04 August 2014
Cycle the length of the Western Front in aid of The Soldiers' Charity.
4 - 9 August 2014.
Departing London on Monday 4th August
Returning to London on Saturday 9th August
To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity are offering places on a unique cycle ride.
Exactly 100 years to the day since war was declared on 4th August 1914, 200 riders will depart from Central London and ride to Dover, cross the Channel to Calais, one of the major disembarkation points for Kitchener's Army. The group will then follow the front line all the way to Compiegne, near Paris, where the Armistice was finally signed in 1918.
The event is backed by The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who said: “I am delighted to support Wheels on the Western Front, an event in aid of The Soldiers Charity, which marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The centenary of WW1 gives us an opportunity to recognise the bravery and sacrifice of our Armed Forces, who do a magnificent job under extreme pressure.
“The cycle ride is a feat of epic proportions and a fitting tribute to the heroes that have fought for us in the past and who continue to put themselves in harm’s way for us today”.
Richard Hackett, from The Soldiers’ Charity, said: “This ride will be physically and emotionally challenging. We will ride approximately 70 miles each day and along the way will visit places of interest, all of them with a story to tell and all of them incredibly moving. You will get a lot out of this ride; but just as importantly, this great cause will raise important funds to continue to support our troops.”
Look at our itinerary
Experience the moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate on 5th August before riding the Ypres Salient in its entirety, including such battlegrounds as Boezinge, Passchendaele, Messines and 'Plug Street'. Crossing into France we visit Fromelles, Neuve Chapelle and Vimy - places where troops from Australia, India and Canada fought and died in this truly global conflict.
The next day the soaring arches of the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme await, where the 72,203 names of those men whose bodies were never found are carved in Portland stone, and the sight of which invariably move grown men to tears. There is an excellent new visitor centre there too.
The final day passes the sites of other battles equally well-known for their ferocity: Mametz, High Wood and Delville Wood, for example, before crossing the Somme at Peronne and continuing south to Compiegne.
There is already considerable public and media interest so we advise booking your place without delay.
Further information and how to book
- Accommodation will be in a mixture of budget hotels and hostels, with a generous breakfast buffet each morning and snacks along the way. For lunch you are free to do your own thing. Four evening meals are also included (drinks extra).
- The ride will be fully supported with experienced staff and medical and mechanical assistance. Full route notes will be provided to highlight some of the sights along the way.
- In addition, there will be several wreath laying ceremonies to commemorate this important anniversary.
- Places will be allocated strictly in the order of application.
Visit here to Create your Fundraising Page
To buy your own Akuma cycle shirt, designed exclusively for ABF The Soldiers' Charity, visit the Akuma website. £5 from the sale of each shirt will be given to the Charity and we are delighted that Akuma are the official kit provider for this amazing challenge.
If you use social media visit and 'like' our Facebook page to help publicising this great event.