Ride to Victory for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
Join us for a historical cycle ride in France and Belgium to commemorate the end of WW1 with special emphasis on The Hundred Days Offensive which was the final period of the 1914-18 conflict.
Take on the 428 mile challenge!
This ride will be a tough physical challenge – we’ll be covering over 50 miles a day – but an emotional one too. The route will take in the major battle sites of Verdun and the Hundred Days Offensive of 1918 as well as the breathtaking, historical monuments at Vimy and The Menin Gate giving an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of our soldiers 100 years ago.
Show your support for our soldiers today by taking part and raising money in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Army’s National Charity, helping soldiers, veterans and their families since 1944.
The ride will take the format of a coach transfer out to Verdun, the legendary fortress town which the French refused to surrender despite horrendous losses, and a return to Folkestone by bike from Verdun. It will cover fascinating areas which saw action both in 1914 during the Retreat from Mons, the Battle of the Marne, the Chemin des Dames, skirting the eastern fringes of the Somme before crossing the Cambrai battlefields and entering Belgium to stay at Mons, where it all began in 1914 and where it all finished in virtually the same place in 1918. From Mons we ride to Ypres for a fantastic last night including a wreath laying at the Menin Gate, before returning to Folkestone in time for early evening on Saturday 11 August.
During this commemorative ride you will pass places of huge significance in the course of the war and there will be ample opportunities to pay your respects as you cycle through France and Belgium.
Services provided by Green Jersey French Cycling Tours
Registration will take place in Folkestone on Sunday 5 August 2018 and riders will move by coach to Verdun. Riders will then cycle through northern France and Belgium visiting the important sites of the Verdun and The Hundred Days Offensive battlefields to commemorate those events 100 years on. Overnight stops will be in Verdun, Vienne Le Chateau, Reims, St Quentin, Mons and Ypres before returning to Folkestone on Saturday 11 August 2018.
The route is undulating for the first three days and then generally flat; even the longer days should be within the reach of all people wishing to participate. There are a great many places to see along the way so plenty of opportunities to stop should you wish – indeed we recommend pausing to make the most of the places we pass.
Day 1, Sunday 5 August 2018: Folkestone to Verdun.
Morning registration and lunchtime departure by comfortable coach to Verdun.
Day 2, Monday 6 August 2018: Verdun to Vienne le Chateau (67 miles)
We ride through the heart of the Verdun Battlefield passing Douaumont, Fort Vaux, Hill 304, the Mort-Homme memorial and the Butte de Vauquois amongst many other fascinating places. The Verdun sector is the largest area of remaining battlefield landscape on the Western Front with fortifications and reminders everywhere.
Day 3, Tuesday 7 August 2018: Vienne le Chateau to Reims (51 miles)
A leisurely day today and a chance to enjoy some lovely rolling countryside on the ride to Reims, capital of Champagne. We are closely following the front line where it stabilised in October 1914 virtually all the way to Reims, passing numerous monuments, former trench systems and other places of interest along the way.
Day 4, Wednesday 8 August: Reims to St Quentin (73 miles)
From Reims we once again follow the front line up to the evocative Chemin des Dames, crossing the river Marne on the way where the German advance was halted in 1914. The ‘Caverne du Dragon’ is an underground network of old quarries with tens of kilometres of tunnels, often occupied by German and French forces at the same time with only barricades to separate them. Skirting the historic hilltop town of Leon it is then an easy ride to St Quintin for the night, where the cathedral is still being rebuilt after its destruction in 1918.
Day 5, Thursday 9 August 2018: St Quentin to Mons (80 miles)
The longest day but not hilly or difficult. Leaving St Quentin you soon reach the immaculate American Somme Cemetery at Bony, before passing the entrance to the St Quintin Canal tunnel, which was used as billets by the Germans and formed part of the Hindenburg Line defences. From here we are now passing into the area where the final push to victory was made in late 1918. We also visit the battlefield of Le Cateau where II Corps under Smith Dorrien made a vital stand during the retreat from Mons in 1914, and visit the grave of Wilfred Owen on our route to St Symphorien cemetery on the edge of Mons where the first and last British casualties of the war are buried facing each other. It is a further 2 miles from here to our hotel in the centre of Mons, a delightful town where tradition dictates that you rub the brass monkey in the town square for luck, as thousands of British soldiers did in 1914.
Day 6, Friday 10 August 2018: Mons to Ypres (75 miles)
There are no hills of any note as we ride first to the canal north of Mons where the British Expeditionary Force first engaged the enemy on 21 August 1914; on this day, Lt Dease won the first Victoria Cross of the war for continuing to man his machine gun whilst all around him were killed, thus delaying the German capture of the bridge at Nimy. Riding north of Lille we head for one of the highlights of any tour to the First World War Battlefields, Tyne Cot, via the village of Passchendaele which needs no introduction. The spires of Ypres can be seen in the distance and we finish the day in this wonderful town, laying a wreath at the Last Post ceremony under the Menin Gate. Most riders find the energy to celebrate their achievements this evening after a dinner at our comfortable city centre hotel!
