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Founders – Leg 3 Geneva to Milan

Founders – Leg 3 Geneva to Milan

*** Come to Home Grown on 27th Feb 2024 at 18.30 to find out more – details here ***

What is Ride25?

Ride25 is a mission to cycle from the UK to Australia over 25 legs spanning 25 years. The adventure began in 2012 with a group called “The Pioneers”.  The Pioneers completed Leg 10 (of 25) from the UK to Sydney in June 2023. The group have now cycled 4,100 miles from the UK to Tbilisi in Georgia.  Pioneers help to define the journey and adventure to Sydney. Leg 11 from Tbilisi in Georgia to Baku in Azerbaijan is scheduled for June 23rd to 26th 2024.

Who are The Founders?

The Founders is a new group that are following in the steps of the Pioneers.  They completed Leg 1 from London to Paris in September 2022; Leg 2 from Paris to Geneva in September 2023 and will complete Leg 3 from Geneva to Milan in September 2024. You can watch the short film about Leg 2 here:


The ride is open to Founders of fast growth businesses and their leadership teams.

 

 

The group is supported by the following organisations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

To get a flavour of the previous legs visit the Photos and Videos.  Or watch this short animation explaining the idea:

 

 

Here are a few quotes from existing Pioneers / Founders about their experience of Ride25:

“I can honestly say that the experience of pedalling with fellow Ride25 Pioneers for over 4,000 miles over 10 years has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I’ve discovered new friendships, interests, fitness levels, countries, cultures, foods, wines and beers whilst also helped transform the life opportunities of those children supported by 1MoreChild. Each year’s leg is a protected date in my diary and highlight of my year. The final destination may be Sydney but it’s on the journey, and in the community, where I’ve found that life affirming magic.“ Paul Lindley, Founder Ellas’s Kitchen.

“I’ve been part of the Pioneers for quite a few years, every ride is a wonderful experience – a beautifully organised voyage into the unknown made even better by doing it with a wonderful group of people. We’ve still got a massive distance to do, but still the thought of cycling into Sydney together is highly motivating. On top of this, it is great to see the good which 1moreChild is doing with the funds raised through this amazing adventure.” Erik Fairbairn, Founder Pod Point.

“Making friends, finding new business partners, keeping fit, and exploring the quiet roads of Europe and beyond by bike, all whilst raising funds that I know are making such a difference in Uganda. So many great memories, and so many more to come. I can’t recommend Ride25 enough.” Bonamy Grimes, Founder Skyscanner.

“Pioneers has been an amazing and truly memorable life adventure so far – exploring the world by bike, getting fit, and making great friends and business contacts along the way too. Beats the beach or a golf trip in my book – and in aid of a great charity. The ultimate distraction from the stresses of running a startup – I can’t recommend it enough.” Doug Monro, Founder Adzuna.

“Ride25 is something I look forward to and train for every year. It is an amazing way to see the world, enjoy quality time with friends and raise alot of money for a great cause – sign-up you won’t regret it – good for your body and soul.” Zach Douglas, Founder Orega.

“The pride I feel from participating and therefore contributing to 1morechild is priceless. The pay back is every year I continue to pedal, work on my fitness and then have a gathering of friends with whom we shed sweat, tears and bags loads of laughter making this a top life experience I would never trade.” Lara Morgan , Founder Pacific Direct & Scentered

 

Snapshot of Leg 3

  • Inspiring conversations with like minded founders.
  • Travel through France, Switzerland & Italy.
  • The Lakes – Cycle around Lake Geneva, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como.
  • 20% on beautiful traffic free paths.
  • Cross the Alps on the 2nd highest paved mountain pass in Switzerland.
  • Mountain views in every direction for the majority of the trip.
  • Dinner in Como.
  • Iconic finish at the Duomo in Milan.

To see what you have in store you can look at the photos and video from the Pioneers Leg 3 in June 2014.

 

Start:

08.00 Thursday 19th September 2024.  The Brunswick Memorial, Geneva.

Finish:

18.00 Sunday 22nd September 2024. Duomo di Milano, Milan.

Days Cycling:

4

Distance:

355 miles

Total climbing:

16,992 ft climbing

Max capacity:

80 people

 

Day 1 – Geneva to Sierre – 97 miles, 2,162 ft total ascent

Meeting at the iconic Brunswick Memorial we leave the city and cycle the entire length of Lake Geneva on the South-side.  Coffee stop overlooking the Lake in Thonon-les-Bains.  At the end of the lake we turn south and spend the rest of the day of traffic free, smooth tarmac cycle paths following the Rhone River. Lunch is at the World Cycle Centre Velodrome.  The afternoon involves a steady, gentle climb along the valley to the town of Sierre with stunning mountain views in all directions.

