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This gorgeous tour wriggles its way through wonderful Wessex, from Stonehenge and Avebury, through the rolling hills of Jane Austen country, to the serpentine meanders of the River Thames.
Expect shady woodlands, wild swims and riverside pubs – plus gladiators galore at the Roman amphitheatre in Silchester.
But the idyllic country lanes are highly deceptive – you’ll also bust a gut on one of the toughest hill climbs in the whole of the UK!
Wednesday 1 September // At 7pm, we’ll all come together for dinner and a chat about the days ahead. Then we’ll rest our excited nervous heads! We suggest arriving a bit earlier than 7pm so that you have time to get your bearings, stow your gear in the van and prepare for the madness.
Thursday 2 September // Day one is a massive loop at the top of the ‘E’, along pretty country lanes through the North Wessex Downs. Look out for the Combe Gibbet climb! And, of course, a pile of old stones that druids get VERY excited about...
Friday 3 September // We’ll polish off the ‘E’ in the morning and get straight on with the ‘S’, starting at the tail. Keep an eye out for Jane Austen’s old house and massively overindulge in bike/book puns. Ride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensible Footwear. Mech-Hanger Abbey. 🤦
Saturday 4 September // Don’t be conned by the gentle curves and idyllic countryside – today you’ll experience one of the toughest climbs in the whole of the UK. The good news is that you’ll be going down Streatley Hill, host of the 2020 Hill Climb Championships. The bad news is that you’ll be going up the other side. The ride ends with a big communal dinner – and perhaps a well-earned river dip!
Sunday 5 September // Wake up, a mixture of tired and elated, have one last breakfast together and say our goodbyes! Depending on exactly where we camp on the last night, there may be a few kms to ride to Reading Station – but we’ll let you know the deal before the ride begins.
* 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
- 321km 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 daily 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!
- Most days we’ll 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll do her best to help!