Cycling over 200 miles, across 3 counties in 3 days
Ride for Precious Lives is a unique annual sponsored cycling challenge, which takes over 100 cyclists more than 200 miles across the South West to raise money for short and precious lives! Riding from Bristol to St Austell, you’ll cycle through challenging but breath-taking scenery and visit the 3 children’s hospices as part of your journey.
On Friday, you will start at Charlton Farm in North Somerset, On day 2 you’ll cycle to Little Bridge House in Barnstaple, and then on Sunday, you will make your way to the finish line at Little Harbour near St Austell.
Ride for Precious Lives attracts cyclists who are committed to ride between 70 to 80 miles each day with a range of elevations across Cheddar Gorge, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor. It is the perfect challenge for solo riders looking to go the extra mile, seasoned cyclists taking on another challenge or corporate groups looking for a team cycle.
Cyclists who have taken part in Ride for Precious Lives before always say how inspired they have been by the children and families they met along the way. Ride for Precious Lives has the credentials of every longstanding event in the UK cycling calendar and an impact that is incomparable to any other cycling event.
There are just 115 spaces for this unique challenge, and it does sell out year after year. With places limited, we ask that you don’t delay in securing your place. We kindly ask each rider to commit to raising £1,200 in sponsorship and we will support every one of you along your fundraising journey.
Sign up today!
- Full price
- On sale until midday, on Monday 1 April 2024
- Adult (18+) £375
Secure your place. Remaining balance payable 10 weeks later.
On sale up until Thursday 29 February 2024, Adult (18+), £175
- Cycle top
- Goodie bag
- 2 nights accommodation for Friday and Saturday
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Fully waymarked route
- Team leaders
- Luggage transfer
- Medical support
- Bi-monthly Zoom calls
Kindly sponsored by
Raise vital funds for children with life-limiting conditions and their families across the South West
Together, ‘Team Ride’ will raise awareness and vital funds for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families across the South West.
We kindly ask that each rider commits to raising £1,200 which will fund vital care and support at each of our hospices.
When you sign up to join Ride for Precious Lives, you’ll receive a welcome pack that has everything you need to know about fundraising, including a month-by-month guide to splitting your fundraising down into achievable amounts.
Our Fundraising team will also give you a call to help with ideas to boost your fundraising. You can also join our very popular bi-monthly Zoom meetings to get to know the rest of your team riders and get personal support with your FUN-raising endeavours!
Set up your Ride for Precious Lives (RFPL) 2024 JustGiving Page here! It’s the easiest way to get sponsored. Let everyone know why you’re taking part and update your page with photos and videos of your training and your fundraising efforts. Share your page on your social media channels and by email so your family, friends and work colleagues can sponsor you.
Set up your JustGiving
Don’t delay, create your fundraising page today! Remember the sooner you begin your fundraising journey to longer you will have to help reach the ‘Team Ride’ fundraising target!
What's included in your registration fee?
- 20 and 10 week training programmes
- Bi-monthly Zoom meeting and monthly emails
- Private RFPL Facebook group for all participants
- Support from your local fundraiser to raise at least £1,200
- Breakfast (porridge, pastries and bacon sandwiches) at Charlton Farm on Friday morning
- 2 nights accommodation in a hotel including fully cooked breakfasts
- Evening meal and entertainment at each hotel
- Pub lunch each day you cycle.
- 2 water stops each day you cycle with homemade cakes and hot and cold drinks
- Beautiful scenery
- Full support crew with our chosen event provider that will check bikes every evening and provide first aid, mechanics and carry luggage for you all weekend
- Bespoke Ride for Precious Lives cycling jersey
- CHSW cheer team and support all weekend!
- Finish line party at Little Harbour for you, your family and your friends on the Sunday
All rooms are twin/triple share. If you would like to share a room with someone you know, you can enter their name on the registration form when you apply. If you don’t indicate your preferred buddy, we will allocate your room with another member of ‘Team Ride’
Please note, if you require a single room due to a medical condition this can be arranged subject to availability and a supplement cost of £75. Please email Kiley to request this.
Team Ride cycle jersey
Our bespoke cycling jerseys are crafted from a professional Quick-Dri™ fabric; the moisture wicking properties provide year-round comfort as it moves chill-inducing perspiration away from the skin, keeping your body warm and dry. The Lycra© fibre used in these custom jerseys can stretch but has excellent recovery performance so that garments can keep their shape for years. These jerseys include a 1cm silicone gripper on the back hem, zip covers at the top of the jersey, elasticated cuffs, a reinforced curved back pocket with three open pockets and an extra zipped pocket, plus reflective stitching in the side panels for great visibility.
