Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|3 September - 13 September 2021||On Sale|
Discover the stunning diversity of Sri Lanka on our next life changing Big Heart Bike Ride.
Together we’ll ride from the west to the east coast of the serendipity island, with a magical finish at the paradise beaches of Trincomalee. And the best part? It's all in support of the heart charity or cardiac ward of your choice.
Our beautiful route takes us across the rainforest-like rubber growing west of the country to the sprawling plains and idyllic beaches of the east. We’re treated to unending amazing panoramas the whole way, as we pass through rolling tea plantations, bustling towns, remote villages and the lush tropics, where vanilla, cardamom, jack fruit and cocoa grow.
We also have the awesome chance to visit the famous, ancient Sigiriya rock fortress and to taste Sri Lanka’s tea culture with a tour of one of the island’s gorgeous plantations.
We finish with a free day at the beach in Trincomalee, to relax and enjoy one of the world’s finest natural harbours.
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.
Places for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure are likely to go in a heartbeat, so please register early to avoid missing out.
Our 2021 adventure for heart charities begins when we meet at the airport in London. From here, we catch an overnight flight together to Negombo, arriving in the stunning country of Sri Lanka on Day 2. Our team of local challenge guides will be there to greet us and together, we transfer by coach from the airport to our hotel in Negombo.
In the afternoon, we have our bike fitting and take some time acclimatising to the awesome tropical climate! We end the day with a challenge briefing and our first group dinner.
After breakfast, we mount our bikes at the hotel and kick off along the West Coast. We follow a route through stunning scenery that welcomes us on to our challenge. Pedalling through towns and small villages, bustling with friendly locals, we’ll also pass lush rice fields, before descending through rainforest-like rubber plantations, to our hotel in Kitulgala.
Hydration is key and we’ll stop regularly to rehydrate ourselves with water, King coconut and fresh fruit. We may even take a dip in the streams we pass that are suitable for swimming, if you really need to cool off!
Today, we conquer Sri Lanka’s central hills. Beginning with breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to our starting point in Kotagala. From here, we spend the day cycling uphill through beautiful tea plantations. The spectacular views more than make up for the tough ride, with breath-taking panoramas of the rolling tea mountains on every side.
Finally, we reach our hotel in the beautiful city of Nuwara Eliya. Nestled in the hill country of the Central Province, Nuwara Eliya is sometimes known as “Little England”, due to its rows of Tudor-style hotels and bungalows with pretty gardens. Here, we settle down for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Breakfast at the hotel fuels us up for a longer, but equally as stunning, day of cycling. We mount our bikes at the hotel and ride first to a fantastic tea factory and plantation. We take a break here to make the most of the brilliant opportunity to learn how Sri Lankan tea is made. Surrounded by rows of Ceylon tea plants, we take a tour and get some insight into the manufacture of the delicious local drink.
Then we’re back in the saddle for a picture-perfect descent through rural villages and yet more beautiful tea plantations. Passing through the small towns of Pupuressa and Galaha, we eventually come to the suburban Peradeniya, where we meet our coach transfer. After an enchanting day’s ride, we rest tonight in the city of Kandy.
Hopping on our bikes after breakfast, we cycle into the central cultural region of the country! Passing through charming villages along the way, we enjoy handsome vistas of small gardens, lush greenery and tropical spice plantations.
From our saddles, we’ll likely see a great variety of flowering plants growing, including vanilla, rubber, cinchona, jackfruit, cocoa and cardamom. We stop for a lunch in a traditional spice garden in Matale, where we enjoy a taste of the local curry, amidst a spice paradise.
Then it’s back on our bikes, until we come to our hotel in Dambulla, the closest town to the famous Sigiriya rock fortress. Of course, we make the most of this fab opportunity to climb and explore it! Widely known as the eighth Modern Wonder of the World, this is an ancient archaeological wonder, formed from the magma of an extinct volcano. It reaches 370m above sea level, overshadowing its surrounding jungles by a whopping 200m.
We’ve made it to our last day of cycling! Although we’ve experienced a range of contrasting terrains and ecology on our challenge already, we have yet another mix-up.
Our route takes us along an almost perfectly straight road, with wide plains sprawling on either side, all the way to our finish line! We end our mighty 343km challenge at the beautiful beach of Trincomalee, on the east coast of the island.
Tonight, we celebrate our incredible achievement for heart charities with a bonfire on the beach and shots of the local spirit, Arrack.
Today is free for you to spend as you wish at the peaceful and picturesque Trincomalee, one of the world’s finest natural harbours. You can kick back on the sandy beach and soothe your muscles in the turquoise waters, visit the Shiva temple or tour the historic town for souvenirs!
To allow you more flexibility on this well-deserved day of leisure, only breakfast is provided. This leaves you free to try out the various restaurants and cafes for lunch and dinner.
We bid goodbye to the east coast after breakfast and transfer back to the west coast to Negombo. For the rest of the day, you’re free to explore the city, arrange your own lunch and enjoy an awesome sense of achievement at the place where our ride began. We meet back up in the evening for our farewell dinner, with a magical view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
After a final breakfast in Sri Lanka, we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight back to London. This is where we part ways and make our own way back home.
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
This cycle 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 a low level of fitness when they sign up.
This adventure in one of the world's most beautiful places is the perfect motivation to get fit, while raising vital funds for a very important 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 lifelong 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 in Sri Lanka 2021. 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 other 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. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join our awesome Big Heart Bike Ride.
There will be around 40 participants in our group for the Big Heart Bike Ride in Sri Lanka 2021. You'll no doubt make a bunch of awesome new friends!
Your registration fee of £299 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,750 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
In addition to paying your registration fee and either fundraising or self funding your challenge costs, you will need to budget for:
A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. 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 we suggest you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.
We stay in comfortable, three-star class hotels throughout this challenge on a twin-sharing basis.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Sri Lanka, please let us know at least fourteen weeks before the challenge start date and we can arrange this for you.
The best way to get in touch is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 01590 646410 during office hours (9am - 5pm Monday - Friday).
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 Sri Lanka. You will be required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into Sri Lanka, 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 challenge. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
During the cycle, we'll have two qualified doctors accompanying the group from the get go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced challenge guides and porters.
We’ll have an event leader, plus two qualified event doctors, who will be with you the whole time. We'll also have a team of first-aid trained challenge guides.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home