FAQs

Registration

What's included in the price of the ride?

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Event registration fee includes all rider support, mechanical support, flights (specific times only), baggage/bike transfer, accommodation and all meals and drinks (excluding alcohol) unless specified. 

If you would like to arrange your own flights, please let us know before registration and we can look into a registration fee without flights. The booking of these flights would be the responsibility of the rider. 

Any changes to flight times or if additional accommodation is required after the registration fee has been paid, riders will need to make these arrangements themselves and cover any costs. Unfortunately there will be no refund on the registration fee. 

Travel to and from the airport in the UK is not included. 


In order to take part in the bike ride, personal travel insurance is mandatory.  Any riders without it will not be able to participate. For more info on insurance click here.

Where is the event and what should I expect?

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This year's ride is from Lyon to Cassis on the French Rivera. The overall trip length is approximately 500km through rolling hills with an ascent of Mont Ventoux on Day 3. The event will start on Thursday morning and finish on Sunday afternoon. Riders will arrive in Lyon on Wednesday afternoon and will be taken to the start hotel where they will be reunited with their bikes. Each day riders will start early in the morning (approximately 7am) and finish by mid afternoon. Throughout the stage there will be multiple stops to ensure all riders are well fed and rehydrated.

When do I need to pay my registration?

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To confirm your place on the ride you can either pay upfront or in two instalments. The first instalment  (£925)at registration. The 2nd instalment (£925) will be taken off one month later automatically and on the same card. Any riders that fail to pay by these dates risk losing their place on the ride. The payments are non-refundable.

What is a single supplement?

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Our bike ride is priced based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement is an additional charge that secures a private room for solo travelers - £350 for the five days. On registration you will be asked if you would like a single room.

Fundraising

What is my fundraising going to support?

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All funds from the ride will go to Quintessentially Foundation, a registered UK charity and their child poverty initiative The Firefly Project. The Firefly Project focuses on children and young people battling the effects of poverty and disadvantage in London. It finds and funds impactful, innovative grassroots charities that help children and young people realise their potential. For more information on Quintessentially Foundation and The Firefly Project, please visit our website - https://quintessentiallyfoundation.org/

How much do I need to fundraise?

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Each rider will have a minimum fundraise requirement (£6,000 per person for those 35 years + and £3,500 for those under 35 years). This ride is about two things, fundraising vital funds for The Firefly Project and having a life changing trip! We urge all riders to think carefully about whether you can raise the minimum raise before you sign up. If the minimum raise is not met by Monday 5th June, riders will be asked to make up the shortfall.  For fundraising tips click here.

How do I raise the funds?

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We want all riders to have a fantastic experience however the main focus of the ride is to raise vital funds for The Firefly Project and its charity partners. Here are some tips on how to reach to your target:

  • Set up your fundraising page (you will be prompted to do this after registration), make sure you personalise it with photos, videos and your own personal story to help supporters understand why you are doing this challenge. 
  • Don’t be afraid to share on all social media platforms or email all your contacts whether that be friends and family or work colleagues and clients (If your boss allows it!). 
  • Update your training progress to your page to let supporters know how you are getting on and show your dedication. 
  • Don’t forget to self donate – stats show those who donate to their own page receive 84% more donations! 
  • Get creative! Host a bake sale, an auction or raffle in aid of your challenge. 


For more fundraising ideas and example donation asks, see our Fundraising pack here.



Training, Riding & Nutrition

How do you accommodate varying riding abilities?

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Everything we do is driven by a spirit of fun and adventure. For some, that means stopping to enjoy the local sites, while others may want to ride hard. Our leader-to-rider ratio is never larger than 10:1 (and often much smaller), enabling us to make everyone happy.  On day 1 we will make a best attempt to group riders into similarly capable groups.  This isn’t an exact science and riders are free to move around groups during the trip.  Please check with your ride leaders.

We also offer another great equalizer: electric assist. An e-bike can provide an extra boost to your own pedal power, so you can ride longer distances, tackle tougher climbs, and maintain a faster pace in the company of family or friends who cycle at a different level.  If you want to hire an e-bike (supplementary costs apply) please let us know.

How should I train for the ride?

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Our bike ride is not a race but can be very challenging with big days of riding over long distances.  We recommend that if you aren’t already a regular rider (50 - 100km per week) or runner that you take 3 - 6 months to prepare yourself for the ride.  We work with lots of great training partners so we can always put you in touch with a coach if you want to get in top shape before the event. 

 We will arrange two training rides for riders to participate in ahead of the main ride.  One spring and one early summer.  Exact dates will be confirmed to you in advance. 

  • Ride one - will be an introductory ride based in Richmond Park.  Each lap of Richmond Park is 10km.  We are looking for riders to comfortably complete 5 laps at a steady pace (50km).  If you want to do more we will be there all morning to support so you are welcome.  We will have a professional bike mechanic with us to assist with set up. If you need to get a bike service this would also be a good time to book it in. There are plenty of cafe stops in the park so you don't have to complete it all in one go.
  • Ride two - will start at Richmond Park and go to Henley on Thames and back to Richmond Park - approx 120km.  Riders will ride out to Leander Club in Henley.  We will stop for coffee and a light lunch then ride back via a different route to Richmond park. Any food and drinks will need to be purchased by the rider.   

 If you want any training advice and support please let us know and we will put you in touch with the coaching team to discuss a plan.



What fitness level do I need for the event?

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We don’t expect our participants to all be racing snakes. We cater for a huge variety of fitness and you will be grouped by the ride leader team according to your level. This means that you should always be in a group with a similar level of fitness. It’s also important to remember that our events are not races so there is no cut-off time.  

