Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a Bradley Wiggins, but would rather have a field of music-loving strangers cheer you across the finish line than a mountain top of lycra clad fanatics? Do you think you could ride your way along a stage of the Tour De France, but would rather have a golden pint than a yellow jersey waiting for you at the end? Well this year, Latitude and M&S might just have made all your dreams come true. The Tour de Latitude 2013 is an organised bike ride on Thursday 18th July which leads the more adventurous festival goers to the Latitude site, reduces their carbon footprint, and raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Last year Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn led a 200-strong group of cyclists over the “most delightful” route to the site with great success, but with the continuing popularity of British cycling, 2013’s Tour de Latitude promises to be even bigger and better.

There are three distance options for the Tour de Latitude 2013. Setting off from London (125 miles) is by far the most challenging, with a marathon estimated ride time of between 8-12 hours. Riding from Colchester (55 miles) is the popular middle distance, with a 3-5 hour journey time. Whilst the comparatively short sprint from Ipswich (35 miles) is great for the less bike-confident/families, at only 2-4 hours long. Regardless of the distance however, the Tour de Latitude route has only a handful of small hills, so all ages and abilities are welcome to take part. Clear signposting, first aiders, mechanics, and refreshments provided by M&S every 20 miles will guarantee you arrive at the festival site fit for the weekend’s revelry.

Once at Latitude, participants’ can lock their bikes in safe storage, collect their bags (which are transported separately from their start point) and enjoy another buffet provided M&S! And as if that wasn’t enough, as a thank you for the fundraising, riders will also receive a ticket upgrade – granting them full access to guest areas and the guest campsite. The daunting task of a 125 mile ride home on the Monday morning is taken care of too – with free transport available to drive the riders, their bags and their bikes back from the festival to their original starting point.

All of this sounds great, but how much will it cost me you ask? The answer is nothing! The event is free of charge; the only requirement being that each rider should raise at least £150 in donations for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

So if riding your bike to a great festival where you get treated like a VIP, all in the aid of charity and environmental awareness sounds like your dream come true, go to www.tourdelatitude.org for full details/to sign up.

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