Rapha launches 220-mile (in a day) Manchester to London Challenge charity ride

Event in September will raise money for Ambitious about Autism; route includes Peak District and Chilterns

by Simon_MacMichael   June 13, 2014  

Manchester to London Challenge logo on white

London-based clothing firm Rapha has teamed up with the charity Ambitious about Autism to launch the Manchester to London Challenge – a 220-mile ride that starts at the Manchester Velodrome, and finishes at Lee Valley VeloPark at Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The ride takes place on Sunday 7 September and the route has been devised to follow quiet roads in the Peak District, the Midlands and the Chilterns – plenty of hills, then – with four feed stations along the way and mechanical support, although riders are advised to make sure they are self-sufficient.

Rapha, whose CEO Simon Mottram has a son who has autism, previously partnered with the charity last year for its Bordeaux-Paris Challenge.

The entry fee is £150 with participants asked to raise a minimum of £750 in sponsorship, and the event is limited to 300 places.

Training rides will be held, starting from Rapha’s existing Cycle Club in London and the branch in Manchester that is due to open this summer, and the latter venue will also host a pre-ride party. Rapha is also producing limited edition North and South caps.

According to Rapha, “The distance and terrain will provide a real challenge travelling through some of Britain’s most beautiful and lesser-known landscapes.

“Each rider on entry is allocated a team, either North or South (unless you’re from Birmingham, in which case you must choose a team).

“The quickest average time will then be declared the winning region, and will host the finish of the following year’s event.”

You can find out more information about the London to Manchester Challenge, including how to enter, here.

23 user comments

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Interesting date choice, same as the Deloitte Ride around Britain event, I would imagine the same demographic would be interested in both?

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [382 posts]
13th June 2014 - 10:25

13 Likes

Hmmmm, good on Rapha for partnering up with a charity, but can they explain why the entry fee is £150....

It looks like a normal charity sportive to me, so is it just Rapha ripping the arse out of it again or is there a specific reason for that price.

The £150 entry fee includes:

220 miles of hard British riding (free)

Full support from fundraising tips and ideas to roadside mechanics on the day (normal on a charity sportive)

Fully signed and mapped route (normal)

Four feed stations (normal)

Training rides in the north and south based out of our Cycle Clubs (they run club rides anyway)

Limited edition North and South Caps (normal for a charity ride to get some branding)

SO...is this where the cost comes in?

Pre-ride party at the Cycle Club in Manchester*
Access to the Lee Valley VeloPark on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th June 2014 - 10:41

29 Likes

£45000 (if they fill all 300 spaces) and it is not for profit!!! I'm not sure even the most ardent fan of Rapha can defend that. From what they say you get for your £150 I have underestimated how much money all the sportive organisers around the country must have lost over the years with their £20 entry fees. I'm sure the charity will raies lots of money through this (£225000 if all 300 places are filled) but it could be even more if Rapha didn't price the average rider out of the game.

palefish360's picture

posted by palefish360 [36 posts]
13th June 2014 - 12:42

16 Likes

FAQ's
Q3.
Does the registration fee go towards the sponsorship target?

No. The registration fee covers the event organisation. Any remaining money will be donated to Ambitious about Autism. This a non-profit event.

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [382 posts]
13th June 2014 - 12:48

14 Likes

Ah, a negative Rapha post from Gkam, who'd have thought it...
Have a read of this:
http://pages.rapha.cc/stories/manchester-to-london-challenge-2014-faq

Point to point rides are logistically far more challenging than a circular route. Cars to shuttle bags along, broom wagon to pick people up if needed. It's 220 miles, probably right on the limit of what a lot of people are capable of. Then factor in the risk assessments of the route beforehand, driving it, signing it, collecting the signs, staffing the event...
And you're going to have low numbers so it's not like there's 3000 riders on it to balance the books. My guess is 100-150 riders at most.
And I happen to know the cost of renting the space at Manchester Velodrome for the start of the ride (bearing in mind it'll be 5am on a weekend, Manchester Velodrome needs to open and be staffed so they're charging Rapha a not-inconsiderable sum of money for that privilege).

If you want to compare it, the Deloitte Ride Across Britain is £1800 for 9 days so £200 a day to ride 100-ish miles per day.

Can I ask Gkam - genuine question, not trolling. Why do you hate Rapha so much?

posted by crazy-legs [568 posts]
13th June 2014 - 13:45

22 Likes

Gkam crying about Rapha again...... Boring.

