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Fri 16 Sep - Sun 18 Sep 2016

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Clothing and Equipment

Money

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Responsible Tourism

Challenge Timings

Getting there

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Toilets

Safety

Emergencies

Training

Level of Difficulty

The Coast to Coast Challenge is graded as challenging. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, but perhaps haven’t taken on a multi-day cycling challenge before and are hoping to push themselves out of their comfort zone. You can tell your supporters that on your Coast to Coast Challenge you will be:

  • Cycling for around 8 hours each day.
  • Covering 140 miles of undulating terrain, crossing the entire width of the UK.
  • Cycling through some of the most stunning scenery that the British isles has to offer.

Clothing and Equipment

You will need to bring your own bike. We would recommend a road or hybrid bike.

You will need to bring your own helmet, which is compulsory for you to be able to ride. Gloves are also an essential piece of kit that will relieve strain and abrasions in the event of a fall. You should also bring your own padded cycle shorts, and if you are not wearing SPDs then stiff soled sports shoes are recommended in order to give you just that little extra power! You can see the full kit list here, and when you have booked you will have access to kit discounts through our partners at the Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Money

During this trip you will not need a large amount of money. We suggest you bring a cash card for ATMs, as you are unlikely to have access to a bank during its opening hours. You will only need money for tips and any additional food and drink. Approximately £50 should be sufficient.

Insurance

We don’t offer insurance for our UK trips, as any medical emergencies would naturally be covered through the NHS. Therefore the main thing that you will not be covered for is any cancellation. You can read our cancellation policy through our Terms and Conditions here. If you wish, you could look into your own policy that covers cancellation for travel within the UK.

Group Size

The group is intended to be between 20 and 40 people. It can run from 10-20 people with a small group supplement of £30 per person.

Leadership

There will be a first aid qualified challenge leader, plus a fully qualified cycling guide for every 10 participants. There wil also be a qualified cycle mechanic to help with any bike problems. The leader & the guides will ultimately be responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group, so please listen to their instructions.

Climate

As you know, the weather in the UK can be highly unpredictable and at times, so being prepared is the key! We run UK challenges between April and October, and although the summer months of June-August should be, in general, warmer, sunnier and more stable in terms of the weather conditions, we all know that this isn’t always the case. Please check the weather forecasts up to ensure that you bring clothing suitable for all weathers, from warm and sunny temperatures to wind and sudden downpours.

Terrain

This cycle challenge will put you up against a whole host of different terrain across the UK. From great lengths of flat ground, to hours spent on hilly land, be prepared for all types of environments. There will also be terrain on this challenge that is potholed, with loose gravel and occasional stints off the road. For this is reason it is important to train properly, on a variety of different terrains if possible.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

Challenge Timings

Your group will convene the evening prior to the challenge in time for dinner and briefing. The challenge commences the next morning with a very early start and 105km being covered over the day, with a break for lunch. The group will stop that evening in Alston for your evening's meal and a well-deserved sleep. You will have another early morning start on the final day, in order to complete approximately 120km before you finally reach your destination in Whitley Bay, Newcastle.

Getting there

You should arrive in Whitehaven by 5pm. We will confirm the exact location of your starting point at no later than 1 month prior to the start of the challenge. If you are taking public transport, you can arrive at either Whitehaven or Parton railway stations, though they may well be more options from Whitehaven. Whitehaven railway station is approximately 3 miles away from our preferred hotel, and Parton railway station is around 1 mile away. We can organize a transfer van to meet participants at the railway station, as long as you provide us with your train details no later than 8 weeks before the departure.

Accommodation

All accommodation will be in good quality hotels or B&Bs of 2-3 star rating. Rooms will be used on a twin share basis & all rooms will have their own bathroom. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please indicate this where appropriate during the registration process or email bookings@charitychallenge.com well in advance of the challenge.

Food & Drink

The hotels in which you will be staying include a continental breakfast buffet. At lunch times you will stop and have a light yet energy filled picnic. Dinner will be either at the hotel or at a local restaurant. Water will be provided throughout. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Toilets

There will be bathroom facilities both at the start and end of each day of the challenge; however during the challenge such facilities will be limited to passing service stations and public restrooms.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • Although quiet, the roads are frequented by car users and when cycling around country bends it is difficult to see oncoming traffic. It is important to pay attention to everything around you and stick with your fellow cyclists as much as possible.
  • The weather during the challenge may be unpredictable and as such you should pack for all weathers. In extreme circumstances your challenge leader may ask you to return to the vehicle and curtail the day's ride. 
  • The UK does have a Highway Code for cyclists and we expect you to adhere to this guidance. This includes regulations such as not cycling on pavements and fitting your bike with a rear reflector. You can read the cycle rules here.
  • 8 hours of cycling is a long day for many cyclists. Even if you don't feel like it, you should drink plenty of water throughout and refuel properly at all the water and lunch stops.

Emergencies

The back up support vehicle will never be far away from participants and can be used in the event of an emergency. Contact will be maintained between challenge leader, guides and support team throughout the challenge. Mobile phones have good general cover and all guides carry one. You will always be given an emergency card with your leader’s number on it and those of the guides.

Training

This challenge is suitable for all levels as it is guided. If you have never cycled before, this ride is still achievable with the correct ride preparation. We advise that you start at least 5 months ahead of the ride with some short distances at weekends and whenever you can during the week. 5-10miles is not a great distance and will help your bottom and legs get used to it all. By 3 months prior to departure, you should be able to take on some long rides, up to 30-40miles in a day. If you live in a flat area it is well worth getting out and finding some hills, and whilst this may hurt, the more of these you do the easier you will find the ride and the rest of your training. Within a month of the ride we recommend that you have done at least one 2-day ride. This will be the best indication of how well you are doing and mentally prepare you for your challenge. If you cannot maintain a steady average speed of 8 miles per hour you are unlikely to be able to complete each day of cycling. You may therefore be asked to get in the van and not be able to complete the challenge. If possible, try to train with a group as it will make it much easier to get motivated.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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