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Alpine Challenge



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Crowdcube Passport info for Italian hotels

Join us on our invitation-only exclusive
networking cycling challenge

Following on from Crowdcube’s hugely successful 2015 Cycling Challenge, Crowdcube will once again be hosting an awesome cycling event in 2016 – this time cycling through some spectacular Alpine passes.

For those of you that were lucky enough to attend last year’s event, you can re-live some of the memories here.
Crowdcube Sept 2015023

As before, the guest list for this event is strictly limited to the Founder/CEOs of some of the UK’s most innovative businesses along with vc’s and investors.  That, along with a passion for cycling, wine and great food makes for a quality trip.

This year’s event is going to be bigger and better as we take on some high alpine passes, amazing scenery and historic climbs, fully supported by the team at Ride25.

Crowdcube will be subsidising the trip this year and further details around costs and logistics can be found below. Our aim over the next 3 years is to build this annual event into the UK’s premier scale-up networking event on two wheels.

Demand for places is high so if you would like to commit please do so in the next week or so… we are limiting the ride to 25 people… we suggest you book up now to secure your place.

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Arrival Day: Tuesday 30th August 2016

Arrival into Geneva/Transfer to Leukerbad

Arrival day

Arrival Day – Geneva/Leukerbad

On Tuesday 30th August 2016,  we will all meet at Geneva airport (please organise your own flights – see below for info) where a private transfer will pick us up to take us to our hotel for the night in Leukerbad.   Waiting at the hotel will be the Ride25 support crew including a mechanic who will be on hand to help you ensure our bikes are ready to go for the following morning. In the evening, we will enjoy a hearty meal and a few drinks before a good night’s sleep ahead of the ‘Grand Depart’ the next day.

Day 1: Wednesday 31st August 2016

Leukerbad to Airolo

Day 1

Day 1: 72 miles. 9,841ft of climbing

After a good breakfast to fuel our day ahead, we will leave Leukerbad and start to get a taste for the day ahead as we pedal through some stunning alpine scenery. We will stop for lunch in a pretty alpine restaurant with fabulous mountain views before tackling the biggest challenge of our adventure; our climb up the Nufenen Pass (the second highest mountain pass with a paved road in Switzerland.) Although the climb is tough, reaching the summit is thoroughly rewarding – and the descent into Airolo is equally spectacular!   Here we will enjoy an evening meal and rest for the night.

Day 1 Strava route

Day 2: Thursday 1st September 2016

Airolo to Como

Day 2

Day 2: 93 miles. 6342ft of climbing

Day 2 of our Alpine Challenge covers more mileage than Day 1, however, there is far less climbing – and plenty more descents!  Our route will take us into Italy where we will stop for an amazing lunch next to the stunning Lake Maggiore, where those who fancy a quick cool down before lunch are very welcome to take a dip!  The afternoon will involve a fairly leisurely ride into Como where we will finish the day with a fabulous meal and drinks.

Day 2 Strava Route

Day 3: Friday 2nd September 2016

1/2 day Italian Classic/Return home

Day 3

Day 3: 41 miles. 7,652ft of climbing

We will make the most of our final morning’s cycling to explore a little bit more of the stunning Lombardian countryside including tacking the famous climb from Bellagio to the Patron Saint of Cycling, which forms part of the Giro di Lombardia. We will then go back to the hotel to shower and enjoy a leisurely lunch in Al Duomo Square in Como before taking a private transfer to the airport in Milan for our flight home to the UK (Please note, you will need to organise and pay for your own flights – see below for info).

Day 3 Strava Route

When is it?

Tuesday 30th August 2016 – Friday 2nd September 2016 (we will be cycling for 2 and a half days in total).

How much is it?

The event is subsidised by Crowdcube – we do ask that you pay £900 per person which is inclusive of all your meals, top quality accommodation, coffee and cakes, support vehicles and crew and private transfer to and from the airport.

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What’s included?

  • Private transfer from the airport to the hotel on the arrival and departure days (please note you need to organise your own flights – see below for info and recommendations)
  • Three nights’ accommodation in Leukerbad, Airolo and Como.  All rooms will have twin beds and we will allocate you a room partner unless you specify who you would like to share with.  (You may select a single supplement in the booking process for an extra £150 if you prefer not to share a room).
  • Coffee and cake at designated stops
  • Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and a lovely dinner in a local restaurant).
  • Professional Ride25 support crew with back-up vehicles to provide you with any medical help and assistance should you need it – including a mechanic and a first aider who will be on hand to help throughout the trip.
  • Support vehicle to transport your luggage (clothes and supplies) from each stage to the next
  • A digital map in the format of a .gpx file for mobile navigation devices such as Garmin
  • Customised, waterproof route maps including essential directions, pitstops and interesting information on the area.
  • Two personalised high quality breathable cycling shirts for use on your trip
  • Daily fresh fruit and water in the support vehicles
  • You will also have access to all the photos that the tour crew take during the trip – plus a special video to help remember the highlights of this epic event!