The Ride for Precious Lives bespoke jersey is yours as a thank you for taking part in the challenge. You will receive this jersey as you register on the Thursday evening before the event.
Team Ride training cycle jersey
To keep you company whilst training and assist with your fundraising, we also have a CHSW cycling jersey available to buy, priced at £20.
|Fabric 100% Polyester | Weight 280gsm
Do I really have to train?
Yes! Cycling Challenges are designed for people of average fitness as long as you are prepared to train. You should start training several months before the event, and the attached programmes will help you to do this.
How you start training for a long distance bike ride depends largely on your present fitness level, age and the amount of cycling you have done in the past. There are various ways to train for your challenge, below and in tabulated form are various training regimes that can be adapted to fit into your personal lifestyle.
People who have not ridden a bike for several years or indeed at all will have to start their training regime at least 4 months in advance of their trip. Mileage should be built up gradually to avoid injury and over-exercise, and to establish a good base fitness on which to build the stamina levels you will need on a cycle challenge.
A cycle ride every other day should be attempted for the first 4 weeks and the mileage should be between 5 and 10 miles, there is no need to over stretch the ride by pushing a gear that is too difficult, or riding as fast as you can, this can come later.
From the outset you should attempt to develop your cadence, which is the speed at which your legs rotate (RPM), this will improve your aerobic capacity meaning your heart and lungs will grow stronger and be less stressed when cycling or exercising.
To develop your cadence you should select the gear that feels most comfortable when you are cycling on whatever gradient. If you can keep a steady RPM of around 60 to 70 most of the time this would greatly aid the speed at which you become cycling fit, and will increase your strength and stamina which you can then build on.
Before you know it you will find yourself being able to push harder gears while maintaining the same RPM. After you have become comfortable with your cadence and riding position, it will be time to start stepping up the mileage. For the next 4 weeks you should attempt to ride 15 to 20 miles 3 times a week, with a Sunday ride every other weekend of about 25 miles.
By now you should be feeling really confident and starting to enjoy the sport of cycling. In the next 2 weeks it would be worth maintaining the same schedule but now starting to ride 20 to 25 miles 3 times a week with an alternate Sunday ride of 30 miles.
The following 2 weeks should see the introduction of an extra day’s cycling into your training, this day’s mileage may only be around 10 to 15 miles but it will help you get a feel for cycling day after day. It would now be a good idea to step up the Sunday rides to three a month with a mileage of 40 miles.
In the final 3 weeks your daily mileage should be around 30 miles on each outing and any Sunday rides should break 50 miles. A week before you leave for the trip you should wind down and perhaps attempt three short 10 to 15 mile rides.
This category might include anyone who has been cycling intermittently over the years, perhaps by cycling to work in the summer or regular Sunday rides with the family. As you will have a degree of basic fitness and confidence built up from previous cycling, 3 months or so of training should prepare you for the ride.
The first 4 weeks should be spent introducing a regular programme into your training and concentrating on your cadence (as above), which will help develop your strength for the sustained ride. A mileage of 15 miles 3 times a week combined with alternate Sunday rides of 30 miles should be attempted for the first month.
The second lot of 4 weeks should see you feeling stronger and confident to increase the mileage; your cadence should be fluent and comfortable, and the three rides a week should be covering about 25 miles each and the Sunday rides up to 40 miles.
The penultimate 3weeks should see the introduction of a fourth training ride every week, these four rides should be around 30 miles in length with three Sunday rides a month of 50 miles or more. You should by now be feeling comfortable with all these distances as long as you don’t push yourself too hard.
The final week should be spent winding down with 3 10 to 15 mile rides and the confidence that you know you can complete and enjoy the 10 day ride ahead of you.
This category would include people who cycle regularly throughout the year whether it be commuting 20 miles or more to work a day or training seriously with weekend races and time trials. People within this category should already have a good training schedule and be amply fit to tackle a cycle challenge, though they should probably step up the training for long days riding.
People included within the commuting bracket may find it a good idea to step their weekly mileage up by cycling a longer route to work, or doing a brief morning or evening ride and by also doing regular weekend rides of around 50 miles or more.
Fitting training into your busy life
The programmes here are only a rough training guide. Obviously with work, family and fundraising commitments you may not always be able to achieve what we have set out for you. However in order to get close to achieving the training it is very important to organise your time properly. There are plenty of ways to ensure that you maximise your training, even if you feel you have no time outside work.