Day 7, Saturday 11 August 2018: Ypres to Calais (70 miles) & Dover to Folkestone (12 miles)
A completely flat run takes us back to Calais for the ferry home, pausing at Lijssenthoek cemetery along the way and passing the site of the Wormhout massacre during the withdrawal to Dunkirk in Wold War Two.
Accommodation is provided – 6 nights in 3*** hotels; breakfast, evening meal and picnic lunch included. Baggage transport will be provided along the route. Medical and mechanical support is also provided.
Registration fee: £250
Minimum sponsorship target: Riders taking part must commit to raise £1,500 in sponsorship.
To participate in this fantastic event, riders will pay a Registration Fee of £250 on entry which will be their personal contribution for the enjoyment of a week in the battlefields. This does not go towards the sponsorship target that each rider will commit to raise. This registration fee may be paid in two instalments, no more than 3 months apart, by prior agreement with the organiser.
Riders must also commit to raise £1,500 in sponsorship for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. The charity will provide help, support and fundraising tips and ideas to help you achieve this target. Early registration will allow you longer to reach your target and the highest three fundraisers will each be presented with a special commemorative jersey by The Soldiers’ Charity to record their thanks.
Registration for the event is through our event partners, Green Jersey French Cycling Tours.
The easiest way to fundraise is to set up a JustGiving page that you can share with friends and family. Please create your page here so that the charity can easily identify how much is raised by the event.
This will ensure that money raised is correctly allocated to your fundraising efforts, so it is important to get this information correct.
For further information, guidance and support, please contact our West Midlands regional office:
Tel: 01952 674322 / 01952 674 323
“One of the best weeks of my life!”
Take a look at what some of our riders have said about their experiences on Wheels on the Western Front.
I don’t think I can remember a time that I have enjoyed so much, nor got so much out of, nor had such adventure, with such a fun group of people, knowing that we were looked after by you and your support team every inch of the way. I salute you for every single part of it, for your organisation, for your attention to detail, your care, support, your ability to make us feel safe at all times along the route.
This is just a very brief thank you to yourselves and all of your teams for the superb event that you organised, it was without doubt a challenge for me but it was also a hugely enjoyable thing to take part in and for such a good cause.
It was a fabulous week – it combined all the best elements of raising money – a real and everlasting cause, fun people, great banter and a sense of achievement.
I feel extremely privileged to have taken part and also proud that collectively so much has been raised for such a great charity.
I thoroughly enjoyed it all, meeting old friends and gaining new ones was great. I think the banter and camaraderie in the whole group was superb and the support from you, your team and the Green Jersey team was excellent, even better than in 2014.
Thank you for having us on the Wheels to the Western Front and for making us all so welcome. We all absolutely loved it and can only say that it was an outstanding success; a great route, interesting talks, delicious sustenance, comfortable beds etc etc. Congratulations.
Richard, Dot and Conor Clowes
“One of the best weeks of my life, and with some of the best people I’ve met in my life!”
“Thank you again to you and the tremendous bunch of supporters who instigated the whole thing, prepared us for what was to come, managed to convince us that raising money for the charity was a great idea, managed to convince us to convince our friends and family of the same thing, cajoled us all 350 miles on our bikes.
We always felt fully supported by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. You leave all your baggage behind and just have a good old chat on these rides. It’s a wonderful thing to do.”
“Although I have no link with the military, I have an interest in WW1 and seeing as it was a Soldiers’ Charity ride; I was keen to ride with like-minded people. I have worked with the military and the camaraderie and organization has been fantastic during this event. It has been a thoroughly worthwhile 5 days and Andy Robertshaw, the historian, really brought it all to life.”
“This amazing Wheels on the Western Front event finished on Friday in Compiegne, France, amidst sun, rain and lots of stories from the cyclists’ last 5 days on the road. Over 350miles were biked and some amazing tales came out. One couple even saw in their 30th wedding anniversary as they crossed the finish line together!”
“Great experience, looking forward to the next one.”
Terms and Conditions
1. Booking Procedure and Payment terms
1.1 Please send us your completed and signed copy of our Booking Form by email or post. Submission of the booking form is deemed to be acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. If booking by post please also send a cheque for the deposit with your booking form.
1.2 On receipt of your booking form we will issue a Booking Confirmation and (receipted) invoice for the deposit, which should be paid by paid by bank transfer. Details will be provided on the invoice. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Green Jersey Cycling Tours Ltd’.
1.3 Deposits become due within 7 days of invoice date and after this period your registration will lapse if the deposit has not been received.