Day 1 – Full route including elevation profile & GPX EXPORT

 

 

Day 2 – Sierre to Airolo– 73.5 miles, 7,815 ft total ascent

One of the most infamous days in the Ride25 journey!  The day begins with a gentle pootle along the valley with outstanding scenery up to the ski resorts on the mountains on either side. We begin the climb after a morning coffee stop in Naters – a steady climb up to lunch at 4,300 ft.  After lunch we have the Nufenen (AKA Nurofen!) Pass – the second highest paved mountain pass in Switzerland raising to a peak of 8,130 ft.  We then have a wonderful descent into the Swiss mountain town of Airolo.

Day 2 – Full route including elevation profile & GPX EXPORT

 

Day 3 – Airolo to Como  – 94 miles,  2,548 ft total ascent

Probably the easiest and most glamorous Ride25 day.  We leave Airolo and have a wonderful descent over the first 33 miles to coffee – our hard work from day 2 is rewarded. We then cycle around the northern section of Lake Maggiore.  Lunch is on the lake where you can cool down with a swim. After lunch we cycle along the side of Lake Lugano where we’ll stop for tea before the final section to Lake Como.

Day 3 – Full route including elevation profile & GPX EXPORT

 

Day 4 – Como to Milan – 91 miles, 4,467 ft total ascent

The day begins with some beautiful cycling along Lake Como to Bellagio where we attempt the only climb of the day up to the Madonna del Ghisallo – a museum dedicated to celebrating Italian cycling with a cafe for the morning pit stop.  This is a very picturesque climb with great views out to Lake Como. We then descend to lunch on the river in Brivio. The final 20 miles takes us on a traffic free path alongside a canal into central Milan.  We attempt to group together by the Duomo before a short cycle to the hotel.

Day 4 – Full route including elevation profile & GPX EXPORT

 

Book Cycling Holiday Now

What is it like?

The challenge for the Ride25 adventure is to find interesting, quiet cycling on good tarmac with great scenery and good quality hotels. There is always an element of compromise, however the route is almost all very enjoyable with only small compromises required across the trip.

Traffic – the route is generally quiet or very quiet.  Circa 20% is on traffic free paths, 20% on quiet mountain roads and the remainder on roads going around lakes. It is busier when we first leave Geneva and the final 3 miles in Milan.

Scenery – The vast majority is stunning with lake and mountain views throughout.

Road Surfaces – all tarmac with very short sections of compacted gravel.  We recommend that you use road or gravel bikes. We have had legs completed on hybrids and even Bromptons!

Pit-Stops / Food – We will have an organised lunch stop plus stops mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  We have endeavoured to find the best places on the route to stop for coffee, cake and ice creams as well as a good lunch.  The mechanics will also set-up a service stop here for any tweaks you need.

Your Safety  – this is not a ride where you are forced to ride with a group as we want riders to cycle with lots of different people every day. We do however we recommend that you always cycle in groups and not alone.  Please also ensure that you wear a helmet.

Baggage – your overnight bags and bike boxes will be transported every day so no need to carry much but due to the size of the group it’s not feasible to have access to a day bag during the day which means you need to carry anything you need for the day – except extra food and water that will be supplied at every stop.

Can I invite others?

The power of the ride is all about the quality of the group so we’d love you to bring a like minded founder. Please think about who in your network would make a great addition! Also think about possible sponsors that would benefit from being part of the Ride25 family.

How will I navigate?

The route is not signposted and so you will need to download the route for each day from the links above and use either one of the following navigation systems:

Best Solution – GPS enabled Bike Computor

A Garmin or similar bike computor with GPS / Navigation that syncs with Strava or enables you to upload GPX files. We recommend a Garmin Edge 530. It is a mid price point, easy to sync with Strava wirelessly and has a long battery life to avoid running out of juice before the end of the day. If you like tech the Garmin Varia RTL515 Radar light is a great accessory to the Garmin Edge.  It promotes an extra level of safety to the rider via its advanced warning system for any traffic behind you.