- You must organise your week to make time to get out to do some training.
- Get up an hour earlier and go out for a quick cycle with some stretching in the morning before work while it is still light.
- If you can cycle to work, do so. If you can’t cycle the whole distance between work and home, why not cycle to a station/bus stop in between home and work and then continue your journey on public transport. You will obviously need to be happy that you are able to leave your bike in a safe and secure place.
- Use your lunchtimes to take regular brisk walks or cycle around your work area.
- Find a steep set of stairs such as 5 floors of a department store/office block and climb them 5 times, at least 3 times per week.
- Swimming, squash, badminton, fast walking and any other sport will also help get you prepared.
- Joining a leisure centre is a good idea as the local fitness instructors may well be able to design a programme specifically for you. Most good gyms have exercise bikes, or even better spinning classes, where you can clock up mileage more safely and comfortably. But do try to cycle as much as possible in ‘real’ conditions. The more you can train in similar conditions to your challenge, both in terms of terrain and weather, the better.
- It is important at weekends to get into some hilly areas to experience cycling on different surfaces and to experience the hills and of course the weather.
- You should make the time to cycle on some consecutive long days: an isolated Sunday ride does not have the same effect as 2 consecutive days.
Nothing will prepare you for the trip better than actually cycling.
You may not stick to the training guide exactly but you need to keep it in mind and to do regular exercise every week according to the guide. You will enjoy this experience far more if you are physically fit, indeed, without training you may not be able complete this challenge.
Training plans designed around the demands of Ride
We have 10 and 20 week training guides along with training tips and a stretch programme to help you train.
It is likely to be warm and dry on this challenge, however we cannot rule out rain or extreme weather. We recommend you pack accordingly, below is a list of our recommendations to help make this an enjoyable, safe and comfortable challenge.
- Helmet (compulsory, must be worn at all times). With good ventilation and conforming to safety standards, your helmet should fit comfortably and be adjusted properly. Important. You will not be allowed to cycle without a helmet.
- Lightweight waterproof cycling jacket. We may catch a storm if we are unlucky. Ideally this jacket will fold down and easily fit into the rear pocket of a regular cycle jersey.
- 2 x 750ml water bottles. There will be plenty of opportunity to refill during each days cycling. We recommend you purchase some electrolyte tablets to replace lost salts through perspiration. Hire bikes will come fitted with two bottle cages.
- Pedals. If you are hiring a bike, YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN PEDALS. Please ensure that your cycle shoes match your pedals. If you prefer to wear trainers, we will also supply flat pedals with all hire bikes.
- Cycle shoes. If you are not comfortable riding in cleats then any good quality trainer combined with flat pedals will be more than suitable. If you opt for a more specialist style it may cause you difficulty in case of having to replace. We advise bringing spare cleats as well as cleat covers for any time off the bike.
- Cycle clothing. Cycle specific padded lycra shorts recommended, lightweight wicking shirt (long sleeve is better for sun protection). Ideally a specific cycle jersey with three rear pocket and a full length zip.
- Arm protection. You may consider some white UV arm protectors as a block against the sun, just like arm warmers.
- Cycle gloves. We recommend fingerless cycle gloves with padding on the palms. These will increase your levels of comfort as well as offering a degree of added sun protection to a very exposed part of the body. They will also save your hands from bad cuts should you fall from your bike.
- Sunglasses. Cycle specific or sports glasses recommended, transition lenses or lenses that can be changed for clear lenses are recommended in case we have a dull day.
- Cycling specific snacks. If you have a favourite snack; dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, energy bars/gels etc then we recommend you bring a small supply. Adventure Cafe will provide a range of carbohydrate dense snacks; bananas, cereal bars, crisps, salted biscuits etc.
- Mobile phone (in plastic bag). Fully charged, with cycle leaders’ numbers saved; these numbers will be available 6 weeks prior to the event when full joining instructions are issued.
- Spare inner tube. 2 each, minimum.
- Bike pump, multi-tool, and tyre levers
- Sunscreen, after-sun cream, insect repellent. There's nothing worse than getting sun burnt on day 1.
- Camera. Not to be used when cycling.
- Travel documents, passport, visas (if applicable).
- Travel insurance (compulsory), EHIC card - If you are unsure what you need please call us on 01823 444 246.
- Wallet. Credit cards, cash in local currency.