There’s always the e-bike option as well which are incredible and can take the edge off those steep hills but still give you a great challenge

On The Ride

What kind of support can I expect while on the ride?

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Our support team will ensure that everything from your bags to your bikes are in the right place. We always try to ensure that you are ready to ride every morning and fully fueled and ready to go. During the day we will have 3 scheduled stops for food and water. If the weather is extremely hot we will look at adding additional water stops.

Should I purchase travel insurance?

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Yes. We insist that all our clients hold a separate health and travel insurance policy while on our trips that covers them to undertake cycling activities. Our ride is not competitive or a race so you don’t need specialty race cover. In most instances standard travel insurance will apply but please check with your insurer.

How do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

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We go above and beyond to meet your dietary needs and communicate your restrictions, allergies, and preferences for restaurant meals and roadside support. Once you’ve registered, we gather detailed information about your dietary preferences to alert your guides in advance.

How do you accommodate varying riding abilities?

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Everything we do is driven by a spirit of fun and adventure. For some, that means stopping to enjoy the local sites, while others may want to ride hard. Our leader-to-rider ratio is never larger than 10:1 (and often much smaller), enabling us to make everyone happy. On day 1 we will make a best attempt to group riders into similarly capable groups. This isn’t an exact science and riders are free to move around groups during the trip. Please check with your ride leaders.

We also offer another great equalizer: electric assist. An e-bike can provide an extra boost to your own pedal power, so you can ride longer distances, tackle tougher climbs, and maintain a faster pace in the company of family or friends who cycle at a different level. If you want to hire an e-bike (supplementary costs apply) please let us know.

How does the sweep vehicle work?

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The sweep vehicle is there to support issues such as major mechanicals or riders not being able to complete the ride. The sweep team will always try and get you back on the road and help riders to complete the route. If they can’t get you back on the road then they will deliver you to the final destination. As they are also having to look after other riders please be patient with them.

What nutrition is provided at each stop?

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Most days will have 3 planned stops.

Stop 1 -  Water, sports drinks, gels, snacks 

Stop 2  - Lunch 

Stop 3 -  Water, sports drinks, gels, snacks.

We use a variety of different sports nutrition providers. If you have a particular product that you like using we recommend that you bring it along.

What level of mechanical support is provided?

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Our mechanics will check your bike over at the start of the event to ensure it is road worthy. During the event they will be available at various points to assist should you get a major mechanical issue. They will do their best to get your bike working again and back on the road. This may be a temporary fix to get you to the end of the event. Due to the huge number of different parts and manufacturers it is impossible for them to hold lots of technical spares. All riders should have a couple of spare inner tubes with them each day to cater for punctures. The mechanical will carry emergency spares as well.

Bicycles, Navigation & Kit

Do I bring my own bike?

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The majority of our riders like to use their own bikes but that doesn’t mean we can’t assist in hiring one for you whether you need a standard road or e-bike. There will be a mechanic on the ride who is there to keep you on the road.  

You will need to bring your bike to Quintessentially Foundation’s office in central London ahead of the ride (Dates will be communicated nearer the time). We will arrange for your bike to be taken to the start point and we will take your bike back to Quintessentially Foundation’s offices for you after the event.  

What kind of bike do I need?

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We would recommend a traditional road bike but you can ride a hybrid if you feel it will be more comfortable for you. The only thing to consider is that hybrids are usually heavier so it's more to get up the hills. If you are keen on hiring an ebike let us know.

How will I navigate on the ride?

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All of the routes will be available as gpx files and downloadable from the QF Strava Club Page. You will be guided by a ride leader who is there to support your group and keep everyone on track and safe.  

If you have a bike navigation device such as a Garmin or Wahoo bike computer we recommend that you bring it with you so that you can see the route and your distance covered. It is also possible to follow the route via the Strava App on your phone. This will allow you to see the distance you have covered each day and share it with friends via Strava or Social media.

Bike maintenance and servicing

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It’s really important that you arrive for the ride with your bike in good working condition. We strongly encourage all riders to have their bikes serviced 4 - 6 weeks before the ride. There are multiple ways to do this:

  1. At the two training rides -  At these rides we will have our professional mechanic on hand to check over all the bikes and you can book in to have a full service or upgrades with him at this point.
  2. If you aren’t attending these rides contact us and we can arrange to meet you to collect your bike, have it serviced and then returned to you.  
  3. If a group of riders are co-located at work we can arrange for our mechanic to come to your place of work to service a group of bikes over one or a number of days. 

Once on the ride the mechanical team will be able to deal with most eventualities but if you are aware of any specific hard to supply parts that your bike requires then we highly recommend that you carry a spare. The main item that we recommend to carry is a rear mech hanger as these are unique to many bikes and we cannot carry spares.

On the ride itself we recommend each rider to carry spare inner tubes on them and to have a couple of spare in their luggage. Whilst we will have spares in the mechanical support vehicles it’s always preferable to be able to get your ride leader to help change it so you can get moving without having to wait for a support vehicle.

At the end of each day please report any technical issues to the mechanics as soon as you get in so they can fix issues that evening.

What kit do I need?

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You will need to bring enough clothing to cover yourself for the duration of the trip on and off the bike. You will always need two 500ml water bottles on your bike (provided by QF). Please only bring one medium suitcase (23kg) as space is limited, hang luggage is a small cabin bag only (to fit under the seat). We recommend you have a small saddle bag or bar bag that you can use for essentials on the ride as there will be no access to luggage when on route. 

See separate kit list here.