The Deloitte Ride Across Brtiain has come a long way in just a couple of years, firmly establishing itself as one of the UK's highest profile multi-day events. And if you're thinking of signing up for the third edition in 2012, you'd better get your application in quicksmart, as places are moving fast.
If you're not familiar with the RAB, it's a nine-day, 960-mile end to end challenge. With 700 places it's a major logistical undertaking, and the ride goes a lot further than most in the organisational stakes. There's fully signposted routes and chip timing, of course, along with pit stops along the way. What started as a JOGLE in 2010 is now a LEJOG, with the 2012 crew riding out from Land's End on Saturday 8 September and winding up at John O'Groats nine days later on Sunday 16th September.
Because it's a multi-day undertaking you get your baggage transferred from one location to another, and every night the RAB crew set up a complete tented village for all the participants. There's at least one night in university accommodation too, just in case it's raining all week and you're pining for a warm bed. You get a hot meal and the chance of a hot shower at every stop, as well as full technical and medical backup. Despite the rigours of nine days at an average of over 100 miles a day, the RAB has a 94% finish rate which is testament to the amount of support available over the week.
On top of all that there's RAB's chaperone system, which allows you to ride in a group led by experienced riders who can help you out along the way as well as helping with pacing and, or course, taking a long stint on the front. We'd hope. Even before the ride there's lots of stuff going on; you'll get a personalised training plan the chance to join up with other riders on training rides across the country.
The event's benefitting charity is the British Paralympic Association; title sponsor Deloitte have committed to rasing £1m for the BPA by 2013, and they're well on the way to that target, with the big thermometer already at £800,000 even before next year's ride. If you want to raise money for the BPA – or any other charity – the ride organisers can help you out with setting up a fundraising page.
And the cost of all this? Well, entry ain't cheap: it's £1,740 per person for a berth in 2012. That's everything for a fully supported nine-day experience though, the RAB chaps say on their website that "once you roll out of Land’s End, you really should not need to put your hand in your pocket for anything until you arrive, nine days later, in John O’Groats" which will come as a welcome relief for those of you flush enough to be able to front the entry fee. You'll need to be able to find a £240 deposit now, and pay the balance in two payments in December and March.
For more info or to register for a place, head to www.rideacrossbritain.com
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.