Cycling around the world is a feat that many travellers aspire to, but the time that such a challenge requires away from work and family makes it impossible for most ordinary riders.
Ride25 is aiming to change all that with a new flexible approach that allows riders to complete a round the world trip in 25 stages, completed months apart, one tour at a time. Individuals, groups, charities and companies are all invited to take part in however many stages they like, starting wherever they please, whether that be one stage through continental Europe or all 25 from the UK to Australia.
The recent 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart in Britain marked a watershed moment for cycling in Yorkshire and the UK, with an estimated 2.5 million spectators lining the roads to watch the best professional cyclists in the world race through ‘God’s Own Country’.
When Yorkshire first won its bid to host the 2014 Grand Depart back in December 2012, it inspired Yorkshire-born entrepreneur John Readman and business partner Rob Hamilton set up Ride25; a concept which makes travelling around the world more accessible for everyday cyclists by splitting the route into 25 separate 3-5 day ‘tours’, starting from either Leeds, Manchester, London or Bristol and finishing in Sydney, Australia.
The original idea came after Rob Hamilton organised a UK to Australia ride for the African children’s charity 1morechild. He experienced an incredible response to it, which sparked a curiosity between the pair as to how many more people would want to ride across the world if the challenge was made more accessible and flexible for them – thus the idea for Ride25 was born.
“Ride25 is all about ordinary people who love both cycling and travelling, who want to see the world from their bikes, without having to put their life on hold to do it,” explained Readman. “Riders who complete all 25 stages will genuinely be able to say they’ve cycled across the world – from the UK, through Europe, Asia and Australia. It doesn’t matter how many chunks they do it in or how long it’ll take them, it’ll be a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.”
All the legs have been carefully planned to accommodate seasoned riders through to new starters taking on their first very first cycling challenge, with support along the way for everyone. Every tour along the way comprises 4 days’ cycling, with each day involving between 70-100 miles in the saddle.
However – Ride25 isn’t just about cycling, it’s about the whole travelling adventure. Hamilton and Readman have handpicked the routes to take in the most interesting landscapes, sights and experiences across every country that Ride25 travels. ‘It might not always make for the shortest routes from A to B, but they’re certainly the most exciting.’
All accommodation along the route is of a high standard, with all three meals provided as well as Wi-Fi points along the route for picture sharing. Ride25 also transports tour members’ luggage to and from each of the hotels along the route.
After each day’s sight-seeing in the saddle, there’s a relaxing environment at every base hotel to share the day’s experiences over a few drinks and an evening meal. It’s not a contest or a training camp, so participants can enjoy themselves – so much so that Ride25 even buys every rider’s first drink at the end of each day’s riding!
While all entrants are invited to use Ride25 as a platform to fundraise for charities close to their hearts, unlike many extreme cycling challenges, there’s no obligation to do so in order to take part – it’s all just about having fun.
Ride25 is donating a bike to an African community for every person that takes part in one of the 25 stages, through its corporate charity partner Re-Cycle, and the brand also raises up to £100,000 each year for the African children’s charity 1moreChild.
Tours of Stage 1, from the UK to Paris, begin this September, with options to start from either London, Manchester or Leeds. Tours of Stage 2, from Paris to Geneva, will begin next June.