Latest News

Fancy winning a bottle of fizz?

21 Sep 2016

Well, the good news is that there are a few chances to do just that whilst you take part in this year's Extra Mile Challenge! Read on to find out how...

This year's 'Fizz winning' competition categories are:

  • Best action photo
  • Best scenic photo
  • Best video clip
  • Most sponsorship
  • Best dressed (car and/or team)
  • Spirit of the Challenge
To submit your entry for any of the photo or video challenges simply upload your photo/video to the Extra Mile Challenges facebook page or share it via the challenge Whats'app group for your chance to win!

On top of those categories, we'd also like to invite all teams to have a guess at whereabouts next year's Extra Mile Challenge may take place. The 2017 route will be announced at the gala dinner on Sunday night. So get discussing and get ready to submit your team guess! All correct entries will go into a draw to win yet another bottle of fizz!

You've got to be in it to win it! Good luck everyone!

Please note - by submitting any photo or video entries, you effectively agree to Extra Mile Challenges using the items in future marketing materials.

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Ride for Willen Sportive Monday 29th August 2016

10 Aug 2016

Whether you just enjoy cycling or perhaps are also putting in some miles before the Lake Geneva Challenge, sportives run in conjunction with Extra Mile Challenges provide an opportunity.

100 cyclists participated in the Big Rock 28/42 mile sportive on 7 August and we would like to thank Mike and Karen at Big Rock Climbing Centre for organising this and providing an excellent buffet.

We would now like to encourage you to enter Ride for Willen on bank holiday Monday, also arrowed by the Extra Mile team.

There is a choice of 20, 40 and 65 mile routes and even a short kids route off the public highway at our base, Cranfield University.

Full particulars are at
https://www.willen-hospice.org.uk/get-involved/events/ride-for-willen-2016

For all Lake Geneva Challenge entrants there is a reduced registration fee and Willen understand that you are already fund-raising for your Lake Geneva Challenge charity/ies. They are therefore happy for you to continue to do that and are not expecting you to also raise money for Willen. They would just welcome your participation on the 29th.

See you there.

The Extra Mile Team

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How might Brexit impact us?

25 Jul 2016

Everyone seems to be writing about Brexit, so perhaps we should because you may have some concerns.

The greatest potential impact is on our entry fees. About 95% of our expenditure is on hotels, meals and our gala celebrations which are paid in euros or Swiss francs. We paid a number of deposits prior to the referendum and indeed enhanced a couple whilst also securing a stock of euros to cover part of our remaining costs. Therefore, we are delighted to say that we are still budgeting to broadly breakeven this year on our existing entry fees. That is a relief!

Your own overseas expenditure will cost more in sterling than previously, but as your main overseas expenditure should be covered by your entry fee, the extra cost of the rest should not be material.

We will cross borders between France/Germany/Switzerland whilst cycling but all three countries are in the Schengen zone so problems are not anticipated there. If a cyclist crosses a border without being with the vehicle, the cyclist may choose to carry his/her passport.

Recent problems at Dover are more a security issue than a Brexit issue. However, we are travelling through the Channel Tunnel which carries fewer coaches than the ferries, a major source of the recent delays.

There may be a few other impacts but overall, Brexit will not diminish our fun, our enjoyment and our sense of achievement.

Preston Ayres

25 July 2016

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2016 Lake Geneva Recce

31 May 2016

For the 14th Year, Extramile regulars Rob Oakley and Preston Ayres have travelled to tackle the worst that striking French workers can throw at them, and driven the entire 2016 Lake Geneva Challenge route.

This meticulous route recce records all road conditions and allows production of the detailed route turn by turn directions – essential to Teams in planning the day ahead.

As always, the weather was fair for the forward expeditionary force, and they report stunning scenery and a tremendous ride variety. Take a look at the enclosed route report and also the photos taken on the trip.

We will soon be contacting Teams for rider and vehicle details – it is essential these are completed to ensure we have all contact and relevant information for travel and the Marshal Team use; please don’t ignore the email when you receive it!

All Teams should now have paid all the entry fee – if you haven’t please get this over to Preston straightaway, as we are now committing to travel and accommodation costs.

Again, this year we will be holding a couple of training rides and meets so you can meet fellow riders and the Organisers and Marshals – keep an eye out for further news!!

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The Lake Geneva Challenge Gala Dinner

1 Apr 2016

The Lake Geneva Challenge Gala Dinner is being celebrated on the lakeside at the world famous Montreux Casino that was originally built in 1881. Throughout the twentieth century, it played host to many great symphony orchestras and by the late 1960s, jazz, blues and rock artists began to perform there. In 1967 the first Montreux Jazz Festival was staged at the casino rapidly growing to become the second largest jazz festival on the planet.  Originally featuring almost exclusively jazz artists, in the 1970s the festival began broadening its scope, including Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. It was during a performance by Frank Zappa in December 1971 that the Casino burned down after a fan set the venue on fire with a flare gun! 

Deep Purple were due to play later that week, they arrived to find nothing but smoke giving rise to their famous song "Smoke on the Water" which starts with probably one of the best ever guitar riffs!  The Casino was subsequently rebuilt, reopening in 1974 continuing to host the Jazz Festival until it out grew the facility in 1994. So bring your guitars, relive the moment, eat well and maybe even try your hand at Blackjack, Roulette....

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Girl Pedal Power at Extra Mile Challenge 2015

1 Apr 2016

Four girls, three days, 510 miles to cover. That’s what our team, the Agria Quadesses faced as we embarked on the Extra Mile ‘Bike to the Future’ Challenge in September 2015. The route stretched from Le Mans, through the Alpes Mancelles, across the Loire Valley and finally onto the Monts Blond and Monts d’Ambazac – and, whilst there were many female riders, of the 35 teams taking part, the Quadesses was the only all-girl group.