1.4 If you need several more days please telephone before expiry of the 7 day period and we will extend it further.
1.5 If we do not receive your deposit within 7 days or more time has not been negotiated as per clause 1.4 we reserve the right to allocate your space to someone else.
1.6 Payment of deposit is existence of a contract between us and agreement to these terms and conditions.
1.7 We will submit an invoice to The Soldiers’ Charity for the balance of your event cost which becomes due 8 weeks before commencement of the holiday.
1.8 The Soldiers’ Charity will pay the balance of the cost subject to their having received a percentage of the minimum fundraising amount as set out in 1.12 and 1.13.
1.9 If that amount is not received in a timely manner this will constitute a cancellation by you (see paragraph 2.4 below) and you will still remain personally liable for the cancellation charges.
1.10 Whilst the Soldiers’ Charity will pay the balance subject to the clauses above, ultimate responsibility and liability for the trip cost remains with you and the contract is between Green Jersey Cycling Tours Ltd and you.
1.11 We and/or The Soldiers’ Charity will from time to time send out fundraising tips and ideas to help you raise the minimum amount. Please feel free to contact us or The Soldiers’ Charity at any time for advice on fundraising.
1.12 You pledge to raise a minimum of £1,500 in sponsorship. You can make up the balance yourself should you not reach this target. There is no maximum limit. 85% of your target (£1,275) should be sent to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity by 1st June 2018. If you do not pay a minimum amount equal to the price stated in clause
1.13 we reserve the right to cancel your place which will constitute a cancellation by you under section 2 of these terms and conditions. The remainder of you fundraising monies is due 4 weeks after your return.
1.14 You will be considered a ‘professional fundraiser’ within the meaning of the Charities Act 1992. You are to ensure the following:
a. When you are obtaining sponsorship you must give the following statement “I am participating in an event promoted by Green Jersey Cycling Tours Ltd to raise funds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. I have committed to raise at least £1,500 for the charity, a share of which will be used to pay the costs of my travel, accommodation and other costs.”
b. You must maintain accurate records showing how much money you have raised and allow ABF The Soldiers’ Charity to access these at any time.
c. It is important that these rules are followed. Breaking these provisions would mean you commit a criminal offence under the terms of the Charities Act 1992.
d. Once you have raised 85% (£1,275) of the minimum sponsorships (due 1st June 2018), your place will be confirmed.
1.15 Green Jersey Cycling Tours Ltd reserve the right to increase the amount of the balance due should the currency exchange rate drop below 1.1 Euros to the Pound Sterling. This clause will be invoked only at the time of payment of accommodation, transport and other suppliers who are paid in Euros and will be limited to an amount equal in percentage terms to the difference between the exchange rate at that time and the exchange rate as set out above. The exchange rate shall be defined as the commercial rate provided by Lloyds TSB.
2. Cancellation by you
If you cancel your place cancellation charges will apply as follows. You are therefore strongly advised to ensure that you adequate travel insurance in place to cover you in the event of cancellation by you:
2.1 The deposit is non-refundable unless we are able to reallocate your place in which case a £50 cancellation charge will be levied.
2.2 We will only reallocate your place to someone on a waiting list. A waiting list will be in operation only after all places have been allocated through the normal registration process.
2.3 After payment of deposit but before sponsorship is paid, the deposit is forfeited in full.
2.4 After payment of sponsorship but not less than one month before the start date, the greater of the deposit or 50% of the total paid will be forfeited.
2.5 Less than one month before the start date, the full costs will be forfeited.
2.6 You expressly agree that any monies recovered by you from your travel insurance which relate to sums paid on your behalf by The Soldiers’ Charity will be reimbursed to The Soldiers’ Charity.
2.7 If you cancel or are required to withdraw from the trip you will be required to send all sponsorship forms and money collected directly to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. This may well be retained by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. If your sponsors wish to request a refund of their donations then they must apply in writing to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
3. Cancellation by us
3.1 If we cancel the event we will offer you an alternative departure date if possible.
3.2 You are not obliged to accept our offer of an alternative date and can instead opt for a full refund, including deposit, of all monies paid by you to Green Jersey Cycling Tours Ltd.
3.3 You should ensure that you have adequate insurance in place to cover you should we be forced to cancel your trip to cover those amounts paid to suppliers other than us (e.g. travel arrangements).
4. Variation by you
4.1 If you are delayed in joining the start or need to curtail your participation, we will not offer any refund. You will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements at your own cost from the point where you join or leave the event.
4.2 You should ensure that you have adequate travel and medical insurance in case of this eventuality leading to your curtailment of the event.
5. Variation by us
5.1 All reasonable care is taken to ensure that the arrangements are as advertised. We take great care to ensure that only the most suitable accommodation is used and that the routes offer the best cycling on offer. However we retain the right to alter these arrangements.
