The award-winning Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge is back on Sunday 1 May 2022.
Get on your bike to explore the beautiful and varied countryside of east Kent alongside friends, family and cyclists of all abilities. Whether you’re a new or seasoned cyclist, the sense of achievement will be the same – going the extra mile and knowing you’ve made a difference for Pilgrims Hospices and the people we care for. With over £1 million raised since 2010, the Cycle Challenge is a firm favourite and we look forward to you riding with us this year!
Please note: Some images were taken at pre-COVID-19 events
The Cycle Challenge couldn’t raise the fantastic amount it does for Pilgrims Hospices without the kind sponsorship of the following organisations: Kent Sport – University of Kent, Biketart, Barretts and London Array.
We’re pleased to share this trailer with footage shot at the 2019 event to illustrate just how enjoyable riding the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge can be!
This year’s routes
Ride it your way by choosing one of five ride distances and routes.
- The Circuit: 30 miles – View map
A flatter, circular route taking in the beautiful countryside and charming villages around the Stour Valley and beyond, with a rest stop at Preston. Perfect for those dusting off their bike for their first-time cycle challenge.
- The Classic: 50 miles – View map
A scenic and undulating circular route between the Ashford and Canterbury hospice areas. Ride through ancient woodland and conquer the notorious Stowting Hill before returning via the beautiful Elham Valley.
- The Challenge: 75 miles – View map
A circular route passing through the charming village of Wye before turning east through the Elham Valley and onward to the picturesque town of Sandwich. From there, you’ll head through flatter countryside and towards Herne Bay before making the final push through the beautiful Thornden Wood.
- The Century: 100 miles – View map
A circular route connecting all three Pilgrims hospice service areas and incorporating an undulating approach to Dover for the ultimate challenge; always a hit with those looking to test their legs and their lungs to the next level.
- The Epic: 125 miles – View map
An epic 125-mile circular route connecting all three Pilgrims hospice service areas that incorporates the fast flats of Romney Marsh before rejoining the 100-mile route; this is the ultimate test of strength and endurance for those ready to step up to the plate.
Riders are allocated 30-minute start waves between 7:30 – 11:00am. Start wave allocation is determined with the longest distance routes starting the earliest. It is always aimed for teams to be given the same start wave, so please let us know your team name when entering.
All riders must have completed the ride and checked back in by 6:30pm.
All routes will start from, and finish at, our event village at the University of Kent near Canterbury. A Drop-off area is available as well as ample free parking for event participants at the Giles Lane Car Park.
We’ve tweaked our popular ride routes to make them even more enjoyable and take place on 100% tarmac roads. Please note that routes are subject to change at the organiser’s discretion. For those looking to take their ride up a gear, we see the return of Penny Pot Hill and the notorious Stowting Hill feature in all routes except the 30 mile. Explore the landscape of east Kent like never before, all the while knowing that, with every pedal, you’re making a huge difference to the lives of local people who are living with a life-limiting illness.
What’s on offer?
This fully supported event includes:
- Pre-event pack
- Regular rest stops with drinks and snacks
- Bike mechanic support
- Fully signed route
- Free training app
- Event medical support
- Recovery vehicles
- Finisher medal
Professional rider photos will also be available for purchase after the event, captured by Sports Action Photo.
It’s tough but achievable; with some training and determination, anyone can conquer the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge. Join the ride with family, friends or colleagues, and make more friends along the way! When the welcome sight of the finish line comes into view, you’ll be rewarded with a finisher’s medal and a huge sense of achievement.
A maximum of 1,000 participants are able to take part in the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge 2022, and last year’s event sold out, so early registration is advised to avoid disappointment.
If capacity is reached before the event, on the day entry will not be available.
- Early bird entry: £30 (closes midnight 13/03/22)
- Standard entry: £35 (closes midnight 24/04/22)
- On the Day entry: £45
You must be at least 14 years of age to participate in the Cycle Challenge and riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult.
Since our 2020 hiatus due to the global pandemic, we have introduced some significant revisions to the 2022 Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge to ensure that the event is as COVID-safe as possible. Key measures include:
- Fully open-air event (social distancing encouraged at all event venues)
- Fully touch-free, electronic check-in process
- Specified check-in windows and start times to maintain social distancing at start venue
- One-way systems at refreshment stops and socially-distant queueing for toilet facilities with hand sanitiser and face coverings encouraged
- Participants are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before attending the event
- A maximum of 1,000 participants will be able to take part in the 2022 event
Show your support with the official Pilgrims Hospices cycle jersey and neck scarf
We’re excited to bring you the official Pilgrims Hospices cycle jersey and neck scarf. Show your support out on the road with these stylish, quality garments, packed with great features such as a zipped valuables pocket, full-length zip and silicone waist gripper. We also have Pilgrims neck scarfs, ideal for keeping you warm on cold or windy days and providing shade from the sun on hot days. Grab yours today and help us be there for thousands of people coping with incurable illness in east Kent.
Cycle Jersey: £35, Neck Scarf: £5
Sizes available: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Get the award-winning Pilgrims Hospices Event App
We’re proud to offer the Pilgrims Event App, available for iOS and Android devices. It’s free to download from the App Store and Google Play and is the perfect companion to enhance your Pilgrims event experience. Keep your training on track by recording your training activities and liking and commenting on your teammates. Receive up-to-date event information, view detailed route maps, earn in-app achievements, and link your JustGiving page to see how your fundraising is going, all in one place.
- Join the Pilgrims Hospices Cycling Facebook Group
- Download a Pilgrims Hospices sponsorship form
- Top tips for raising sponsorship
- Make a JustGiving page
- See how money you raise can help
- Parental consent form for young cyclists
Pilgrims Hospices wish to thank the following local businesses for donating their time and expertise to support the Cycle Challenge:
University of Kent
Postcode: CT2 7NZ
Contact name: Robert Grew