Apr 162012
 
Tour de Latitude

With summer approaching the up-coming musical festival season will be up and running with events starting from May onwards. Over recent years, the more environmental friendly of promoters and organisers have been encouraging festival goers to cycle to their events by offering secure cycle parking facilities and dedicated campsites for cyclists.

The daddy of all music and art festivals, Glastonbury, has been running its bike travelling initiative for the last two years of its festival and now Latitude, another one of the big summer festivals, is offering a similar service to their festival with the aim of also raising money for a couple of charities.

Tour de Latitude

Latitude has team up with the retailer Marks & Spencer to launch the Tour de Latitude to encourage festival goers to reduce their carbon footprint by cycling their way to the festival in Henham Park, Suffolk, which takes place from July 12th to July 15th.

The Tour de Latitude will take place on the first day of the festival (Thursday, July 12) with festival goers given the choice to start along three points along the route to the Latitude site.

Three routes

The furthest starting point is Hackney in London, 113 miles from Latitude with an estimated journey time of 8-12 hours, and is seen as a challenging ride for experienced riders. The second starting point is half the London distance, leaving from Sudbury near Colchester, 55 miles from the festival with an estimated journey time of 3-5 hours, while the final starting point is Ipswich, 35 miles from estimated at 2-4 hours.

All three routes are very scenic, with only small hills, so all levels and abilities are invited to take part though as said above Latitude advise that only the more serious cyclists opt for the route from London.

Help on the ride

Routes will be sign posted, with bicycle mechanics, cycle guides, emergency response, and free food every step of the way. Cyclists’ baggage will be transported separately and cyclists will have their bikes securely stored at the festival on arrival. For the return trip Latitude will provide Tour de Latitude cyclists that do not want to cycle home with a bus ticket to get home with bike transfer to origin.

On the ride, there will be a rest stop every 20 miles for participants to have a break with full facilities, and food and refreshments courtesy of Marks & Spencer will be provided.

Upon arrival at the festival, cyclists will be greeted by their welcome team and treated to a free massage and optional ice bath. Hot showers, food and drinks will also be provided to ensure participants are fully refreshed for the festival weekend.

The Latitude line-up features the likes of Elbow, Bon Iver, Laura Marling, Paul Weller and The Simple Minds with comedy and literary tents also available on site.

Charity projects

There is a chosen charity for the Tour of Latitude, the Kenyan Orphan Project which supports orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. Riders signing up for the Tour of Latitude will see £60 of their £350 registration fee donated to the Kenyan Orphan Project. £20 from the registration fee will also be donated to the Julie’s Bicycle charity, which helps make environmental sustainability intrinsic to the creative industries.

The £350 participant fee covers the cost of registration, support, logistics, a Latitude weekend festival ticket with camping and the donations to the charities.

The organisers of Latitude, Festival Republic, will donate an additional £75 for every participant who starts at Hackney, £35 per participant starting from Sudbury and £25 per participant starting from Ipswich. This donation will be split 75% to KOP and 25% to Julie’s Bicycle, providing participants reach their fundraising target and complete the challenge.

Tour de Latitude is an initiative set up by Festival Republic Managing Director Melvin Benn who in 2010 helped raise funds for Kenyan Orphan Project by cycling 435 kilometres with eight other members of the Festival Republic Team.

Latitude won’t be the only festival this summer that will see bikers cycle their way to the venue. A group of cyclists under the Buskers on Bikes are planning a journey to ride to the Bestival site in the Isle of Wight. We’ll be featuring them in a separate blog over the next week.


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See also

Bikeability gets extra money

The Wheelie Good Round-Up

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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