5.2 If there is a ‘significant variation’ to the advertised itinerary we will offer you the same options as set out under ‘Cancellation by us’ above.
5.3 A significant variation is defined as one where any of the following conditions are met:
5.3.1 The start as advertised is altered by more than 24 hours
5.3.2 The finish as advertised is altered by more than 24 hours
5.3.3 The start or finish point is changed by more than 15 miles.
5.4 A change in the hotels as advertised or the route as advertised does not constitute
a significant variation.
5.5 You should ensure that you have adequate insurance in place to cover you should we be forced to make a ‘significant variation’ to your holiday to cover those amounts paid to suppliers other than us (e.g. travel arrangements).
6. Your liability and obligations to us by signing our registration form you agree that:
6.1 You are in a fit medical state to undertake this holiday which is of an active nature.
6.2 You recognise that there are factors outside our control which may cause injury or death for which we cannot be held liable or negligent, including but not limited to the state of road surfaces, the behaviour of other road users, mechanical or other bicycle failure or adverse weather conditions.
6.3 You are required to wear a cycling helmet at all times when on the bicycle.
6.4 To act in a responsible manner both on and off the road and to respect the local customs of areas visited.
6.5 You will not touch, disturb or remove battlefield artefacts that you may find. This is especially important in the case of ordnance and shells (even if in your own judgement they are empty cases) which even today may explode.
6.6 To comply with the wishes of our service providers.
6.7 To agree to the decisions of our tour leaders, guides, assistants or any employees, directors or staff of Green Jersey Cycling Limited, whose decision is final and binding.
6.8 That if in the opinion of our tour leaders, guides, assistants or any employees, directors or staff of Green Jersey Cycling Limited, your continued presence on the event represents a threat to or risk to the safety of other participants, or if your behaviour is of an anti-social or offensive nature, we retain the right to curtail your holiday immediately without compensation and that you will be responsible for your onward travel arrangements and costs.
7. Force majeure
7.1 In the event of force majeure we will not be able to refund or offer alternative dates. Your travel insurance should cover this event.
8.1 Accommodation as described on our website or in our literature is subject to change without notice. We are constantly striving to offer the best value for money that we can find and sometimes we decide to change suppliers in order to meet this aim.
8.3 Whilst we describe our accommodation in good faith, we cannot warranty that facilities provided by our accommodation suppliers and as described by us will be made available to you either (a) at all or (b) without further cost payable by you. Common examples of this include where a hotel may charge for WiFi or for use of their swimming pool. We cannot accept liability for failure to provide any service.
9.1 Our itinerary includes transfers as stated in the description, including return ferry travel and coach transfer back to the start. If you miss any element of these arrangements you are responsible as per clause 4.1.
10. Travel to and from the start / end point
10.1 You are responsible for making your own arrangements at your own expense either to the start and end points or to one of the designated pick up points as described by us.
11. Passport requirements
11.1 You are responsible for ensuring that your passport is valid and that you have the required entry visa if required.
11.2 If you are denied entry to Belgium or France, or back into the UK and are unable to continue, this will be treated as a cancellation by you as per paragraph 2.
11.3 If you are delayed in joining as a result, paragraph 4.1 will apply.
12. Insurance requirements
12.1 You agree to arrange suitable travel insurance for the type of activity that you are undertaking, including cover for equipment either owned by you or hired from us or our agents, to include medical cover and repatriation in the event of injury or death.
12.2 Your travel insurance should cover cancellation, variation or delay as set out
in various paragraphs of these terms and conditions, including those elements not paid to us such as travel to and from the holiday.
13. Our Public liability insurance
13.1 We have public liability insurance in place and a copy of our schedule is available on request.
14.1 If you have any complaints during your event you should firstly bring these to the attention of our tour manager at the time.
14.2 If the matter is not satisfactorily resolved you should write to us within 14 days of the end of the event. We will respond within a further 14 days, or, if further investigation is needed, within 14 days telling you when you may expect a response.
All descriptions whether written or verbal are given in good faith. Descriptions are by their very nature subjective and if there is anything of particular concern you should contact us prior to booking for clarification.
Green Jersey Cycling Tours Limited is incorporated in England and Wales Company number 8185483 Registered address: Bun House, Cattistock, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 0HY, England.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is a charity registered in England and Wales (1146420) and Scotland (SC 039189). Registered office: Mountbarrow House, 6-20 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RB.
17. Financial Security
Green Jersey Cycling Tours Limited is a member of the Travel Trust Association. Our membership number is Q0937. Your monies are paid into a trust fund which we cannot access until after your trip has taken place. You are therefore 100% protected against the failure of the company or its suppliers. In addition we will issue to you an insurance policy called a Stand Alone Safe Seat Guarantee which provides another level of protection for you. The cost of this policy is borne by us. For further details of the protection guaranteed by the TTA, visit their website www.traveltrust.co.uk.