- Evening clothing. You should bring a range of evening wear suitable for restaurants and relaxing. Our advice is to pack light and only take what you are likely to need. Temperatures will drop in the evening, so don’t forget a warm layer.
Cycling can be a dangerous activity if safety guidelines are not followed. Please read the following and apply these hints to your personal cycling.
- Always wear a helmet. Buy a cycle specific helmet and wear at all times whilst on the bike. Your local bike shop should be able to help you buy the correct size. You must have a helmet with you for the event.
- Never ride with headphones in. It is important to be aware of your surroundings whilst on the bike, no one wants an unexpected lorry coming past. You will not be permitted to ride with headphones whilst on the event.
- Never take both hands off at the same time. When cycling it is important to be in control at all times, things can go wrong very quickly, especially so if your hands are not on the bats.
- Always follow the highway code. The best way to stay safe on the road is to follow the rules of the road.
- Always tell someone where you are going. Let friend or family know where you are going and when you should be back.
- Ride with a buddy. Not only does riding with someone help to encourage you on your training and share experiences you may end up saving each others lives should something happen.
- Always take a charged mobile phone. You never know what may happen whilst out on the road, you may get a mechanical failure or have an accident, you will need to phone for help if this happens. Wrap you phone in a waterproof plastic bag for protection.
- Slow down when entering urban areas. There are many more hazards in urban areas such as car doors opening, traffic lights, pedestrians crossing, to stay safe control your speed, a bell or horn is also very useful.
- Wear glasses. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from stones and flies, never nice to have in the eye, especially if going down hill at speed, remember to swap for clear lenses if dark, dull or changeable visibility.
- Carry food and water. You should fit your bike with 2 bottle cages for water. Carry extra snacks and sweets in your jersey pocket, a sugar boost may just get you home.
- Carry medication. If you need medication you should carry this with you. (Inhaler/Epi-pen etc). If you have any severe allergies you should wear a medical alert bracelet or similar.
- Never stop on the road. If you do need to stop for whatever reason (puncture, waiting for someone) you should always get yourself and your bike into a safe place off of the road.
- Learn to fix a puncture. Carry the tools to repair a puncture. These are the most common mechanical issues on bikes and not being able to fix one can leave you in a bit of a pickle. You should also fit your bike with highly puncture resistant tyres. We recommend continental gator-skins.
- Descend safely. Descending can be the most dangerous part of a ride. Keep your speed in control and brake well before the corner and not in the corner. Be extra careful if the roads are wet/damp or leaves are on the road as the surface will be come slippery.
- Space out. If you ride with a group, you should ensure you are well spaced out with plenty of braking distance between the person in front. Riders knocking each other off is the most common cause of accidents. Give anyone you are over taking a shout and avoid overtaking in corners or urban areas.
- Ride single file. We recommend always cycling single file 2 abreast at maximum. This should only be done on clear and wide roads so cars can easily overtake. Never cycle 2abreast around a corner.
- Plan your route. Know where you are going and how well this should take, make note of towns/villages you will pass through. If you can avoid busy roads and junctions.
Over the weekend
Friday 12 July
Day 1 North Somerset to Taunton
- 7:30am to 9:30am: Arrive at Charlton Farm for registration, breakfast, bike check-in and briefing.
- 11am to 11.30am: Staggered starts in groups of approx 20
- 12.30pm to 2pm: Lunch
- 1.15pm to 2.30pm: Cycle down Cheddar Gorge
- 2pm to 4pm: Water stop 2
- 4pm to 6pm: Finish at the Holiday Inn at Junction 25, Taunton
Saturday 13 July
Day 2 Taunton to Bideford
- 8am to 9am: Staggered starts from the hotel
- 10.30am to 11.30am: Water stop 1
- 12.30pm to 2.30pm: Lunch
- 2.30pm to 4.30pm: Water stop 2 and cycle over Exmoor
- 3.30pm to 5pm: Visit Little Bridge House near Barnstaple
- 4.30pm to 6.30pm: Finish at The Durrant Hotel in Bideford
- 7.30pm: Evening meal
Sunday 14 July
Day 3 Bideford to St Austell
- 8.30am to 9.30am: Staggered starts from the hotel
- 10am to 11am: Water stop 1
- Midday to 2pm: Lunch
- 1.30pm to 2.30pm: Cycle over Bodmin Moor
- 2pm to 3.30pm: Water stop 2
- 4pm to 5.30pm: Finish at Little Harbour near St Austell