Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|7 May - 15 May 2020||On Sale|
Find your inner hero in 2020 and ride the dragon’s back, aka. the Great Wall of China, while supporting a heart charity of your choice. Mounting your bike at one of the more modern sections of the iconic landmark, this once-in-a-lifetime adventure takes you through rolling hills, rural towns, beautiful forests and a fast-developing city to the mind-blowing capital of Beijing.
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore China and the most rewarding part is that your participation supports heart charities across the world. You can either fundraise or self-fund with a personal donation to your chosen heart charity.
The Big Heart Bike Ride
Funds raised by the Big Heart Bike Ride Great Wall of China will support a number of heart charities. The Big Heart Bike Ride in India 2015 raised an amazing £200,000 for sixteen different heart charities. The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Worried about fundraising? Don’t be…
The Big Heart Bike Ride is an Open Challenge – this means you have the option to self fund your participation and there is no minimum fundraising requirement. You are, of course, more than welcome to commit to a minimum sponsorship target instead and fundraise for a heart charity or hospice of your choice; but it's completely up to you.
Spaces for this bucket list challenge are already filling up fast, so please register early to avoid disappointment.
Our adventure starts with an overnight flight from London Heathrow to Beijing, where we meet our local ground handler and catch our coach transfer to Huang Ya Guan. This is the perfect intro to the challenge, as Huang Ya Guan is considered to be a miniature of the Great Wall, with several watch towers and stunning views of rugged, green mountains. We spend the rest of the day bike fitting and exploring the area, which receives few Western tourists and so gives us a great first taste of traditional Chinese culture.
This first day of biking is fairly gentle; ideally designed to acclimatise to our new environment. We mount our bikes in front of the Great Wall at Huang Ya Guan and cycle on twisting tracks around a beautiful lake. Our route then takes us onto flat, wide roads, until we stop at Buddha Hill for a picnic lunch. This is a perfect rest spot, which gives us a magnificent view of the Giant Buddha towering over lush surroundings. After exploring this holy site, we cycle back to the lake, which forms the backdrop of our hotel at Pinggu.
Three challenging days lie ahead of us. We set off on a gentle 25km flat stretch to our first testing climb. This takes us through some gorgeous, rural villages tucked in the hills and we catch a glimpse of the local farming communities. After spending most of the day riding through the rolling, green hills, we’re rewarded with a descent to our hotel, which sits by the Miyun Reservoir. This glassy blue reservoir provides the majority of Beijing with drinking water.
Today is our longest day of riding, but with a mixture of flat cycling on modern bike lanes through busy and fast developing Chinese towns and climbs through the countryside, we’re kept enthralled by this incredible culture. After stopping for lunch at a local restaurant near the Great Wall at Mutianyu, we climb through beautiful forests. We take another break near the Ming Tombs and rest tonight in a comfortable hotel at Shisanling.
Today we get our most challenging climbs out of the way in the first 35km. Although tough to cycle, these green hills reward us with exquisite views over the lush and ancient valleys. After that, we ride downhill to a small and bustling market town, where the local farmers gather to sell their fresh produce. We stop for lunch at a local countryside restaurant and then continue through the mildly undulating countryside on quiet, well maintained roads. An absolute joy to cycle!
Today, we get our first real taste of urban China and cycle through a more built-up area. As we ride past modern skyscrapers and prestigious building projects along wide, smooth roads, we see just how fast China is developing. You’ll be pleased to know that our route today is fairly flat, until the very last kilometre. This last stretch takes us over a steep, stone paved track to our finish line near Badaling. After starting our epic bike ride at a modern section of the Great Wall, we finish within touching distance of a well-preserved old section of the wall. We enjoy lunch here, before our coach transfers us to our hotel in Beijing for a well-deserved rest! You can also choose to visit a traditional Chinese foot massage parlour after dinner and this might be just what you need after our demanding, yet rewarding, adventure.
Today, you have the opportunity to explore the fascinating city of Beijing. You may choose to tour the magnificent Forbidden City, the stunning royal lakeside retreat of the Summer Palace and the iconic Tiananmen Square. In the evening, we all come together to celebrate our completion of this amazing challenge.
We transfer to Beijing airport for our daytime flights to the UK.
Pay a non-refundable registration fee and then commit to fundraising a minimum sponsorship amount for your chosen heart charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
Cover your tour costs and the registration fee yourself and then fundraise as much as you can for the heart charity of your choice with no minimum target.
Pay the balance
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part on this challenge will have little or no fitness level when they sign up. This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, lose weight and have an experience of a lifetime.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own. Once the event is fully booked, we'll send you a contact list of everyone registered for the challenge, as often there will be someone in your local area you can meet up to train or fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. The age range is likely to be from 18 to 75.
A cycling helmet is essential. Cycling shorts are also recommended and everyone will need their own water bottles or a camel back-type hydration system. Apart from that no specialist equipment is required. We will supply you with a list of everything you will need to take before you go. Cyclists will have the use of 18 or 21-gear bikes and it is suggested that you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.
We'll experience a mix of accommodation during this challenge, including hotels with stunning mountain vistas and traditional farmhouse lodgings.
It may be possible to extend your stay at the end of the challenge to explore China further or to have a well-deserved break. Once the group flights are confirmed (11 months prior to departure) we will send you a flight extension form, which will enable you to apply for an extension.
In addition to paying your registration fee you will need to budget for your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £350 but subject to change – up or down), personal travel insurance, gratuities, optional tours and personal expenses.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can however take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity cycle in China. You will be required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into China, we will send you all the relevant information and forms to do this before the challenge.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself. Once you have registered we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the event. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
You can buy your official Big Heart Bike Ride - Cycle Costa Rica cycle jersey from the Simitar Sports website here. Scimitar is a separate company to Dream Challenges, who design gorgeous sports clothing. This jersey is the real deal so you know it'll keep you comfy all the way cycling across Costa Rica!