Wessex 'S' is the Tour de Home Counties, swooshing its serpentine way through the rolling hills of Berkshire and Hampshire.
Expect shady woodlands, wild swims and riverside pubs - plus gladiators galore at the Roman amphitheatre in Silchester.
Keep an eye out for Jane Austen's house in Chawton and massively overindulge in bike/book puns. Ride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensible Footwear. Mech-Hanger Abbey. 🤦
NOT SURE? COMPARE LETTERS
The government are making it near impossible for people to claim asylum in the UK, so we want to do two things:
By joining Spell It Out, you’re committing to fundraising for these awesome grassroots refugee organisations. There's no minimum fundraising target, but last year average Thighs fundraising was £518 per person.
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
One letter is NOT ENOUGH / too much!
Each letter is between 115-260km, but you are completely free to build a route that satisfies your body and soul - and your donors! You know best whether that means cycling 1km or 2,000km so we'll leave it up to you.
If you're really into the DIY thang, you can also take part by drawing a heart of any size, anywhere in the world! Learn more about the heart fun here.
What days & How long do i ride?
The challenge runs from 12 June to 26 September - it's completely up to you what days you ride and how long you ride on those days.
Each letter is designed to be ridden over a long weekend (2-3 days), but you'll know what's best for you so feel free to take your time. Exactly how long it takes you to ride the 100-237km of your chosen letter will depend on your experience, fitness and (most importantly) how many times you stop for swims, snacks and selfies!
As a guide, 4-5 hours of what Komoot calls 'time in motion' (i.e. actual cycling excluding breaks) is a solid day's ride.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO BRING?!
What you need for your Spell It Out adventure really depends on how you're doing it. Your kit list will look very different if you're camping compared to staying with friends or in a swanky hotel.
One thing you'll definitely need is either a smartphone (and a battery power pack!) or a bike GPS like a Wahoo or a Garmin so that you can follow the route and record your part of our amazing collaborative artwork.
We're fans of doing things as cheaply and greenly as possible, so there's not much on our 'essentials' list. We really recommend asking buddies and pals to borrow bits and bobs to save on buying new!
What about accommodation and travel?
Spell It Out is an unsupported adventure, so it's completely up to you to sort out your own accommodation and travel to and from the start and finish points.
Many of the letters start and finish at train stations, but this wasn't possible for some of the letters. Please check the map closely and make sure you have a plan for getting back home.
Accommodation wise, you can search the Komoot map for places to stay along the way - but also check out Warmshowers: a wonderful network of generous people around the world who are up for hosting touring cyclists.
Who am i cycling with?
Spell It Out is totally unsupported so you can either cycle solo, or - better - invite your mates!
According to the government road map, there will hopefully be no limit on the size of your cycling crew, but it'll still be the rule of six or two households for indoor accommodation.
what if i can't get down to the south of england?
If you can't get down to the south coast, don't panic - we'd love for you to get involved wherever you live!
You can still take part in Spell It Out by riding a heart-shaped route of your own devising anywhere in the world. Besides the fact that you'll need to work out your own route, it's exactly the same process to join the challenge: signup, fundraise, ride and finally upload your gorgeous GPS artwork.
Let's fill the map with love! 💚
How much does it cost to take part?
Spell It Out is an unsupported adventure so we're suggesting you 'Pay As You Feel'.
Our main aim is to raise loads of money to help make refugees feel welcome in the UK so we won't be offended if you want to focus your resources elsewhere. But, as you can imagine, organising such an epic adventure has taken a lot of our time so if you feel that's worth some of your hard-earned moolah, we'd be thrilled with any contribution. Cheers!
Email Adventure Inventor Georgie on firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll do her best to help!