a) Manchester. We are planning to accommodate all riders and the support vehicle crew in local riders' and supporters' houses. Approximately 50% will be in beds, and 50% will be in a sleeping bag on a lilo. If you don't fancy the chance of having to sleep in a sleeping bag on a lilo, we recommend you book yourself into the following accommodation close to the start of the ride on Saturday, or you can Google a hotel of your choice.
b) Bradford. We will be staying for free in the community centre where we have our evening meal. You will need to bring a lilo (or similar) and a sleeping bag for this night. This is a wonderful gesture from the people who run the community centre, and who strongly back what we’re doing in raising awareness about Palestine. As above, we will recommend the following accommodation here and here if you don’t wish to sleep at the community centre.
Please note that The Big Ride will not be reserving rooms on behalf of participants. It will be your responsibility to contact the hotel direct to book a room.
When do I need to book my accommodation?
If you're not taking the free option, as soon as you possibly can as all of these locations are popular.
a) Evening meals in Manchester and Bradford on Friday and Saturday night will be large scale buffet meals in community centres hosted by pro-Palestinian supporters. A small charge will be made to cover costs.
b) Breakfasts. In Manchester it will be provided by the host families; if you've booked into a hotel, you will need to make your own arrangements. In Bradford a simple breakfast will be provided by pro-Palestinian supporters. There will be a small donation to cover costs.
c) Lunch and rest stops. We will have rest stops about every 1-1/2 hours where drinks, snacks and food will be available to buy from shops and cafes that are supporting the Big Ride, as well as from the support vehicles.
You should have your own water bottles and 'emergency snacks'.
3) SUPPORT ON THE RIDE:
What happens if my bike develops a mechanical problem during the ride?
We recommend that your bike is fully serviced prior to The Big Ride, and that you carry a puncture repair kit and a small pump. If you have a problem, make yourself known to a steward. Ultimately the support vehicle will pick you and your bike up if it is not possible to fix your bike at the road side.
If I can’t complete the distance on either day, will there be a support vehicle to get me to the finish point for the day?
There will be support vehicles that will take you and your bike to the daily finish point. A small charge might apply.
What if I become ill during the ride?
There will be first aiders on the ride. If you have an existing medical condition that requires management, you should seek advice from your healthcare professional in advance of the ride and take sufficient medicines with you.
The support vehicles will transport your luggage from the start point of the day to the finishing point. In Manchester host families will support you in getting luggage to and fro. In Bradford, the luggage will be taken to the community centre we’re staying in.
How do I get my luggage to my accommodation if I have booked a hotel for myself?
You will have to make your own way to your accommodation and back to the start point the following day.
5) GETTING TO LIVERPOOL
GETTING TO LIVERPOOL (or your start point) AND BACK FROM SHEFFIELD (or where you finish): This will be your responsibility. Groups of riders will be coming from different parts of Britain (and further afield), and there will be regional organisers who can advise on any local arrangements being made. We will put you in touch with your nearest regional organiser.
6) THE ROUTE AND CYCLING:
a) What route will we be taking? The route planners will be checking out the best routes between each city ahead of time, and detailed information will be provided in the joining instructions. We will be looking for a mixture of traffic free routes, quieter roads, as well as the opportunity to cycle into towns and cities to meet with local supporters, and to engage with the general public.
b) I'm only an occasional cyclist. Will I be able to do 40 -45 miles in a day? Most of the people on The Big Ride will be regular cyclists, but a good few will be occasional cyclists who are determined to get involved in an act of solidarity for Palestine. It's not a race and people cycle in small groups or individually. We've developed a model of experienced cyclists acting as human signposts along the route, as well as a few back markers to make sure all cyclists feel supported and a significant part of something very special.
c) What rider ID proof of registration will I have? You will be provided with a silicone wristband with The Big Rider logo on it.
7) PRACTICALITIES AND POLITICS:
We are also looking into creating a JustGiving page like we did last year for MECA.
Who do I talk to about a particular regional ride?
You can get detailed information from your Regional Coordinator, as we are trying to devolve as much as possible down to the regions, to prevent all information requests coming into a centre that doesn’t really exist! TBR is organised by a group of volunteers spread around the country, who meet once a month as well as have regular telephone conference calls.
What information will we be handing out to general members of the public?
A folded A4 leaflet will be produced for riders to give to general members of the public, explaining the 10 year illegal siege of Gaza and the 50 year illegal military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.
I’m worried about being called anti-semitic. How can I counter this as it horrifies me to be considered racist?
Anti-Semitism, like all forms of racism, is repugnant to all decent people, but active opposition to crimes of the Israeli state is a responsibility, just as opposition to South African apartheid was a moral and political imperative for many. The opposition is to the actions of the Israeli state, not Jewish people.
We are keeping the cost of The Big Ride 2017 down to a minimum to ensure nobody is prevented from getting involved. There is a standard rate that covers the basic costs, as well as a solidarity rate which enables The Big Ride to subsidize the rate for people on low income. See Dates and Prices section for prices for 1 day, 2 day, and 3 day rides for each category.
All time and administration is given for free by the organisers.
We strongly recommend that you are in good shape (without needing to be a fitness fanatic) before you join the ride. You will get more out of the ride if you have put some training in beforehand. On request we are happy to send you a simple training guide; we can also answer any questions regarding training if you send us a message through the website.
Miscellaneous items like Clothing, Cycling Safety, Insurance, Bike Support and Spares:
These will all be covered within the joining instructions.