Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|6 October - 14 October 2020||On Sale|
The Big Heart Bike Ride is back for 2020 – and we’re heading to South Africa!
Calling all big-hearted people willing to cycle themselves to the limit for a life-saving cause – join us for this epic 400km adventure along the world-renowned Garden Route. Our challenge takes us from the wonderful lagoon town of Brenton-on-Sea, alongside pretty rivers, through lush farmland, rolling hills, rustic villages and even a game reserve. Look out for the amazing (and in some cases, sadly endangered) wildlife Africa is renowned for, including rhinos, zebras, impalas, lions and more!
We finish with a free day in the stunning city of Cape Town, brimming with culture, creativity and natural beauty, from its back drop of the flat-topped Table Mountain to its white-sand beaches and its colourful streets. And the best part? Your participation supports heart charities across the world. You can either fundraise or self-fund with a personal donation to a heart charity or cardiac ward of your choice.
The Big Heart Bike Ride
The Big Heart Bike Ride is a heartily popular challenge that brings together people from all cycles of life to raise invaluable funds for heart charities and cardiac wards. Over the years, these amazing cycling challenges have raised thousands of pounds for a number of different heart charities and cardiac wards. 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 cardiac ward of your choice; but it's completely up to you.
Spaces for this bucket list challenge are expected to fill up fast, so please register early to avoid disappointment.
Meeting at the airport in London, we start our adventure with a flight to the Western Cape Province of South Africa. We meet our local tour guides at the airport and transfer to our hotel in the beautiful Brenton-on-Sea, near Knysna, home to a gorgeous, sandy beach and the endangered Brenton blue butterfly. Once settled, we have our challenge briefing, bike fitting and our first group dinner.
Our challenge begins with a pleasant, flowing ride along the old Seven Passes Road, which dates back to the 19th Century and was once the Garden Route’s main highway. It’s now just a quiet country lane, which makes for ideal cycling. Riding alongside the banks of the Knysna River at the base of the Outeniqua Mountains, the terrain varies between gravel, dirt and tar and we can enjoy some gorgeous scenery including indigenous forest and dairy farmland, until we reach George. This city is the capital and cultural hub of the Garden Route with a stunning backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains.
Today, we pedal past Blanc and through farmlands on rolling dirt roads to the pretty and popular river side town of Groot Brak. Cycling on, we cross the gorge and we may get our feet wet, but the chance of spotting an elephant or rhino as we pass the Botlierskop Game Reserve, more than makes up for it! We then join the tar road to the wonderful seaside town, Hartenbos, near Mossel Bay, where we find our hotel by the mouth of the river.
We start the day with some hills and another wet river crossing, before cycling through the scenic foothills of the mountain range, enjoying the spectacular mountainous backdrop as we go. This leads us to the back gate of the fantastic Garden Route Game Lodge, where we have the awesome opportunity to cycle through the Game Reserve, escorted by rangers, to our accommodation. This is a brilliant chance to look out for the wonderful wildlife Africa is renowned for, including rhinos, lions, elephants, buffalos, zebras and many more. This evening, we tuck into a delicious buffet, while enjoying a view over the game reserve.
We start the day with some fairly flat cycling along dirt roads until we reach a steep hill up to Hiedelberg. This takes us to a pretty stretch alongside the twisting Duiwenhoks River, before we come to our second testing climb up onto the Grootvadersbosch road. Although tough, both these ascents reward us with gorgeous views across the lush green landscape of farmland and rolling hills. Once we’ve reached the top, we find the Honeywood Farm, our welcoming accommodation tucked in the mountains.
Today is our last day on the bikes and it’s also our shortest, which we’re sure your legs will be pleased to know. We ride downhill through the green grainlands all the way to the beautiful Breede River – and our finish line! Here, we enjoy our unusual human-powered pontoon crossing, before we transfer to our hotel in Cape Town. This evening, we can enjoy a final celebration meal together and settle down for a very well-deserved rest.
Our last day in Cape Town – and in South Africa - is free for you to spend as you please. Why not explore the Table Mountain National Park, home to the flat-topped mountain and a number of beautiful gardens? The city itself is also spectacular, its streets bursting with art. The colourful Bo Kaap street is definitely worth a visit, lined with houses painted in such bright colours you could be lost in a cartoon. There’s also a fabulous range of activities and tours you can do in the area, such as taking a surfing lesson, tandem-paragliding and even abseiling. Please note that for this free day, you will need to arrange your own lunch and dinner – a great opportunity to try out the superb cuisine Cape Town has to offer. On Day 8, we catch a day time flight from Cape Town back to the UK and home sweet home.
Pay the challenge costs yourself and choose to fundraise or donate as much as you can for a heart charity or cardiac ward of your choice.
Pay the balance yourself
Pay a non refundable registration fee and then commit to raising a minimum amount for a heart charity or cardiac ward of your choice.
Minimum sponsorship target
The Big Heart Bike Ride 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 in 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 - and all for a fantastic cause.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for the Big Heart Bike Ride South Africa 2020. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow cyclists on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and 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 a youthful 80.
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're used to riding on.
Throughout this challenge, we'll be stating in a mix of hotels, lodges and camping.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in South Africa, you will need to come out of our group flights (and of course, we would deduct the cost from your balance).
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 South Africa. UK citizens travelling for tourism don't need a visa for South Africa, unless you plan to stay for more than ninety days. We'll let you know if this changes. For more information on visas, contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.
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've registered, we'll send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the cycle. The programme builds up gradually as the challenge gets closer.