Bournemouth to Paris FAQs

1.  When does the ride take place?

The ride will take place from Thursday 6th September – Monday 10th September 2018.  

2.  What distances will we be cycling each day?

The distances each day are approximately 65 miles, 76 miles, 100 miles and 69 miles. In total we cycle approximately 310 miles, though these distances may vary slightly depending on hotel location and any deviations.  

3.  How much training do I need to do?

People from all walks of life will take part in this challenge, so even if you’re new to cycling, don’t worry – this challenge is achievable to anyone willing to prepare properly.  

You need to have good endurance for this event. You must be used to long bike rides in the countryside of 5+ hours. You should be doing regular exercise - with some serious cycle training (at least twice per week). Your typical comfortable cycling speed will be around 13-14 miles per hour, and you should be able to cycle at a higher speed for up to 1 hour or 15 miles. Make sure you include plenty of hills in your training so you will be prepared for the reality of cycling to Paris.  

You may also be concentrating on other types of exercise - but for longer periods of time (i.e. sessions in excess of 1.5 hrs.) - however cycling is the best preparation!

4.  What is the terrain like?

This cycle challenge will put you up against a whole host of different terrain across the UK and France. From great lengths of flat ground to long and challenging hills. We ride mainly on small country roads. Traffic is light on most of the roads but when we pass through busy areas we may go through as a group. French drivers are generally far more considerate to cyclists than here in the UK.   

5.  Can I ride at my own pace?

This is a guided cycle tour and you will be riding in groups which will be split based on your average speed. You need to remember that you are cycling for four consecutive days and we will monitor everyone’s pace to make sure this is achievable. Please remember this is not a race and for logistical and safety reasons we will sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.  

6.  What happens if I get tired?

There will be regular rest stops for drinks and snacks throughout each day. A support vehicle will also follow us to make sure no-one is struggling or left alone.  

7.  When and where will the training rides be held?

There will be two training rides held in the New Forest between mid-April and the start of the ride in September. We will email you with the confirmed dates as soon as possible.  

8.  Why is it so important that I attend a training ride?

It’s really important that you attend at least one of the training rides so we can ensure that you’re ready for the reality of cycling to Paris. They have been designed to help you gauge your fitness, boost your confidence and get used to riding in a group.  Please speak to Hannah if you don’t think you will be able to attend.  

9.  What’s the best way to raise sponsorship money?

The best place to start is by setting up a JustGiving fundraising page. It’s easy to set up and manage. Your friends and family can sponsor you from anywhere at any time and you don’t need to spend time collecting money. You can use it as well as a regular sponsorship form, giving friends and family two ways to support you.  

Most people find fundraising is far easier than they first imagined. We will support you every step of the way to ensure you reach and even exceed your target. Here are some suggestions:           

  • Ask your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you through JustGiving: £400         
  • Five cake sales at work throughout the year: £40 x 5 = £200         
  • Car boot sale or eBay auction: £200         
  • Host a dinner party and charge your friends £10 to come: £100        
  • Hold a quiz night at your local pub: £150          
  • Ask your work or local school to hold a non-uniform day: £200         
  • Ask your local supermarket if you can bag-pack or hold a couple of collections throughout the year: £200        
  • Ask local companies to donate prizes for a raffle: £200  

Total: £1,650  

10.  When do I need to reach my fundraising target by?

You will need to raise a minimum of £1,650, of which 80% (£1,320) must be received by Julia’s House no later than ten weeks before departure (Thursday 26th July 2018). The remaining 20% (£330) must be received one week before departure.  

11.  What happens if I don’t meet my minimum fundraising target?

It’s really important that everyone raises the full £1,650. However, please don’t be daunted, if you give yourself enough time and focus on fundraising you really will be able to raise the full £1,650.  

Remember to make full use of the fundraising pack with ideas on how to reach your target and also remember that you can call on the support of the Challenge Team at Julia’s House at any time. However, if you do not manage to raise the full £1,650, we can discuss the best ways for you to raise the shortfall. Some people also decide to set up a manageable monthly donation.   

12.  Do I still need to fundraise if I have self-funded my trip?

Even if you have decided to self-fund your trip, it’s really important that you try to raise as much as you can. We are excited to offer this exclusive challenge as an opportunity to raise vital funds for our families and with limited spaces available, we hope everyone will try to raise as much as they can.  

