Bike the Baltic 2018
Starting in Latvia and finishing in Estonia, this unique challenge links two beautiful capital cities in Eastern Europe. From the renowned art nouveau district of old Riga we follow the Baltic coastline all the way to the Gothic old town of Talinn, taking in picturesque villages and stunning landscapes along the way.
Join us for a challenge you’ll never forget and help us care for more people living with a terminal illness.
Day by day, here’s what you and your fellow cyclists will get up to on your adventure.
Cycle grading: Tough
This is when your adventure begins! We fly to Riga from London and transfer to our hotel. The afternoon will be spent bike fitting and preparing for our challenge ahead of us. If time permits, we'll have an optional tour of the town. We stay overnight in Riga.
Riga - Cesis: 75 miles
We start the challenge today through beautiful glacial hilocks and ponds. We cycle through Sigulda and the stunning Gauja National Park to Cesis, famous for its 13th century castle of the Order of Knights.
Cesis - Valka (Latvia)/Valga (Estonia): 62 miles
Our last day in Latvia as we head north passing through forests and meadows in the ancient valley of the Gauja River. We finish today in the unique twin town of Valka and Valga, divided between Latvia and Estonia and known by a different name by each country.
Valka/Valga - Parnu: 75 miles
We leave Valka/Valga this morning and cycle west to the Gulf of Riga, through the town of Staicele, along the Salaca River. We reach Ainazi and cross the border here into Estonia. Our route takes us through fishermen's villages onto Parnu where you'll spend a well deserved night.
Parnu - Haapsalu: 68 miles
We continue in a westerly direction today along the Matsalu Nature Reserve, a wetland and major water bird habitat. This is an intriguing region of Estonia with coastal vistas and islands. We stay in Haapsalu for the night.
Haapsalu - Talinn: 50 miles
On the final day we visit Keila-Joa, a small village on the high coastal cliffs. Here we have time to explore the beautiful cascading waterfall before we get back on the bikes for the final stretch to Tallinn.
Tallinn - London
We bid farefell to Estonia as we jump on our flight home back to London.
By taking on this once in a lifetime challenge for Marie Curie you will help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. And when you join us you, we’ll help you have a challenge you’ll never forget. You’ll get:
- training guides, hints and tips to get you ready for your big challenge
- lots of fundraising ideas in your welcome pack. If you’re keen to get started with your fundraising right away, check out these ideas
- access to a local community fundraiser who’ll advise you and help you smash your target
- two Marie Curie representatives who’ll cycle the entire way, join you on a training day and organise a post-cycle reunion
- we’ll set up a Facebook group just for your challenge, so you can chat with your fellow cyclists before the trip starts
- a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors to help with your gear buying.
Our challenges are designed to make sure you have a fantastic time, so you don’t have to think about the details, just enjoy. The cycle includes:
- bike for every participant and bike maintenance throughout the trip
- return flights
- local transfers
- an experienced tour leader who’s fully trained and knows the route and sites
- a doctor in the unlikely event of injury or sickness
- all meals while cycling.
This challenge is organised through Sport Ecosse. Sport Ecosse was set up in 2008 by Kevin Gerrie. With over 20 years of event management experience, Sport Ecosse organise highly professional and tailored cycling challenges in some of the world’s best landscapes.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to sign up online?
Signing up online is quick and easy to do and it saves us vital money to put towards supporting people living with a terminal illness. The registration form is also available to download and print. If you are not able to sign up right now, why not save this page to your favourites so you can sign up online later?
Who can take part?
People over the age of 18 who are looking for a challenge are able to take part. The group size will be approximately 30-40 with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives.
The event will be tough and exhilarating, but it will be fantastically rewarding and is suitable for anyone with a bit of grit, determination and willingness to work as part of a team.
How fit do I have to be?
All our challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part - the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the adventure. We will cycle approximately 70 miles per day.
Will I need specialist kit?
We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any specialist equipment you may need.
What is not included in the package?
- Registration fee
- Travel insurance
- Recommended vaccinations
- Tips and gratuities
- Visa for non-EU nationals
- Cycle helmet.
What food and drink will there be?
A typical breakfast will consist of bread, cheese, eggs, salads, cake, jams, tea and coffee.
Lunch will be hot pasta or baked potato meals. Evening meals will include meat, chicken or fish with potatoes, pasta or rice, salads, vegetables and fruit.
Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements.
What about vaccinations?
Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain. Diptheria may be advised. This is a guideline only and we recommend you seek professional medical advice from your GP. You may also look on fitfortravel.nhs.uk for further advice
How will I be supported?
Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other trekkers and hear more about the challenge.
During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a doctor and tourleader, as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported by vehicle each day.
Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?
We ask you to raise a minimum of £2,750. A minimum of £1,292* will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0800 716 146 for further information.
* Based on minimum participant numbers
What will the weather be like?
Day time temperatures may be 10-15°C with pleasant night time temperatures around 2-5°C. You should be prepared for rain as well as strong winds. Weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for all conditions.
Passports and visas
Participants should have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of return to the UK. British passport holders and EU nationals do not require a visa. Other nationals should check with their embassies.
Can I extend my stay?
Anyone wanting to stay on after the trek can arrange to do so through Sport Ecosse at an additional cost and subject to availability. Requests must be submitted at least 3 months before the trip.
How can I help limit the environmental impact of travelling abroad for this trek?
Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, Sport Ecosse, which will provide guidelines on responsible tourism.
What are the deadlines for my sponsorship money?
We require the 80% minimum of £2,200 by 21 May 2018. The remainder of the sponsorship is due 4 weeks after you return from the event.
If you have any further questions please call the events team on 0800 716 146 or email email@example.com.