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Fully supported 1,000 mile solo and team challenge from John O'Groats to Land's End, 12-20 June 2010...

Looking for a challenge next year? Business Advisors Deloitte have announced today that they'll be backing a major new event for 2010, the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. Essentially this is Land's End to John O'Groats in reverse but with some fairly hefty organisation behind the scenes. There's a tent village following the ride to support and house the riders after each 110 mile day, along with pit stops along the way, electronic timing, medical support, outriders, mechanics, a big party at the finish... you name it, it's covered.

You can enter as either a solo rider or a relay team of up to four; you're allowed to bring your own support vehicle and there's a different route for the cars allowing them to meet the riders at designated pit stops along the way without getting in the way of the ride. The even is backed by Olympic rower James Cracknell and he'll be riding the event in 2010. It's his brainchild: "I was looking at doing the Race Across America, 3,000 miles from one side to the other," says the double Olympic gold medallist. "And then I thought, hang on, I haven't even cycled from one end of this country to the other yet.", he says.

Cyclists join James Cracknell for the launch of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (pic © OnEdition)

Cracknell is hoping the event will open up the end-to-end challenge to a wider audience: “We wanted to create a cycling event that would give everybody the opportunity to challenge themselves to get outdoors and achieve something new and exciting in a supportive environment. The Deloitte Ride Across Britain shows off Britain’s truly breathtaking scenery and we’ve taken care of all the logistics, so the riders can concentrate on enjoying a great experience.” The route sticks to minor roads, winding through the Lake District and Wales before finding its way to Land's End: you can expect some fairly hard riding along the way, and ridden solo it'll certainly be a tough challenge.

We spoke to ride organisers Threshold, and they gave us a few more details about the event. For a start, it's not going to be a one-off: "We'll roll out with smaller numbers and we'll grow it over the years. We're hoping to start with 500-600 riders and grow it to 2012 riders in 2012 to tie in with the Olympics: we'll be raising money for the Paralympics, our charity partner"

Even with 500 riders the Deloitte Ride Across Britain is going to need some serious logistics, but the ride has been at least a year in the planning, and with a staff of at least 50 people supporting the riders en route they're confident that everyone will get great support. And with the relay option meaning you don't need to be able to cover 110 miles, it opens up the ride to a much bigger audience. "It's a real opportunity for people to get involved", say Threshold, and certainly the event seems to be aimed at businesses looking for a corporate challenge as much as individual cyclists.

And as to doing it in reverse? "We're hoping in June that Land's end is going to be warmer and sunnier than John O'Groats! also it's going to be a little bit easier for us to get everyone home come the end of the ride". Let's hope that sun shows up to make amends for all the headwinds!

If you want to enter as a solo rider it'll cost you £1,095, and you'll get £100 off that if you're one of the first 50 to register. Team entries cost between £895 and £995 per rider, depending on how many of you there are. for more information visit 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.

10 comments

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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a grand to ride the end to end seems a bit steep to me seeing as you can do it with your own 'support', i.e. a tent and two panniers, for a whole lot cheaper. And in June, with like you say headwinds!.

(i went to Twatt in Orkney from Bristol during June some years ago, wettest bike tour ive ever ridden...and i aint never going back to Carlisle, apologies if you live there).

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dave atkinson [6144 posts] 6 years ago
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agreed a grand ain't cheap but what they're offering in terms of support and logistics is a lot more than you'd likely want to organise yourself. I don't think it's really aimed at the tent and two panniers brigade, anyone can take on the challenge by themselves but for many it's out of reach, especially if you can't take too much time off or you don't think you're capable of the distances.

I see this as complementary to standard E2E challenges, it won't replace them but it will allow people that hadn't considered it before a way in, and there's a safety net there if you struggle. At the end of the day, 500 people riding bikes is a good thing, no?

As for doing it the wrong way round, i can't help thinking it's a bit of a mistake. Logistic complexities or no, there's a reason it's LEJOG and not JOGLE, and the kind of riders the event will attract are the kind that'll suffer most into a headwind...

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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yeah i see what you mean about the support etc, 500 people on bikes, yep a good thing also...but like you say the kind of riders it may attract certainly wont enjoy the headwind, unless one of the support vehicles is a large truck they can all shelter behind.  1

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leguape [43 posts] 6 years ago
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A grand to be supported end-to-end seems like pretty decent money compared to some of the continental sportive trips in terms of what you get for your money.

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Blackhound [433 posts] 6 years ago
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Anbody wtched Mr Cracknell in 'On Thin Ice' Still want to do it  1

I thought it would be a lot more than £1,100 but as with most things you can do it cheaper your self.

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dave atkinson [6144 posts] 6 years ago
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funnily enough i was just watching the end of that. if i do it i'll keep out of the big man's way, i reckon... not that i'll be able to keep up anyway  1

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 6 years ago
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wish I had £1k to blow on this, would be good fun if a bunch of us did it.

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fred [1 post] 6 years ago
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I've been looking to do this anyway so having it organised is very tempting. Just re the headwind comments...my O level geography taught warm, wet, westerly winds in winter and cold, dry, easterlys in Summer. Surely June counts as Summer, so there should be a tailwind...? Any thoughts/experience?

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purplecup [217 posts] 6 years ago
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UK weather is overwhelmingly dictated by the jetstream and winds are predominantly south westerly. yes you're more likely to get easterlies in june than january but i reckon it's still westerly 70% of the time... that's a guess by the way, not some met office stat. though given their performance this summer i'm just as likely to be right as they are  4 4

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SimpleSimon [112 posts] 6 years ago
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May I commend to those of you wanting to do LeJoG a charity event called The Race Against Time. This is a fully supported end-to-end over jsut 6 days. It is a real challenge (although when I did it we took 5 days!) and costs less, and you get to raise money for charity.

Please have a look at www.TheRaceAgainstTime.com