13.  I have chosen to self-fund my trip, when do I need to need pay the balance by?

You must pay the balance of £782 by Thursday 26th July 2018.

14.  I have chosen to self-fund my trip, can I pay the balance in instalments?

Yes, you can pay the balance in instalments. Please speak to Hannah Miller on 01202 644220 to arrange this. We must receive your final balance by Thursday 26th July 2018.  

15.  How do I pay in my sponsorship money?

If you are collecting sponsorship money, there are a few ways you can send it to us:            

  • Come and visit us. We're based in the Barclays building in Poole (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).          
  • You can hand it in to your local Julia's House shop.        
  • You can donate through our website. Just make sure you add your reason for your donation as ‘Bournemouth to Paris 2018'.
  • You can send a cheque, payable to ‘Julia’s House’ in the post to:  Julia's House, Barclays House, 1 Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 2BB. Just make sure you include a note with your name and the reason for your sponsorship.

If you have a sponsorship form, please send it back to us so we can claim back the Gift Aid.

16.  Do I need to do anything with the money I have raised through JustGiving?

You do not need to do anything. Any sponsorship you have received online will be automatically transferred to us. The same applies for Virgin Money Giving and BT MyDonate.  

17.  Have you got a checklist of items I need to pack?

You can find our recommended kit list here.  

18.  What sort of food and snacks shall I bring?

All food is included except your evening meals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Lunches will consist of French baguettes, fruits and snacks. We will have energy snacks such as malt loaf, fig rolls, bananas and flapjacks available throughout each day —there will be plenty of energy food to keep you going! You are welcome to bring extra snacks from home if you wish to top up your energy supply.  

19.  What do I do if I have any special dietary requirements?

You need to let us know as soon as possible so we can accommodate any dietary requirements during the trip. Please bear in mind that being vegetarian is not generally well-understood in France, so meals may not be as varied as you are used to. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home.  

20.  Do I have to carry my own luggage?

No, there will be support vehicles with the group at all times which means your luggage will be transported in one of these vehicles for you. You will just need to carry your essentials in a bum bag or your cycling jersey pockets, like your mobile phone and energy snacks. At the end of the trip your bikes will be transported back to Bournemouth for you.  

21.  Can I share a room with a friend?

Accommodation is in 2-3* hotels on a twin-share basis. If you are travelling as a group or with a friend, please let Hannah know who you would like to share with. The option of a private room may be available for an additional fee.  

22.  What happens if I injure myself during the trip?

You will have first aid trained guides accompanying you on the ride at all times who will be able to treat minor injuries. Should the very worst happen and you need to be taken to a local hospital there are provisions in place. You will also be accompanied by a representative from Julia’s House.  

23.  Do I need specialist kit?

You must ride a road/racing bike (rather than a mountain or hybrid bike) due to the long distances involved on well-surfaced roads. We strongly recommend that you use clip-in pedals and cleats and wear padded cycling shorts. If you need any advice, please speak to our Challenge Fundraiser, Hannah who took part in the ride last year.  

24.  What support will we have?

Your ride will be led by experienced cycle tour leaders, Slick Events and you will be in very safe hands.  

All our leaders are from the UK and trained in first-aid. There will be two support vehicles and four ride captains who will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your safety whilst riding and knowing where you are going, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. Hannah from Julia’s House will also be joining you on the ride.   

25.  What sort of travel insurance do I need?

In order to participate in this challenge, it is compulsory that you have travel insurance. Please ensure that you are covered for cycling touring in Europe over four consecutive days.  

We recommend obtaining travel insurance as soon as possible.  That way your registration fee may be protected in the event that you unexpectedly need to cancel. Please note most travel insurance does not cover your bike, if you require bike insurance we advise you to arrange this separately.  

26.  How does Julia’s House benefit?

At least 50% of the £1,650 minimum sponsorship will be treated as a donation to Julia’s House. If you raise over £1,650, 100% of the surplus will directly benefit Julia’s House.  

If you have chosen to self-fund your trip then every penny you raise (minus the cost of your jersey and medal) will go towards supporting local children and their families.

 27.  Who organises the trip?

This trip is operated by Slick Events Ltd on behalf of Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire Children’s Hospices.

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