Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|19 September - 24 September 2019||On Sale|
Pedal to pretzels cycling from Zürich to Münich to fight male cancers. Conquering 410 km in four days, you’ll ride through an Alpine fairy tale of forests, mountains and lakes, all in aid of Orchid, Fighting Male Cancer, the leading charity supporting all those with prostate, testicular and penile cancer. Reaching your finish line in Münich, Germany, right in time for Oktoberfest, you’ll swap your bikes for beer and celebrate your Alps-some achievement with a smashing celebration at the largest festival in the world, which six million people attend each year!
We are proud to be partnering with Orchid, Fighting Male Cancer. Every day, 39 men sadly lose their life to either prostate, testicular or penile cancer and during your six-day adventure, 234 people would have died with a further 820 being diagnosed. Orchid exists to save men’s lives through their pioneering research, education and awareness programmes in addition to their much-valued dedicated Nurse led services.
Our unique adventure starts when we meet in the Swiss capital of Zürich. A little different from most of our other challenges, you organise your own flight to Switzerland. You’re likely to get a better deal booking your flight to Zürich yourself and it means you can choose the most convenient and direct flight to suit your circumstances. Upon touching down in Zürich, you meet our local ground handler at the airport and catch a short transfer to our comfortable hotel. Tonight, you’re free to make your own dinner arrangements. You may choose to grab something on your journey to Switzerland or in Zürich. We recommend the latter, so that you can make the most of the authentic Swiss cuisine (besides Toblerone!).
Meeting as a group this morning, we enjoy breakfast and a quick bike fitting at the hotel. Geared up to start our challenge, we meet our local guides and cycle towards Lake Constance, a beautiful lake at the foot of the Alps that borders Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Constance-ly mesmerised by the pristine natural scenery, we take a ferry across the border to Meersburg in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg. Meersburg (meaning “Castle on the Sea”) is a gorgeous medieval town, which is home to two castles and surrounded by vineyards. Hopping back on our bikes here, we follow a picturesque route around the eastern part of Lake Constance which is called the "Upper Lake" or "Obersee". Along the way, we’re treated to spectacular surroundings of the lake and the Alps, until we finally reach our hotel in the major town of Lindau. Also lying on the Obersee, Lindau is known for its old town on Lindau Island and hosts a variety of architecture, from the Gothic Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) to a 12th Century watchtower, to more modern European shops and hotels, this is the perfect place to spend our first night in Germany.
Mounting our bikes at our hotel in Lindau, we head east, away from Lake Constance and pass through the hilly, densely wooded, lower Alpine landscape of the Allgäu region in Bavaria. Although tough on our thighs, today is a delight for the eyes, as we cycle past the Großer Alpsee and the Rottach-Stausee, both stunning lakes with backdrops of lush forests, dwarfed by the mountains standing behind them. Pedalling further, we reach a third mountainous lake, Hopfensee, and finally find our hotel in the Bavarian town of Füssen. If you love a good fiddle, you’ll feel right at home here, in a town renowned for its violin and lute industry. Füssen also hosts the Gothic castle, Hohes Schloss and lies close to the fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein.
Our cycle today may be a little shorter distance-wise, but it’s packed full of sights! Coming from Füssen, the route merges with Germany’s most popular holiday route, the “Romantische Straße”, aka. the Romantic Road. As we ride along it, it soon becomes clear why it’s so popular. With the trifecta of nature, culture and hospitality, it rewards us for our aching legs with a landscape of river valleys, fertile farmland, forests, meadows and mountains. We wind through the forests of the Ammergau Mountains, past the small skiing destination of Bad Kohlgrub and the Murnau Moss, which is one of the largest uninterrupted marshlands in Central Europe. Upon reaching the mountainous municipality of Eschenlohe, we continue along the Loisach River, passing the Kochelsee lake and the Loisach moor, to the cliffs of the Wetterstein Mountains of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We rest tonight in a town called Bad Tölz, which contrary to its name, isn’t bad at all, with stunning Alpine surroundings that have become somewhat familiar to us.
