Supporting Wounded Veterans_A4 Poster_AW

The Supporting Wounded Veterans Cycle Challenge | 7th - 12th September 2021

300 miles. Four days. One unique experience raising funds for veterans in the UK.

 

From the Normandie Docks to Pegasus Bridge, the sites of two of the most audacious commando raids in history, our inaugural cycle challenge covers 300 miles and some of the greatest stories in history. Over the course of four days riding, we will take in local places of interest, a world heritage site and the battlefields of the D-Day Landings.

We ask every rider to raise a minimum of £2000 including tour costs of £1200. 

 

To register or to find out more, please email Harry or Emma on ride@swv.org.uk

Itinerary 7th – 12th September 2021

 
1.jpg

DAY 1: PORTSMOUTH TO CAEN & SAINT-NAZAIRE

We meet in Portsmouth on Tuesday morning in time to board the early morning ferry across to Caen. Our logistics partner, Discover Adventure, will transfer our bikes and kit prior to the crossing. On arrival, coaches will be waiting to take us to the ride start point in Saint-Nazaire where we will be reunited with our trusty steeds in time to check them over and prepare for the first day’s riding.

2.jpg

DAY 2: SAINT-NAZAIRE TO RENNES

Our day starts with a battlefield tour of the legendary Normandie Docks and submarine pens, site of Operation Chariot; “the greatest raid of all.” The docks were a target of key strategic importance to the Allies and were so heavily defended that any attack on them was deemed utterly impossible. Yet, a gigantic leap of lateral thinking, meticulous planning and pure bravado enabled 600 commandos to storm this impregnable facility creating such damage it remained a ghostly relic for the next ten years. We then head north through the Briere national park, a wonderfully flat route which allows us to make up some quick miles. The roads are quiet and winding in this region of Brittany, which makes for some relaxing and scenic riding, before joining the Vilaine River following it North through Redon to our overnight stop in Rennes.

DAY 3: RENNES TO GRANVILLE

Continuing North through Brittany, the first part of our day is more undulating than the previous day, but soon gives way to some flat riding heading towards the world-famous UNESCO listed Mont Saint-Michel. Originally, only a tidal causeway linked the island to the mainland, however, now a bridge allows us passage without getting our tyres wet.

Our departure from Mont Saint-Michel marks our transition from Brittany to Normandy as we head onto our overnight stop in Granville where we will learn about the daring, successful yet somewhat desperate raid of March 1945.

4.jpg

DAY 4: GRANVILLE TO BAYEUX

Our route continues North into the Cotentin Peninsula through apple orchards used for the production of cider and calvados onwards towards the timeless history of the D-Day landings. We will be learning about the US Airborne landings that dotted this countryside on the night of 6th June 1944 before stopping at Pointe du Hock, where the U.S Army 2nd Rangers scaled the 100-foot cliffs under fire to seize German artillery emplacements that threatened the Allied invasion beaches. From here it is a short hop to Bayeux where we visit the British War Graves Cemetery for a moment of reflection.

5.jpg

DAY 5: BAYEUX TO CAEN

Lots of stops, lots of unforgettable stories! The ride makes it way out to “bloody Omaha,” one of the two American invasion beaches, the events of which were so vividly brought to life in the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. The ride will pay its respects at the American Normandy Cemetery overlooking that fateful beach. We will learn about the No. 62 Commando, otherwise known as the Small Scale Raiding Force, a group of utterly unique and audacious special service operators. Following the coast, we will see the British and Canadian landing beaches before finishing at famous Pegasus Bridge where specialist airborne assault troops from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry captured and held this vitally strategic target for 14 hours before being reinforced.

6.jpg

DAY 6: CAEN TO PORTSMOUTH

An early start on Sunday to catch the morning crossing back to Portsmouth, arriving in plenty of time for our onward journeys home.