NEWS: 15th Jun 2017
TOFTigers Bike4Tigers Challenge 2017
SES Member, son-in-law of John Blashford-Snell and founder of TOFTigers Indian Wildlife Association (a Indian Wildlife conservation charity), Julian Matthews, is leading the Bike4Tigers Challenge 2017 in November this year.
The TOFTigers Bike4Tigers Challenge is a full seven-day itinerary from the 18 November 2017, during which, for three full days, Julian will lead the group between two tiger parks over fun, off road mountain biking terrain. It’s about 180km of quiet dirt forest tracks and undulating trails along this connecting forest landscape, home itself to a number of elusive tigers. The group will also travel through quaint and untouched tribal village communities that often bear the brunt of conflict, with both predators and crop raiding prey like spotted deer, wild pig and Nilgai antelope. These villagers hold the key to long term forest and tiger conservation.
This small group ride (max 20 persons) is designed for those who like biking, are reasonably fit (or want to get fit!), but do not have to be an expert off road biker. Julian simply recommends some pre-trip exercise training (last year the group ranged in age from 40 to 75). Participants should enjoy a physical challenge, as between 55km and 65km will be covered each day (about 8 hours in the saddle), with a good lunch stop. It's within glorious tiger forest or rural farming terrain, most of it easy biking (for those used to biking), but there are one or two uphill challenges and some fun off road downhills. Two nights of the bike trip are spent in a very comfortable pre-set tented camp besides the forests in village fields, under a million stars, enjoying wonderful food at the end of an energetic day’s ride.
Staying in luxury lodges, either side of the ride, and with three game drives to try and spot a wild tiger too, this is a unique challenge for adventurous travellers who like getting ‘off piste' and want to gain a real insight into India’s ancient rural heartland and its wildlife, whilst happy to learn and support its conservation efforts.
Cost to participate in the Challenge is £1,595 per person (excluding flights) and Bike4Tigers asks you to raise a minimum of £750 for the charity. Watch last year's challenge two-minute video.
If you are interested in joining the group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story by Henrietta Thorpe