Seems that big, organised stage and relay rides are a popular new trend: hot on the heels of the oversubscribed Deloitte Ride Across Britain comes the Great British Bike Realy which is raising funds for SportsAid. The ride wends its way from Glasgow to London (via Manchester) in four one-day. 125-mile stages and it's open to teams of between four and eight.
It's not a relay race in the true sense of the word, as your team needs to have two riders on the road at any one time and you have to commit to a whole day's riding, there's no chopping and changing between team members during the day – from our reading of the rules, anyway. So long as you raise a minimum of £1,500 per team member for the charity the ride is free, with at least £1,250 of that cash going to SportsAid and the rest covering the costs of the event.
Unlike tke Deloitte Ride Across Britain (DRAB, anyone?), which has a tent village going in front of the riders to put everyone up, the riders in the Great British Bike Relay will be staying in local accommodation. There'll also be a support van on the route, and breakfast and dinner will be provided on each day with the riders having to find their own lunch. Given that the route is mostly A and B roads, there shouldn't be any lack of places to stop for fuel...
If you're interested, head over to www.greatbritishbikerelay.com - you can register your interest online, entries close on 1 March but if the DRAB is anything to go by they'll fill up quickly as there seems to be quite an appetitie for this type of challenge at the moment!
The nominated charity, SportsAid, is the charity for sportspeople. It helps talented young athletes, both able-bodied and disabled, to realise their sporting ambitions. It takes grit, determination, commitment and sheer drive to achieve what these young people have, not to mention at least £5,000 per year to cover the costs of competing and training at a high level as well as having the means to travel around 650 miles per month and train at least 17 hours per week. The money raised by The Great British Bike Challenge will help dedicated young sportsmen and women at a time when they don’t have access to other support such as Lottery funding – it's something SportsAid has been doing for over 33 years.
For more information about SportsAid, visit their website www.sportsaid.org.uk
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.