Yes, it was tough, and at times we all had to dig pretty deep to make it. But we did – and we can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of our lives. What made it so special?

We all agree that nothing is quite like the team spirit on the Extra Mile Challenge. The entire event feels so totally supportive, so much fun and so very friendly. We’d be lying if we didn’t feel our competitive sides emerge as we kept the lead ahead of our boys’ team for several hours one day. However, any competitiveness was very good natured – especially back at the bar at the end of the day!

On such a long and testing route there are going to be mechanical problems. But despite every team having its own car, cyclists from other teams never hesitated to stop and take time to help with punctures, chain issues – and in our case a rather challenging roof rack.

Lorraine, team leader of the Agria Quadesses, says, “This was my 5th Extra Mile Challenge, but first as an all-female team. As ever, it was an incredible event to be a part of, which certainly tested us all both physically and mentally. Motivating us throughout was the unique combination of raising money for two fabulous charities and the chemistry and support we felt within our team. Some of the Quadesses had only met a few weeks before the challenge, but from sharing the intense experience of the Challenge, we all left as great friends.”

Once we’d made it across the finish line, as well as exhausted and in need of beer, we felt incredibly proud of our team. But will we do it again? We didn’t need to think about that one. Lake Geneva Challenge here we come!

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All that's new..

27 Mar 2016

Two Good Reasons to Complete that Lake Geneva Challenge Entry Form Now

At our recent Reception evening, we presented cheques totalling in excess of £80,000 to more than 50 charities from our 2015 Bike to the Future Challenge. This brings total fundraising since 2003 to over 1,300,000 pounds, all donated direct to Charity without any deduction; well done to everyone!

The three Supporters' nominated Charities of MK Foodbank, the Road Victims Trust and Open-door MK all received cheques for 8000.00. Mark Turner form the road Victims Trust thanked the Challengers for a marvellous contribution, commenting that these monies would make a significant difference locally through the 3 Charities.

We also announced more detailed information on the fantastic proposed cycle route for this year’s Lake Geneva Challenge.  This has prompted a new influx of entries for this September. We launched earlier this year than in previous years, and now have 34 confirmed Teams - with many still to take the plunge, hopefully!!

But there is still room, so we encourage you to get an entry in as soon as possible.

Returning to Switzerland - last visited in 2003 - we resist the Vosges, Black Forest and Jura regions before tracking through by the side of Lakes Neuchatel and Geneva - triumphantly arriving at the beautiful, jazzy lakeside town of Montreux.

Our two good reasons to get that entry form completed and £200 deposit paid now are:

  1.      To secure your team place, and
  2.      To qualify for our Early Bird discount (requiring payment of full entry fee by 30th April).

With six months to go, we already have 34 teams entered/deposits paid to reserve their places (and at least seven other teams just about to finalise their entry!).  Due to hotel restraints, we have just 45 team places available.

Visit our website www.extra-mile.org.uk and click on Entry Form on Home page.  Details of how to pay are shown on the entry form.

The Organising Team

Lake Geneva Challenge

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2016 Challenge

24 Feb 2016

We have been busy since returning form Poitiers.

We will shortly be undergoing a complete revamp of our website - making the entry system and information more user friendly and intuitive But the big news is in the final selling of route and stop-offs for the 2016 Challenge.

As announces at the Gala Dinner on this year's Bike to the Future Challenge, we are returning to Switzerland - our first destination in 2003! Early interest confirms this will be a popular Challenge, with 35 Teams having pre-registered to date; so with less than 50 Team spaces available, register your interest as soon as you can.

To make sure we contact you when the Entry System goes live, please email extramile2015@delomac.com and we will keep you updated as we announce final costs and entry deadlines. We hope to hear from you soon.

For a preview of the route - visit http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10818296 - this may not be the final route, but we will fine tune after Preston and Rob have completed the recce next year.

Our planned route highlights:

Day 1

Starting from Nancy, we head south past Epinal and into the Vosges.  Our main climbs for Day 1 will be as we cross the Vosges towards our overnight halt at Mulhouse.

Day 2

This will be a circular route to return back to Mulhouse for a second night in the same hotel.  Our plan is to cross the Rhine into Germany and meander(!) through the Black Forest before returning back across the Rhine into France.

Day 3

From Mulhouse, we go south today across the border into Switzerland.  We head towards Lake Neuchatel (where the 1st Extra Mile Challenge finished in 2003) and then drop down further to the banks of Lake Geneva where our last 10 miles will be alongside the lake into Montreux.

Nancy

Nancy, a riverfront city in north-eastern France, is known for its late baroque and art nouveau landmarks, some dating to its days as the former capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. In 1871, Nancy remained French when Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorraine. Its focal point is the 18th-century Place Stanislas. This grand square, decorated with gilded wrought-iron gates and rococo fountains, rests by the ornate palaces and churches filling the city’s medieval old town

Mulhouse

Mulhouse became one of France’s leading textile centres in the nineteenth century and also around that time started to make machinery, particularly railroad equipment. Mulhouse is famous for its museums, especially the Cité de l’Automobile (also known as "Musée National de l’Automobile") and the Musée Français du Chemin de Fer (also known as "Cité du Train"), respectively the largest automobile and railway museums in Europe.

Montreux

Montreux is a resort town on the eastern end of Lake Geneva. It's known for its mild climate and the Montreux Jazz Festival, held in July. The town's celebrated lakeside promenade is lined with flowers, sculpture, Mediterranean trees and belle epoque buildings. Just offshore is its 13th-century island castle, Château Chillon, with double ramparts, a moat and a chapel with 14th-century murals.

Join us for 2016!

The Extramile Team

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