How many miles per day?
Our End to End routes travel 65-70 miles per day and Sea to Sea routes travel 45-55 miles per day. Daily mileages are affected by the terrain. See specific route pages under the 'Ride With Us' tab for detailed information on daily mileage.
What route do we take?
We use the official Sea to Sea route produced by Sustrans. This is the most researched and widely used route from East to West Coast. Bike the UK for MS has it's own route for the LEJOG and JOGLE which has been developed since our inception. It keeps the riders on the safest roads possible whilst taking in the beautiful scenery of the UK. See specific route pages under the 'Ride With Us' tab for a detailed map of the route.
How much does it cost?
We have no fee to ride the trip! The fundraising minimum is £1/mile for LEJOG and JOGLE, and £2/mile for the Sea to Sea. For example, the LEJOG route is 1,020 miles so the fundraising minimum is £1,020. You can raise this in any way that you like. Our goal is to donate at least 50% to MS support groups, research, treatment, and to individuals for projects that facilitate independent living. Many expenses will be covered by the fundraising minimum, including all overnight accommodations, maps, team apparel, support vehicles, route leaders, and minor bike maintenance. Food while on the road will be your main expense and the amount spent can vary greatly depending on whether you cook at camp or grocery shop and use your food cubby or eat out for most meals. In general we recommend budgeting £20 - £30 per day for costs while on the road.
Where do we stay at night?
We stay in campgrounds, churches, community centres and town halls. We try to keep overnight expenses to a minimum so that more of the raised funds can be given to MS organisations we support. You are always welcome to pay out-of-pocket for a hotel room even when the team has other accommodations lined up that evening.
Where do I put all of my gear?
Each cyclist has a cubby box to store their belongings that is approximately 48x29x40cm (80 litres). There is additional space for each cyclist to store tents, as well as a "day cubby" in the rest stop van to put items you may want to retrieve throughout the day at planned rest stops.
What kind of camping equipment do I need?
On these van supported rides you will not need the lightest and smallest (aka most expensive) gear, but you will need to fit all of your gear into a 48x29x40cm cubby. You will be happiest with equipment that keeps you dry and comfortable. Luxuries include hammocks, pillows, and other items that will fit in your cubby. There is a gear list as well as some recommended products on our Team Information page. If you have questions about gear send us an email.
When can I apply?
We accept applications on a rolling basis until the trips are filled, so the sooner you apply the better! We are currently accepting applications for all 2020 routes.
How will I know where to go?
The maps we use are specifically made for bicycle touring. They contain route information such as distances between stops, turn by turn directions and other important information about the route. Route leaders will ride with the group and assist if you have mechanical or other problems. There are planned rest stops every 20-30 miles. The support vehicles and route leaders will always be within 20-30 miles if you need assistance.
How much experience do I need?
Our cyclists range from beginners to road biking to cross-country veterans! There is no one there telling you what speed to ride or what groups to ride in so you can enjoy the ride at your ability. The better prepared you are the more comfortable you'll be in a range of riding conditions, making the trip more enjoyable. Additionally, failure to properly prepare may put you at an increased risk of injury due to fatigue. This trip will be awesome! But it won't be easy. Route leaders and staff members have completed trips like this and will be happy to answer any questions you have.
How much training should I do?
For the End to End, we ask that you ride 500 miles before the trip, on the bike you plan to ride, with at least two back to back 50 mile rides and a single ride of 60+ miles. For the Sea to Sea, we ask that you ride 200 miles before the trip, with at least two back to back 30 mile rides and a single ride of 50+ miles. This will help you become familiar with your bike, your own physical abilities, and provide insight on what makes for an enjoyable 60 mile ride. Want help with training? We've partnered with Andy Tomkins at 'Sportive Cycle Coaching' who can set you up with a bespoke training plan to get you ready for the big ride. Mention Bike the UK for MS when you contact him and he will make sure you're best prepared!
Is this a fully supported bike tour?
Bike the UK for MS teams are working together to bike across the UK and rid the world of MS. You will be provided the resources, framework, and support to reach this goal. Your gear will be carried by support vehicles, your route leaders will be there to help you along the way, water stops will be set up every 20-30 miles, nightly accommodations will be ready, but the pedaling is up to you! We embrace camping to be able to donate more to those with MS. This is a van supported bike tour where roughing it is embraced, if luxury is what you seek, there may be better options.
What happens to the money we raise?
Cyclists deliver funds via bicycle to local MS support groups across the country with the MS Society. We also fund numerous projects in partnership with the MS Society. These projects include, but aren't limited to, research, exercise classes, ramps, bathrooms, stair lifts, hospital beds, grab rails, etc.
Can I claim Gift Aid on my contributions?
Yes! Bike the US for MS CIO is a UK Registered Charity with number 1172717. When making a donation, you will be asked if your donation is eligible for Gift Aid and if so you will be required to submit you home address.
How do I raise the fundraising minimum?
The online donation system makes it simple for people to donate in your name once you've created your profile on the website. Start by asking friends and family for sponsorships. Then branch out to coworkers, teammates, class mates, and random strangers! There are many tips and strategies in the Fundraising Guide that you will receive once you've applied and been accepted.
Can I use a third party fundraising site to raise money?
Yes, you can use a third party site to raise funds, but there are a couple things to keep in mind. Third party sites keep some percentage of what you raise (usually 8-10%), so less of what you raise can be applied to your fundraising minimum. Fundraising through the Bike the UK for MS website ensures donations will be gift aid eligible, and 100% of what you raise is applied to your fundraising minimum.
Do I need a bike?
Yes! Road/touring bikes are the best option. Road bikes are faster but aren't designed to carry the heavy loads that touring bikes are made for. Most of your belongings will be in the trailer, but it's convenient to carry some items during the day so you can be more independent. We suggest apprehending a bike that you'll be most happy with when the trip is over. Do you want a light, fast bike? Or would you prefer a commuter so you can carry heavier loads? Many different bikes have been used successfully in the past, and with proper preparation, yours will too. We are happy to chat with you about the options, send us an email.
I live outside of the UK, can I participate?
Absolutely! We have international riders every year. Biking across the UK is a great way to see the country from a unique perspective. We'd be happy to answer your questions regarding traveling with your bike, temporary cell phones, etc. Email email@example.com. We could also arrange a Skype chat if that would be more convenient or less expensive! Username: biketheukforms