The ride however looks good, I might have me a bit of that.

posted by ajmarshal1 [376 posts]
13th June 2014 - 15:58

22 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Can I ask Gkam - genuine question, not trolling. Why do you hate Rapha so much?

His ex ran off with a bloke in a Classic Softshell Jacket.

posted by iamelectron [124 posts]
13th June 2014 - 16:42

21 Likes

Why are the heading out of the Snake Pass?
Seems an odd/ needlessly grim way of getting going.
Staffordshire and south Derbyshire has plenty of (quieter) climbs if thats what they wanted.
Looks pretty epic and im sure there will be plenty of moody black and white photos of people looking off into the distance and frowning.

posted by Some Fella [824 posts]
13th June 2014 - 16:56

17 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Ah, a negative Rapha post from Gkam, who'd have thought it...
Have a read of this:
http://pages.rapha.cc/stories/manchester-to-london-challenge-2014-faq

Point to point rides are logistically far more challenging than a circular route. Cars to shuttle bags along, broom wagon to pick people up if needed. It's 220 miles, probably right on the limit of what a lot of people are capable of. Then factor in the risk assessments of the route beforehand, driving it, signing it, collecting the signs, staffing the event...

To give some more context, in August i am doing a MTB point to point race in Switzerland.

http://www.grand-raid-cristalp.ch/page-en-25-Price.html

note even the cheapest price is c£100 and that is only 80miles, but the field is far larger. Yes Switzerland isn't a cheap country but to make these things work is never going to be cheap.

As for the £150 Rapha are asking, the disincentive for me is the actual amount you need to raise for charity.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1365 posts]
13th June 2014 - 18:00

8 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Ah, a negative Rapha post from Gkam, who'd have thought it...
Have a read of this:
http://pages.rapha.cc/stories/manchester-to-london-challenge-2014-faq

Can I ask Gkam - genuine question, not trolling. Why do you hate Rapha so much?

Not a negative, just asking why it is £150, that link doesn't help though. I have posted what their £150 includes and broken it down.

I don't "HATE" Rapha, just not a fan. Many reasons, their pricing structure, their "elitism". Their branding and advertising....I could go on for a while. They make decent stuff, I am just not a fan

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th June 2014 - 18:52

15 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
Why are the heading out of the Snake Pass?
Seems an odd/ needlessly grim way of getting going.

They're not going that way anymore. That was the originally planned route but now its heading out through Derbyshire. SE from Manc rather than E over Snake.

Quote:
, the disincentive for me is the actual amount you need to raise for charity.

They're a lot more flexible on that front now as well, describing it as a target rather than a "must raise"

posted by crazy-legs [568 posts]
13th June 2014 - 20:10

5 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Some Fella wrote:
the disincentive for me is the actual amount you need to raise for charity.

They're a lot more flexible on that front now as well, describing it as a target rather than a "must raise"

If that is the case, I refer back to my first post, just ripping the arse out of it. If you are going to set a £750 target per rider, you stick to that, not say....oh well, we are a bit flexible, just give us your £150 and we'll make sure you'll do ok.....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th June 2014 - 20:59

6 Likes

Seems like they learnt a lot from their Audax ride the other year Wink

Hey, whatever. I don't have any kit, I don't really care about Rapha, they're simply not part of my cycling universe. But they do fit neatly into that gap for cyclists who are not 'old school' and are somewhere between being a beginner and being a 'real' cyclist. And for many people who want a challenge and ride with others then Rapha's events and clubs are surely a good thing. They put a lot of effort into women's cycling too, which is great. It seems a little pricey to me, but I am sire there are plenty who will think the support or kudos is worth it.

Personally I might steal the route and do it by myself sometime, for free and without the sponsorship. But I feel the same way about this as I do about my friends who decide to 'ride for charity'. I tell them it's a great idea and give them all the advice and encouragement they need and then slowly try to talk them into doing an Audax as well!

I think it's easy to forget that, selfishly speaking, the more riders on the road the better. More power to *anyone* who gets on a bike for whatever reason. Except perhaps arsey London amateur road racers who don't say hello as you pass Applause but then that's just my pet hate at the moment...