Garmin can take some getting used to so if using Garmin to prevent navigation problems please:

Follow a the route as a “Course”
Ensure that “Autocorrect” is turned off in your settings for each course
Do not “navigate to start” when prompted at the start of a ride

Acceptable Solution – An App on your phone

You can use a phone to navigate and either use the Strava or RidewithGPS Apps – either free or inexpensive.  If you are using your phone to navigate we recommend using RidewithGPS because:

  1. All routes can be downloaded from at home and are available without roaming after you have uploaded them to your RidewithGPS account
  2. Detailed maps available if you get lost even with no signal
  3. High quality navigation setting including turn by turn prompts that enables you to navigate with ease
  4. Zoomable elevation data visible

If you are using your phone please ensure that you have somewhere to mount your device on the bike and that you carry a portable battery charger to get through the day.

Ride25 will provide a cloth map that will get you out of trouble if you are lost with no working devices but to navigate effectively you’ll need to use one of the above.

You can download the route files here:  Day 1.  Day 2. Day 3. Day 4.

Do I need to train?

YES.  355 miles cycling is a significant challenge for anyone but it is achievable.

Support

You can always call the support team if you need picked up at any point. We will have a total of 4 x vehicles with first aid so you will never be that far away from help. In addition we will operate a sweeper system that means the crew will pick you up if you are too far behind the rest of the riders / are not going to make it to the finish before the sun sets.

We will have bike mechanics on the trip to keep you rolling – however they are not there to change tubes when you get a puncture. You should be able to do this on your own!   Please make sure you have had your bike serviced recently, most issues are normally caused by poor bike maintenance.

We will also have Kerry Ann, our Sports Physio to keep your bodies moving.

The trip is in no way a race – everyone can go at their own speed. Those that stop and take in their surroundings probably get more out of it than those that get to the finish first. Breakfast will be at 07.00 each day so that you can leave early.

Everyone will be in a WhatsApp Group for the ride with all communication done through WhatsApp while on the trip, before and afterwards.

 

Flights / Bike boxes

You will need to arrange your own travel both to Geneva and back from Milan with your bike. Traveling with a bike by plane is quite straightforward as long as you pack your bike in a bike box. When booking your flight you can add Sports Equipment to your booking (usually for circa £30) and check-in as normal.  You will normally be sent to the “Outsized Bag” area to deposit your bike but this is always close to the checkin desks.

Bike boxes can be bought, borrowed or rented.

You will need to arrive in Geneva the night before the ride on Wednesday 18th September. We recommend leaving Geneva on Monday 23rd September.

What is the cost?

£2,100 per person for a twin room or £2,700 for a single room (limited availability). As in all Pioneer trips this is a not for profit – ie the cost is a sum of the direct costs of running the trip only – the excess in the ticket price above direct costs  is donated to 1moreChild. We aim to raise a minimum of £1,000 per person for 1moreChild. The actual mount will depend on the number of cyclists – there are certain fixed costs for the trip so the more cyclists the higher amount raised per cyclist.

We have lowered the deposit cost versus last year to £300 due on booking, balancing payment (£1,800 or £2,400) due in May 2023.

With more aggressive terms on many of the hotels it is very useful to have people sign-up earlier so that we can manage the hotel inventory efficiently.

Deposit donated to 1moreChild in the event that you cancel.

The package includes:

  • 5 x nights accommodation in Geneva, Sierre, Airolo, Como and Milan.  All rooms will have twin beds and we will allocate you a room partner unless you specify who you would like to share with.  There are a handful of triple rooms in Sierre. You may select a single supplement in the booking process if you prefer not to share.
  • 4 x breakfast
  • 8 x tea / coffee / cakes / ice cream stops
  • 4 x lunch inc drinks
  • 4 x dinner including drinks and celebration dinner in Milan
  • 4 x manned support vehicles including bike mechanics, first aid & sports physio
  • Transportation of bags each day to the finish
  • Transportation of bike boxes from Geneva to Milan
  • Water, fruit and emergency supplies in the vehicles
  • 4 x personalised cycling shirts – ensure you enter the correct shirt size when you register – don’t be too optimistic about your weight loss plans from now to September!
  • 4 x GPS files of the routes
  • 4 x “get out of trouble” cloth maps

What’s not included?

  • Travel to the start
  • Return travel from Milan back home
  • Personal travel Insurance – make sure Cycle Touring is included in your policy particularly if you have an annual policy. Details of your policy required before travel. See Yellow Jersey as an example of cycling specific insurance.
  • Dinner in Geneva
  • Bike
  • Bike Box

Optional extras:

  • Single room

What are the opportunities for sponsorship? 

We have put together a number of packages but are also open to offers from anyone for anything. Join the following sponsors:

Cyclists pay for the costs of the shirts, banners etc so all the money given in sponsorship goes directly to 1moreChild. The more you sponsor the largest exposure your logo will get.

