FAQs London to Amsterdam

How much do I need to raise?

To take part, you need to have committed to raising a minimum of £1120 in sponsorship and donations for the Big Issue Foundation. It is important that everyone is over 50% of their target by 1st August 2015 and over 75% before they start the ride on the 17th September.

How much of my fundraising goes back to TBIF?

50% of your fundraising will go directly to the charity to support our service team in giving even more Big Issue vendors a hand up on their journeys away from homelessness. The other 50% covers the trip costs and we have ensured that we have kept trip costs to a minimum. You are welcome to cover your trip costs directly with the charity and fundraise £560.

Do I need bike insurance?

If you have an expensive bike it would be sensible. Often it is covered under house contents - this is worth checking. Try velosure or CTC for insurance.

How much money should I bring?

We would expect you will need around £60 spending money for incidentals - but this depends on whether you intend big celebrations in Amsterdam! You can withdraw Euros easily throughout the trip for a small fee from cash machines - so you can see how you get on.

Do I need to bring a bike lock?

It is a good idea - although we have a few at Adventure Cafe. If you have an expensive bike it is sensible to lock it on the boat.

How long do we cycle for in one go?

Typically we shall aim to ride for around 30 km and then take a breather and a drinks stop. There may be very short pauses whilst we regroup ... but main stops are usually once in the morning, at lunch, and once in the afternoon.

What if I struggle to keep up on the ride?

There are 3 staff for the group so we expect to be able to monitor progress very carefully. We will NEVER leave anyone unattended at the back. We shall give people the very best chance to complete the ride in a safe fashion. However, if a rider is very unfit and has not prepared adequately, they may be asked to join the support vehicle for the remainder of the day in order the ensure that the group is given the best overall experience. This is very unusual.

How will it work in terms of riding groups?

We anticipate 2 riding groups, with most riders in the front group. The support vehicle can then monitor both halves of the team. Leaders will ride at the front of these groups but ensuring that the last person in the group is always able to follow and find the route.

What are the most essential items that I must bring?

Bike, helmet, Innertube (must be carried) waterproof jacket, warm jacket,  waterbottle, lycra leggings, mobile phone onside plastic bag.

What is included?

All of the travel and accommodation is included, as well as main meals and snacks during the ride, the services of the bike guides and the logistical and medical support. Breakfast on Friday before the ride and lunch after the ride has finished on the Monday will not be provided. The accommodation is shared in pairs on the trip.

What is excluded?

Travel to and from the start / finish locations and travel insurance that covers your participation in the challenge are not included. We will provide snacks and drinks on the morning of day 1, but we recommend that you have a hearty breakfast beforehand so you are fully fuelled for the start of your day. You will also need to bring your own spending money for personal expenses on the trip and to cover lunch on the Monday after the ride.

Do I need travel Insurance?

Yes, it is compulsory that all participants on the event have travel insurance and we will check this with you prior to the trip. Do check, but most standard travel insurance should cover you for this type of event, and this can be obtained for around £12 per person for a basic level of cover.

What bike should I use?

The ride is road based and therefore road bikes are recommended. However, not just any road bike will do! Road Touring/Race bikes with drop handlebars and Sport Hybrid bikes (flat bars) are the order of the day. Your bike should have a double (or triple) compact groupset (minimum requirement) and a good robust wheelset. Please note, light bikes with lightweight wheels do not fair so well when touring – we recommend mid-range price-point bikes and same for wheels – these prove to be the most reliable for multi-day touring over 100s miles.

Can I use my Mountain Bike (MTB)?

These bikes are not recommended for multi-day touring We recommend you hire one of  Adventure Café’s Sport Hybrid road bikes. The Sport Hybrid bike has flat handlebars and similar gearing (triple) to a MTB but is designed for the road and able to munch the miles more comfortably – provided you have trained correctly. NB it is also possible to attach your own pedals to our hire bikes allowing you to use your own cycling shoes.

Can I hire a bike?

Yes, Adventure Café have road bikes and sport hybrid bikes available. You will need to inform us your bike hire request (and size details) at the time of your application to guarantee your hire. For overseas events, there is limited availability and if you are seeking bike hire we ask you to contact us before application to discuss your requirements. Typical bike hire tariff is £20 per day.

If I hire a bike, can I bring my pedals for my spd shoes?

Yes you can. We ask that you contact Adventure Cage in advance to discuss and confirm this request but normally it is ok 99% of the time.

Why can’t I use a hard bike box to travel to/from an event?

We ask people not to bring hard ‘rigid’ bike boxes to overseas trips because there simply is no space to stow these bike boxes away during the event. We have very limited space in the supporting vehicle(s) for all luggage (and equipment) for the group (group sizes range between 14-30) and room for large rigid bike boxes simply is not there.

What happens if my bike breaks during the trip?

Firstly, we ask all participants to arrive on trips with a fully serviced and well maintained machine – this is a good start to seeking out any hidden problems and avoiding any unwanted mechanical failures. However, of course things can happen on trips – if you are unfortunate to experience a mechanical failure or worse during your ride (for whatever reason), we (Adventure Café) will do everything we can to get you rolling again. We have experienced teams of leaders and support staff who will be carrying spares and tools that can (generally) cope with most roadside repairs (from punctures to broken chains). If your bike is not able to be repaired roadside we can pop you on a spare bike while one of the support staff take your bike to the nearest bike shop for a replacement part or workshop repair.

If I should have a serious accident what happens?

Firstly, all our team are qualified First Aiders and will be carrying first aid kits to cope with most roadside situations. If you require further medical assistance you will be either taken to the nearest hospital by one of the supporting crew or the emergency services will be called. It is important that all participants have appropriate travel/sports insurance in place when joining one of our challenges and events. A swell as other things, this will ensure you receive the best health care while outside of the UK – particularly when outside of the EU. When your visit to the hospital is complete, plans for you to rejoin the group will be made in-situ. If matters are more serious, plans for emergency repatriation will be made between the hospital and your insurance company. When travelling in the EU, it is advisable to be carrying an EHIC card as a minimum (apply online at NHS.uk).

What's the dress code for the celebration meal on the final night?

Whatever you are comfortable in, there's no set dress code.