The South Downs 'E' is basically a massive loop of the entirely gorgeous South Downs. Expect rolling hills, shady woods and trickling streams.
We finish the loop at Winchester Cathedral and then swoop down along the River Itchen to Weston beach, the ruins of Netley Abbey, and onto the super cute pink Hamble ferry.
Front-loaded with hills and finishing with a well-earned sea swim, this ride has all the ingredients of a classic summer microadventure.
GREAT! HOW MUCH WILL IT BE?!
This 1-night tour costs £95
We've done our best to keep costs down, but touring in the UK doesn't come cheap! A lot of tours like ours are double the price, but we choose to keep the price lower than most so that we have a fun mixture of people from different backgrounds and lifestyles.
We do have a limited number of low/no income spaces. These are usually given to people that spend lots of time volunteering and people out of work, particularly if you are a migrant and don’t have the right to work. If this is you, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: This money covers the costs of the trip. Fundraising is separate and goes directly to Choose Love. Scroll down to find out more about that...
Thursday 9 September PM // We’ll rendezvous at Eastleigh Station and do all the usual hellos. You’ll get a chance to chuck all your spare kit into Calypso, our support van, and we’ll chat you through how the next 24 hours will go.
Over the next few hours… // We’ll ride together in tight-knit groups, steadily climbing our way into the gorgeous South Downs. We stop for the night at a campsite and, while you put up your tent and stretch out your calf muscles, we’ll cook up a banging dinner!
Friday 10 September AM // We’ll get up early-ish, strike camp and have a hearty porridge breakfast to set us up for a big day of riding. We’ll change the cycling groups around for today so you get a new bunch of pals to ride with.
Over the next few hours… // We finish off the South Downs loop, with nibbly hills and beautiful views all morning. Then it’s all down hill (don’t quote us on that!) to historic Winchester and we follow the Itchen to Weston Point – where a beach awaits!
From here, we’re on the coast so it’s pretty flat, but there’s still plenty to get us excited. Maybe a pitstop in the atmospheric ruins of the thirteenth century Netley Abbey or an ice cream in Royal Victoria Country Park.
If we can all squeeze onto the legendary Hamble Ferry, we will – otherwise, we’ll cycle around and cruise into Portsmouth and Havant for the finish line.
Sometime in the PM… // At the station, we’ll do goodbyes and high fives, before hopping on the train with steeled thighs, new friends and marvellous memories.
* NB: All the above details are loosely collated from our route planning, the internet and our imagination. What we do know for sure is that this is a real adventure and that plans and itineraries mock you in retrospect.
By joining Spell It Out, you’re committing to fundraising for Choose Love.
There's no minimum fundraising target, but last year average Thighs fundraising was £518 per person. Collectively, we're aiming to raise £100,00.
Every single penny will go to two kinds of organisation, both of which work hard to offer refugees the welcome that our government withholds:
We're confident you won't find it too tough to fundraise, but to give you a head start here's a load of ideas and tips from Thighs cyclists who've fundraised gazillions in the past. We're always around to help you come up with new ideas as well - drop us a line if you’re worried.
Read more about your incredible impact as a Thighs cyclists on The Reason page
- 143km of downhills
- A luxury holiday. We'll be forming a pretty tight-knit cycling/camping community in a super short space of time - and you're a big part of that, so please come ready to help yourself and your fellow humans!
- Your own tent and sleeping kit - sorry! Due to Covid, you will have to bring your own tent and sleeping bag, mat and whatever else you need to get a decent night's kip
- A shower. It might happen, but there's no guarantee. More often than not we simply head for the nearest body of water, or tip a water bottle over our heads!
- We’ll probably have a quick break at a café, bakery or a shop so that you can stock up on caffeine and carbs. Sometimes, depending on the group vibe, we might get lured into a fantastic-smelling restaurant en route. For all of these, you'll pay your own bills
- Your journeys to the starting point and then homeward after the trip
- A donation to Choose Love. This price only covers your costs on the ride. You'll fundraise separately to raise as much money as we can to give refugees vital support in the UK and beyond
- Insurance for you or your bike
ONE TOUR NOT ENOUGH?
After one tour, most people are seeing showers as mirages on the horizon and are shuddering at the sight of a bicycle, but not you. You’re craving adventure and you will not be stopped after one measly tour!
That's GREAT. The only thing we'd say is that we can't afford to offer a discount if you do multiple rides with us - you'll have to pay the entry fee for each one. We'd also gently suggest that the more tours you do, the more ambitious you should be with your fundraising. Awesome!
WHAT WILL I NEED TO BRING?!
What on earth do you bring on this trip!? Don't panic - we have a full kit list for you here.
We're fans of doing things as cheaply and greenly as possible, so there's not much on our 'essentials' list and we really recommend asking buddies and pals to borrow bits and bobs to save on buying new!
CAN I COME ALONE / WITH FRIENDS?
Yes and yes!
Most people on our tours come on their own and we LOVE them. We know it can be a bit scary coming alone, but the vibe is totally collaborative and you might be surprised how quickly you get sucked into the tight-knit biking community that we'll build together.
We also get a lot of people who come with a friend or family member and that's totally cool. It's great to know you've got a buddy by your side and friends on previous tours have had phenomenal success by teaming up to fundraise as well.
The one thing we would say about coming with friends is that (on the multi-day tours) you might not be riding with them every day. We won't split you up on Day 1 (unless you want to be!), but we do try our best to make sure that everyone rides with everyone else and that might mean you and your pal are in different groups for some of the time.
Cycling is a great way to make awesome new friends so embrace the stranger danger!
WHAT ABOUT COVID?
According to the data, outdoor activities are relatively safe compared to, say, choir practice in a broom cupboard. But we will still be taking precautions against Covid, in line with NHS advice. Extra cleaning of shared equipment, for example. Normally we would also provide things like tents - but this year we are asking you to bring your own.
We don't expect any drastic changes to the World Record Relay plan - the government would have to roll back the rules to an almost full lockdown before cycling and camping are forbidden - but we have made our own risk assessment and have contingencies in place for several depressing scenarios. Fingers crossed we don't have to use any of them!
BOTTOM LINE: If the World Record Relay has to be cancelled, you will be offered a full refund.
This is not your usual bike tour - it's part of an official Guinness World Record attempt. This comes with a variety of fun admin that we have to do to prove that we're actually doing what we say we're doing.
We would LOVE for you to get involved. This could mean:
We genuinely think that this admin will add a fun 'treasure hunt' element to the ride, but we would also ask for your patience because it might also mean chasing around a random village looking for a lawyer to witness our logbook or stopping in the rain to take photos at a war memorial.
On the plus side... WORLD FREAKIN' RECORD!!!
Email Adventure Inventor Georgie on email@example.com and she'll do her best to help!