  • Flights to and from the start (nearest airport for arrival is Geneva) and finish (nearest airport is Milan) – please organise your own – see below for info and recommendations
  • A Bike – see here for our bike recommendations
  • Personal insurance

The route

Please note that the route is not signposted and you will need to use either a Garmin or a phone downloaded with the Ride25 navigation app or Strava app to self-navigate.  Please make sure that you have somewhere to mount your device and that you carry a portable battery charger.  You will be given a waterproof map, to use in emergencies.

What to pack

Please don’t over pack – you should only need a small bag with plenty of lycra and some some t-shirts/tops and a pair of jeans for the evening (plus of course your pjs!)  The Ride25 support crew will carry all your bags, bike boxes and kit for you in the vans and will provide you with luggage tags when you check in on the first morning.  You may also want to have a small day bag/rucksack that you leave in the van which you will have access to at coffee stops and lunch time etc – Ride25 will provide a separate tag for this bag and you will check this bag into a different van to the overnight luggage as this will go straight to the end hotel.  Things to put in day bag could be – leg/arm warmers, extra layers, waterproof jacket, additional energy etc.

Kit List

crowdcube cycling shirtYou will be given 2 x Crowdcube cycling shirts plus 1 x Crowdcube cycling gilet when you check-in.

Things you should consider buying and bringing on your Crowdcube Tuscan Hills Challenge…

  • Overshoes
  • Chamois Cream – lots
  • Base Layers to wear under your cycling shirts
  • Arm and Leg warmers – to carry with you in case it gets cold and or wet
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses / clear lenses for glasses (if its not sunny)
  • Large saddle bag with –  2 x spare inner tubes, puncture repair kit and tyre leavers
  • Cycle pump or gas canisters
  • 2 x large water bottles for hydration drinks and water
  • Your favourite energy gels or bars
  • Washing powder to wash the lycra in the shower at night
  • Sun cream
  • Top bar bag for phone, wallet and energy stuff
  • Phone mount if you are using Strava as a navigation tool
  • Portable battery charger for mobile
  • Garmin (or similar GPS navigation device) or Strava App for phone
  • Also, make sure you have some cash with you for coffee stops

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Organising your flights & Transfer times

Please organise your own flights to Geneva (on Tuesday 30th August 2016 ) and from Milan (on Friday 2nd September).  A private transfer will be arranged at the times below.  If you would like to arrive or depart at a different time, please organise your own taxi transfer.


The transfers will be leaving at the following times:

From Geneva airport to Leukerbad –  at 18.30pm on Tuesday 30th August 2016

From Como Al Duomo to Milan airportat 15.00pm on Friday 2nd September 2016


UK to Geneva – Tuesday 30th August 2016:

From London Heathrow (LHR):

We recommend booking the BA734 British Airways 15:10 flight from London Heathrow (which arrives at Geneva at 17:55). Take a look at the Skyscanner flights here.  You need to be in Geneva by 18.30 as the transfer to the ski resort hotel is about 1hr30mins.  There are several other options from both City and Gatwick.  Please be in Geneva for 6pm.

Milan Malpensa to UK – Friday 2nd September 2016:

Returning to  London Heathrow (LHR):

We recommend booking the BA567 British Airways 18.55 flight from Milan Malpensa (MXP to London Heathrow LHR).  Take a look at Skyscanner flights here.

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Bike Boxes

We advise hiring a bike box to transport your bike on the aeroplane. These are much more sturdy than bike bags and will ensure your pride and joy arrives in one piece.

When booking your flight, please ensure you have selected to check in a bike box.  Policies vary from one airline to another.  Check out our blog here for advice on travelling overseas with your bike:  ‘Flying With A Bike: The Ultimate Guide’

If you need to hire a bike box, we recommend using Polaris or BikeBox Online.

To check out the prices, click on either or both of the banners below to choose your delivery.   Both companies will deliver your case to your door and arrange collection upon your return.




Navigation during the ride

As mentioned, the route is not signposted and you will need to use either a Garmin or a phone downloaded with either the Ride25 navigation app or the Strava app to self-navigate.   Please make sure that you have somewhere to mount your device and that you carry a portable battery charger.  You will be given a waterproof map, to use in emergencies.

Strava routes:

Day 1 Strava route

Day 2 Strava Route

Day 3 Strava Route

Before the ride, please make sure that you load the above Strava routes onto your Garmin and/or copy (duplicate them) over to your account on Strava.  You need to click on the star to the left of the route name of each day so that it appears on your mobile.
If you are using a Garmin, we also recommend having a back-up route on a Strava app on your phone. If you are unfamiliar with downloading a route onto Strava for use on your mobile, please follow our instructions here. (Please click on the image to enlarge it).
(Android phone users:  If you are going to be using an Android smartphone (not an Apple) please email us for further instructions at








There are plenty of training tips and training plans around.  Find one that suits you and your schedule and give yourself enough time so that you are fully ready for when the time comes to complete the ride.

We have plenty of training advice here and you can also watch our video from tips from previous Ride25 riders here and also a great GCN video on how to train for long bike rides here.  You can also read our blog about tips for cycling in the mountains.

Indoor training is also really useful (especially in the winter) so check out our advice on indoor watt bike training here.

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Check out the video from last year’s Crowdcube event below!

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