSEX2INDIA – Essex girls Densie Van Outen and Lydia Bright to cycle across India

First the immense challenge of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, a 6 day trek to Machu Picchu in Peru and now a 485km cycle for charity across Rajasthan in India. Much loved TV presenter Denise Van Outen is unstoppable! This time she’s taking her friends Lydia Bright from The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) and Kirsty Williams from The Insanity Group of Companies.

The girls have chosen to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital which desperately needs money to provide vital up-to-date equipment and fund research into better treatments for children.

The challenge is being organised by Charity Challenge, and Denise, Lydia and Kirsty started preparations in early January 2012 as they began their pre-event training.  They were each provided with a fantastic hybrid (road/mixed terrain) bike from Specialized and a top of the range indoor exercise bike from Hire Fitness; a nationwide company that hires gym quality fitness equipment to use at home.  The Hire Fitness bikes proved an essential part of their training as the snow fell outside and temperatures plummeted!

As they embarked on their strict fitness regime, they realised they were becoming hooked on cycling when they started turning down opportunities like VIP seats at premiership football matches in favour of checking out the best cycle routes!

“I’m turning into a biking geek” Says Kirsty, “cycling to and from work and at weekends and using my Hire Fitness bike at home”.  A quick 24 mile cycle is now nothing to them but it’s not been without challenges along the way! For one, It’s really NOT easy fitting 3 adult bicycles into the back of a car!! But the girls just about managed to squeeze them into Denise’s Volvo XC60.

So challenge #Essex2india is nearly here.  With just a few weeks left before the big event the girls are training hard, through everything the weather has to throw at them!

“Going cycling today to train for my Essex2India bike ride – I must be crazy it’s freezing out there!” tweets Denise.

They’ve prepared well but what they can’t prepare themselves for is the extreme heat that they will be enduring as they cycle across India.  And what will they do after all this with so much free time on their hands you may well ask?  Perhaps another Charity Challenge?

Click here to for learn more about our Rajasthan Tiger Challenge – the challege Denise and Lydia are so bravely taking on! To keep up to date on all our challenge news, and hear the latest updates about the Essex girl’s challenge, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.