Some sponsors donate a larger amount that includes a place on the ride. Contact Rob Hamilton if you’d like more information on sponsorship.

What about individual sponsorship?

Please do create your own personal sponsorship page using Givestar or use the Group page to raise money by sending it to all your contacts. Alternatively you can donate direct to 1moreChild or make a donation from overseas through the 1mC website.

 

Which hotels are we staying in?

The nature of the Ride25 adventure means that the routes and accommodation is dictated to by the inventory of hotels along our journey. We aim to stay in the best hotel in town or 4* hotels in the larger cities.

Pre-start – Geneva – 4* modern hotel in Central Geneva  City Centre Novotel. If you wish to stay extra nights before you can email Jonathan H3133-RE1@accor.com

Night 1 – Sierre – 4* modern hotel Ibis Styles   & overflow hotel within walking distance.

Night 2 – Airolo –Mixture of 2 & 3* Hotels in the town centre – Forni Hotel, Hotel Des Alpes, BB Motta.

Night 3 – Como – 3 /4* Hotels in the centre  – Hotel Le Due Corti & TBC

Night 4- Milan – 4* modern hotel in Central Milan Star Ritz.   If you wish to stay extra nights afterwards you can email Andrea reservations.ritz.mi@starhotels.it

 

What are we raising money for?

All participants or their companies will pay all their own costs and all money raised shall go straight to 1moreChild.

What is 1moreChild?

1moreChild was set-up by Harry & Hen Ferdinando in 2008 to help enable street children in Jinja, Uganda to go to school and prosper. Ride25 raises money for 1moreChild for the following key reasons:

  • A small amount of money goes along way – as little as £15 per month can transform a child’s life. 100% of all money donated to 1moreChild goes to tackle the problem.  There are no western overheads, admin costs or wastage. In addition Harry & Hen pay all their own costs. The money raised from the cycle will make an enormous difference to 1moreChild and enable them to take many more children out of the slum.
  • 1moreChild provide school fees, 3 meals a day, school uniforms, school supplies, shoes, clothes, medical care, tutoring, mentoring, a football club and various other activities.
  • For more information about 1moreChild:

Watch a short film made by Pioneers visiting 1moreChild in Uganda in 2017.

Visit 1moreChild.org.

Watch the 1moreChild story.

 

What impact has the money raised  had?

The Pioneers / Founders cycle trips are the most significant fundraising initiative for the charity with over  70% of their overall funding coming from this trip.  We have raised  £1.49m for the charity across legs 1 to 10.

As a result of our trips 1moreChild has taken nearly 200+ children off the streets and given them everything they need to go to school.

There have been so many amazing success stories but stand out examples include a former street child now studying Medicine at Kampala University and two children now representing Uganda at cycling at the world championships – inspired and funded by the Pioneers.

 

How to book a place?

Book Cycling Holiday Now

 

What else do / don’t I need to do beforehand?

  • Bike Service – make sure you book a Bike Service before you travel – you may need to book this a few weeks in advance but will seriously reduce the chance of issues on the ride.
  • Bike Fit – if you haven’t it’s worth getting your bike fitted properly by a professional – it will help prevent injury.
  • Buy Currency – Euros
  • Book a transfer from the airport to Geneva
  • Buy & Pack an Apple Airtag /  Android Tracker for your Bike Box – very useful if there are issues with bike boxes.

What else do I need to bring?

  • High Quality Bike lights
  • Hydration Tablets – such as Precision Fuel & Hydration – critical for multi day long distances  particularly if it’s hot.
  • 2 x large water bottles for hydration drinks and water
  • Hard wearing tyres
  • Helmet
  • HIGH quality cycle shorts such as Assos – worth the money – they will save your arse!
  • Large saddle bag with –  2 x spare inner tubes, puncture repair kit and tyre leavers
  • Cycle pump or gas canisters
  • Sun cream
  • Phone mount if you are using RidewithGPS as a navigation tool
  • Portable battery charger for mobile
  • Garmin (or similar GPS navigation device)

 

What happens after Leg 3?

In 2012 we plotted the following legs / badges – with only some minor changes to the badges so far.  Founders Leg 4 is Milan to Rome in September 2025 – 4.5 days cycling through Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio finishing at the Vatican.

 

Sound Cycling Advice

Read one of our rider’s Tricia’s blog with advice for people doing their first long trip Part 1 and Part 2 – including a bit about why you should always ride commando!

How to change an inner tube

How to avoid saddle sores

How to cycle in a group