Today we can say “Prost” (cheers) and enjoy some of that well-deserved German beer; but not before we conquer our final 60 km stretch. Riding north, we follow the River Isar most of the day and cycle through the woods of Grünwald as we draw closer to our finishing point. Upon reaching Münich in the afternoon, we make a “bier-line” to our reserved table at the famous Oktoberfest, where our beer and well-earned meal is waiting for us. It’s time to swap our saddles for dirndls and ledenhosen and have a good old “munch-en” on those beloved German pretzels. Tonight, we stay in Münich. Your trip with us ends here (on Day 6) at your hotel, so feel free to stay on for longer and enjoy the festival or take a flight home (which, again, you arrange yourself).
The more money raised by participants on the challenge the higher the percentage of funds that directly support those affected by male cancers.
Minimum sponsorship target
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, but we strongly recommend that you do train for the challenge. We will provide you with an achievable training plan well ahead of time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the challenge start date. 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. After you sign up, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook Group for Cycle Zürich to Oktoberfest, where you can chat with your other participants that will be cycling from Switzerland to Oktoberfest in Germany with you. Our past challengers have found these Facebook groups really useful for swapping training and fundraising tips as well as helping to motivate and support each other while prepping for the challenge. You can of course also use this groups as a way to organise meet-ups before 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 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. A kit list for the challenge will be sent to you when you register. A bicycle mechanic will be travelling with the group but you will be expected to bring two spare inner tubes, if you decide to bring your own bike.
We provide very good bikes with water bottle holders for you at no extra cost, which will be ready and waiting for you in Zürich. Before we start the challenge, we have a bike fitting so that you'll be comfortable on it throughout the challenge. Please note, you do need to bring your own helmet. Helmets are mandatory and you won't be able to take part in the cycling challenge without one. Safety is always our priority. Some people also prefer to bring their own saddle so that they feel familiar on the bike.
You are otherwise more than welcome to bring your own bike to ride on the challenge if you prefer, but please keep in mind, it's your responsibility to pack it up for your flight and it will be at your own extra cost. If you decide to bring your own bike, please check out your airline's website to check their fees for bikes and their packing requirements. A road bike will be best, or you may choose to use a hybrid, but we wouldn't recommend a mountain bike.
We will stay in comfortable 3 - 4* hotels for the duration of this challenge.
No, your main luggage will be transported each day by our support team. Each participant however will be organising their own flight to and from Zürich, so you'll be responsible for your own luggage on the plane. We advise you to pack light and if you're bringing your own bike with you, please make sure to check your airline's requirements. You will need a bag to go on your bike or a waste bag for things like your camera, sun cream, tissues etc. Any extra items you may need during the day can be carried on the support vehicle, which you will have access to at the snack stops and lunch.
Yes of course! As you are responsible for organising your own flights, it is completely up to you which dates you book them for (as long as they give enough time for you to take part in the full challenge). We expect most people will want to stay in Münich after the challenge to spend more time at Oktoberfest, which goes on for sixteen days! Please note, though, that for our first night of the challenge, we will be staying at a hotel near the airport and meeting as a group at the hotel the next morning, so you do need to make sure you make the challenge briefing.
Your flights to Zürich and from Münich will not be included, so you do need to arrange and pay for these yourself, along with your personal travel insurance to cover your challenge. Also, you need to arrange your own dinner on Day 1. Our reservation at Oktoberfest with a meal and one litre of beer is included on the last day and if you plan to spend more time in Münich after our challenge ends, entry to Oktoberfest and all its tents are free! However, you will of course need to organise your own accommodation and other costs beyond the night of Day 5 of our challenge. Please also budget for any other extra personal expenses, such as souvenirs, beer, snacks, etc.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy, which we will send you the details of. You can however take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity cycle in Switzerland and Germany. Each participant needs to organise their own tourist visa if needed. Currently, UK citizens don't require a visa to enter Germany. If this changes, we will let you know and provide you with all the information you need.
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.