Join us to help raise £1million for MAG!
Since 2015, 85 UK wholesale, convenience retail, FMCG and service-provider execs have raised over £830,000 for MAG (Mines Advisory Group) the Manchester based charity, awarded Co-Laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its role in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
The rides, set up in 2015 by Neil Turton, who holds NED roles with Ty Nant Water and Alliance stores, and Tom Fender, Development Director of TWC have seen over 85 people from the sector take on challenges across Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the UK and most recently Bosnia and Herzegovina in June. They were set up by people in the industry for the industry, to come together and support communities ravaged by the effects of war.
The events have led to new business collaborations, provided personal development and networking opportunities and forged lifelong friendships all for a shared industry cause.
And the team are not stopping ….. the team target for 2023 ride will be to raise £170,000 collectively which will mean Bikes against Bombs will have raised an extraordinary £1million for MAG since 2015!
Thailand to Laos 2023
The 2023 challenge will see a team of 30 sector execs start cycling in Chiang Rai, Thailand and finish in Luang Prabang, Laos, the place where the idea for Bikes against Bombs was born.
It will be hot. It will be dusty. There will be hills…. but your collective peddle power will mean that even more landmines and bombs can be destroyed so that women, girls, boys and men can live free from fear.
The dates and skeleton itinerary is below – join us to meet help us hit the million-pound-milestone!
FRIDAY 24TH MARCH – THAILAND BOUND
We meet our team at our London airport and fly out on an overnight flight to Thailand together.
SATURDAY 25TH MARCH – CHIANG RAI
We land this morning and switch planes in Bangkok* and then take an onward flight to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival we transfer to our comfortable hotel and this evening we have a welcome dinner and hear more about our challenge from the local team.
Hotel: Chiang Rai Hotel
SUNDAY 26TH MARCH – THE MEKONG & CHIANG KHONG 100KM/341M GAIN
After a good breakfast we cycle directly from our hotel to the town of Wiangchai and then onto Phaya Mengrai. Our trail today is a mixture of on and off tarred roads, dirt tracks and potholed roads. After lunch, we head north to the Mekong that marks the border with Laos. We end the day rolling into Chiang Khong.
Hotel: Chiang Khong Hotel
MONDAY 27TH MARCH – PAK BENG 77KM/445M GAIN
After breakfast we cross the Thai-Laos friendship bridge. The road today is hilly and takes us just over half the way to Pak Beng. We cycle 77km to the town of Pha Oudom where we end our days ride just before the hills that separate us from our destination. This afternoon we transfer 68km to end the day in Pak Beng.
Hotel: Sanctuary Hotel
TUESDAY 28TH MARCH – OUDOMXAY 80KM/706M GAIN
Today we cycle out of Pak Beng leaving the Mekong River behind us as we ride into the hills. We make our way through small minority villages, passing hillsides covered in rice paddy fields. It’s a hilly days ride today with 500m of climbing by the time we get to the town of Houn where we have lunch. This afternoon we have a further 30km cycling to Beng village set in a beautiful valley, before transferring the final 90 minutes to Oudomxay.
Hotel: Charming Laos Hotel
WEDNESDAY 29TH MARCH – PAK MONG 60KM/300M GAIN
Our challenge today is to make our way through to hills that will eventually take us back down to the Mekong and its comforting flatness! To avoid the biggest hill today we transfer 51km out of town to a beautiful vantage point overlooking the surrounding hills and then start our ride. We still have 300m height gain today over the next 60km but it’s a huge 30km downhill followed by another 30km along the valley floor. We end the day in the great town of Pat Mong and a lovely dinner overlooking the Mekong.
Hotel: Sabaidee River View Hotel
THURSDAY 30TH MARCH – LUANG PRABANG 93KM/750M GAIN
For our final cycling day we will transfer 45km out of Pak Mong and then aim is to cycle the final 93km from to Luang Prabang. We have plenty to do as this is our hardest day and we do have some hills, so we start early, cycling for 60km along the Nam Ou river, one of the tributaries of the Mekong. We cycle through villages and experience at first hand people’s lives in these rural parts and we stop to have a picnic lunch along the riverbank. If there is time today, we visit the Pak Ou caves. By the end of the afternoon we finally reach Luang Prabang, the World Heritage town and tonight we celebrate the end of an incredible challenge.
Hotel: Luang Prabang View Hotel
FRIDAY 31ST MARCH – FREE DAY
Today is a free day to relax and enjoy Luang Prabang.
SATURDAY 1ST APRIL – DEPART LUANG PRABANG
We transfer to the airport for our return day/overnight flight to the UK.
SUNDAY 2ND APRIL – ARRIVE HOME
Flight included option
Registration is £395 and is non-refundable.
You must then raise £5,000 to secure your place on the ride (£2, 250 of which is the remaining cost of your place on the ride which you can either fundraise for or pay directly)
This is a clear commitment you are making to the charity and you are required to raise at least £3,500 by 24th January.
Land only option
The flights in the option above are from London Heathrow. If you would rather book and pay for your own flights, ensuring you arrive in Chiang Rai on the 25th March 2023, this is an option and it changes the costs.
Registration is £395 and is non-refundable.
You must then raise £4,250 to secure your place on the ride (£1,450 of which is the remaining cost of your place on the ride which you can either fundraise for or pay directly).
This is a clear commitment you are making to the charity and you are required to raise at least £2,750 by the 24th January.
When is my sponsorship due in?
Any remaining funds are due to MAG 4 weeks after we return (30th April 2023)
Can my company sponsor the ride?
Yes. Company sponsorships start at £2,500 and there are a range of sponsorship opportunities. Please get in touch with the team to discuss.
Why do we cycle for MAG ?
Every day across the world 19 people are killed or injured by a landmine or unexploded bomb. More than half of civilian casualties are children.
We believe that everyone has a right to live in safety and free from fear. MAG teams work across 31 countries around the world to remove unexploded landmines and bombs from land and destroy them, making it safe for communities to grow food crops; build homes, schools, health clinics and carry out other infrastructure projects; and access water sources.
In 2023, the cycle challenge will finish in Laos, which is the most heavily bombed county in the world per capita.
Two million tonnes of explosives were dropped during 580,000 bombing missions in the Vietnam War— a planeload of bombs were dropped every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years. Almost five decades after the war, these deadly unexploded bombs remain a persistent threat and daily reality for thousands of communities across Laos
The harsh reality for people living across Laos is that they are forced to use land contaminated with explosives. People know that each time they plow or plant a harvest or simply let their children play outside they are risking death or injury from a hidden bomb.
Year after year they tread carefully, farm as small a patch as they can manage, and try to minimize the risks.
MAG has been working in Laos since 1994 and has teams of expert technicians working in Khammouane and Xieng Khouang provinces, searching out and destroying bombs in places where people live and work.
Our teams of dedicated, expert, locally recruited staff, remove and destroy these deadly unexploded bombs so that every paddy can produce rice, and every school yard can become a place of play without fear of deadly explosions and families can rebuild their lives and livelihoods free from fear.