1) Bookings must be made by Wednesday 25th July.
After 25th July, you’ll only be able to book onto the ‘No Accommodation’ option. i.e. you’d have to arrange your own accommodation or take up the offer of free accommodation if we have it.
i ) The costs are based on sharing a twin room (doubles on request) in a hotel in Northampton, with a friend or a rider of the same sex, and on an individual room in a halls of residence in Luton.
In Northampton, an individual room is possible for a supplement of £25.
ii) The ‘No Accommodation‘ option means you’re planning to arrange your own accommodation - with friends/ family or in a hotel of your choice. You would need to get to and from this accommodation yourself.
iii) We are hoping to be able to provide free accommodation in both Northampton and Luton, and expect to be able to confirm this by 1st June. Let us know if you’re into this option, and we can contact you as soon as we know.
iv) If you only need accommodation in Northampton or Luton, let us know and we will adjust the cost of the ride. It’s not set out as an option on the booking form because we think this will only apply to a few people, and we didn’t want to make the booking form any more involved than it is.
ii) We are currently working on the arrangements for the evening meal and breakfast in Northampton. We hope to be able to organise a large scale buffet in a community facility or a restaurant in the evening and a charge will be made to cover costs.
iii) The evening meal in Luton will be a large scale buffet in a community hall hosted by Luton Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). Again a small charge will be made to cover costs. Breakfast will be available from food vans in St George’s Square where Luton PSC have organised a send off for the riders.
iv) Lunch and rest stops. We will have rest stops about every 1 1/2 hours where drinks , snacks and food will be available to buy from shops and cafes that are supporting The Big Ride, as well as from the support vehicles.
4) Support on the Ride
Q i) - What happens if my bike develops a mechanical problem during the ride?
Ans - We recommend that your bike is fully serviced prior to The Big Ride, and that you carry two inner tubes in case of punctures. We have several bike mechanics who will stop to assist you. Ultimately a support vehicle will pick you and your bike up if it’s not possible to fix your bike at the road side.
Q ii) - What happens if I can’t complete the distance on any of the three days?
Ans - Tough! (only joking) …… the support vehicles are there to make sure you cycle the distance you’re happy with, and can provide a lift for you and your bike at any rest stop.
Q iii) - What if I become ill during the ride?
Ans - There are a number of first aiders on the ride. If you have an existing medical condition that requires management, you should seek advice from your healthcare professional in advance of the ride, and let the organisers know. Please ensure you bring all your medication and supplies with you, as there may not always be access to pharmacies.
i) The support vehicles will transport your luggage from the start point of the day to the hotels/ hall of residence that TBR have booked. Please try and travel light.
Q) - How do I get my luggage to my accommodation if I have booked a hotel for myself?
Ans - You will have to make your own way to your accommodation and back to the start point the following day. We recommend you have panniers or a rucksack if you’re taking this option for taking your gear to the van in the morning and from the van at the end of the day.
6) Getting to the start and home from the finish.
i) - Whether you’re starting in Coventry, Northampton or Luton, or finishing in Northampton, Luton or London, it is your responsibility to get to where you start or get back from where you finish the ride. There will be groups of riders coming from different parts of Britain ( and further afield) , and there will be some regional coordinators who can advise on any local arrangements being made.We can put you in touch with a regional coordinator if there is one in your area.
ii) - If you’re getting to the start by train or getting home by train, you probably need to book your bike on the train.
7) The Route and Cycling
Q i) - What route will we be taking?
Ans - The route planners have started to work on the best routes between each city, and detailed information will be provided the joining instructions. We will be looking for a mixture of traffic free routes, quieter roads, as well as the opportunity to cycle into towns and cities to meet with local supporters, and to engage with members of the public.
Q ii) - I’m only an occasional cyclist. Will I be able to do 35 - 50 miles in a day?
Ans - Most of the people on The Big Ride will be regular cyclists, but a good few will be occasional cyclists who are determined to get involved in an act of solidarity for Palestine. It’s not a race, and we re-group on several occasions a day, so that we have maximum impact as we arrive into towns and cities. We’ve developed a model of experienced cyclists acting as human signposts along the route, as well as a few back markers to make sure nobody is left behind and that’s there’s always support if you have puncture or other bicycle problem. It’s an amazing event, and we want everyone to feel part of something very special.
Q iii) - What rider ID proof of registration will I have?
Ans - Each rider will have The Big Ride 4 Palestine cycle top and a silicone wristband with The Big Ride logo on it.
i) - Payment can be made by bank transfer or by cheque. Information on how is on the booking form. We’ve decided that PayPal, WorldPay, etc take a cut we’d rather give to MECA.
ii) Refund Policy:
Up to 1st July , 100% refund, less £25 if a cycle top has been sent out.
After 1st July , minimum 50% refund,less £25 if a cycle top has been sent out. We will refund more if we’ll able to fill rooms that we’ve booked and have to pay for by 1st July.
We strongly recommend that you get out on your bike a good few times before you join the ride. You don’t need to be a fitness fanatic, but you will get so much more out of the ride, if you have put some training in beforehand. On request we are happy to send you a simple training guide; we can also answer any questions you might have on training. Send us a message through the website or gmail account.
i) The Big Ride raises funds for the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA). MECA does vital work tackling the physical and psychological trauma suffered by children in Gaza. The funds raised by The big Ride will support a new sports programme in Gaza, as promotion of physical activity in young people improves mental health as well as physical health.
ii) We will set up a Justgiving page for the project in Gaza. We encourage all riders to try and raise funds for MECA, but it is not a requirement for joining the ride. Riders have become quite creative in raising money for MECA, as it’s not always easy to keep asking friends to donate to their Justgiving page. Fund-raising breakfasts, bar-b-ques, cocktail parties, benefit bops, and yoga events have successfully raised significant sums of money, allowed many conversations to take place, and have recruited more riders. We will produce clear guidance on how to join the TBR MECA page, as it is too easy to set up an individual Justgiving page that is not connected to our project on the JustGiving website.
Q i) - I’m worried about being called anti-semitic. How can I counter this as it horrifies me be considered racist?
Ans - The Big Ride for Palestine is opposed to all forms of racism, which includes Islamophobia and anti-semitism. Active opposition to the crimes of the Israeli state is a responsibility, just as opposition to South African apartheid was a moral and political imperative for many. The pro-Israeli lobby has been very successful in silencing criticism of Israel by consciously conflating criticism of Israel and anti-semitism. Our opposition is to the actions of the Israeli state, not Jewish people.
Q ii) -What will I need to bring with me?
Ans - This will be covered within the joining instructions that comes out in mid-July.