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [305 posts]
13th June 2014 - 21:17

6 Likes

Well its a lot to raise and the thought behind it is would you rather have 15 people doing it and each raising £750 or 150 people doing it and each raising £300...

I know there's no way I'd ever get close to raising £750...

They've gone to a lot of effort to put it on, makes sense to get as many people as possible riding it and doing the best they can with sponsorship rather than just a few people who can definitely commit to £750.

posted by crazy-legs [568 posts]
13th June 2014 - 21:23

5 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Some Fella wrote:
Why are the heading out of the Snake Pass?
Seems an odd/ needlessly grim way of getting going.

They're not going that way anymore. That was the originally planned route but now its heading out through Derbyshire. SE from Manc rather than E over Snake.

They must have heard my concerns and altered the route accordingly.
Now if only other organisations heeded my advice the world would be a much better place

(the website even spells it wrong - "Snakes Pass" - typical soft southern Londoncentric Rapha hipster twits)

posted by Some Fella [824 posts]
13th June 2014 - 21:55

7 Likes

crazy-legs wrote:
Well its a lot to raise and the thought behind it is would you rather have 15 people doing it and each raising £750 or 150 people doing it and each raising £300...

I know there's no way I'd ever get close to raising £750...

They've gone to a lot of effort to put it on, makes sense to get as many people as possible riding it and doing the best they can with sponsorship rather than just a few people who can definitely commit to £750.

That is backwards thinking though.

Yes, I'd rather see 150 people doing it at £300.....but I'd much rather see their limit of 300 people doing it for £300.....so why say, you have to commit to raise £750, then adjust it for some who can't.....make ONE rule for all, set it at a very achievable number and people will always go out of their way to raise more....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
13th June 2014 - 22:07

5 Likes

'' I don't really care about Rapha, they're simply not part of my cycling universe. But they do fit neatly into that gap for cyclists who are not 'old school' and are somewhere between being a beginner and being a 'real' cyclist. And for many people who want a challenge and ride''

What is a 'real' cyclist?

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [173 posts]
14th June 2014 - 7:11

10 Likes

Never mind the enrty fee. My primary concern would be the condition of my taint after 250 mile in the saddle.

BradleyNiggins's picture

posted by BradleyNiggins [7 posts]
14th June 2014 - 11:57

5 Likes

The North shall win as it is all downhill to London of course.

As for Gkam ragging on Rapha again, you doth protest too much. For someone who is 'simply not a fan' the inevitability of your negative comments on Rapha is, well inevitable. If you don't care don't comment, but don't complain when people call you out on being a Sky/Rapha troll. We can all imagine a nice pie chart showing the break down of your posts: 37% negative comments about Pro teams/manufactures *and defensive responses. We've heard it all before, its just boring now.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1434 posts]
14th June 2014 - 13:30

8 Likes

Unbelievable, an article about a sportive raising money for a great cause and people are arguing about rapha!

posted by stevebull-01 [62 posts]
16th June 2014 - 11:03

4 Likes

Can someone please draft up some sort of diagram/flow chart/graphic that clarifies what I can and cannot wear, and what said choice says about me as a person. It's very confusing*.

*sarcasm. But it would make for comedy if done well.

posted by Hoester [65 posts]
16th June 2014 - 12:15

0 Likes

What started off as a genuine and honest debate about the Sportive itself has turned into a predictable Rapha lover/haters, north/south divide and grammar nazi witchhunt non-discussion.

In other words, tiresome.

I love Rapha and I'm from the north east. There.

And "Everything before the 'but' is bullshit"

Shamblesuk's picture

posted by Shamblesuk [122 posts]
16th June 2014 - 12:54

2 Likes

stevebull-01 wrote:
Unbelievable, an article about a sportive raising money for a great cause and people are arguing about rapha!

Ah, but this is one of the issues - is it really raising as much money for charity as one might think?

As quoted above, the registration fee covers the event organisation. I don't wish to unfairly accuse the organisers of making a fast buck but it's easy to get lots done by paying, hiring contractors and vehicles instead of trying to get as much money as possible to the target charity - we've seen it happen before.

If you're doing it for a charity you could set up a justgiving page and nominate a big audax event or perhaps do LEJOG, as this 9 year old has just done with her dad:
https://www.facebook.com/LEJOGtandem
http://travailsonatandemwithboo.wordpress.com/
Cool

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2059 posts]
16th June 2014 - 13:12

1 Like