Bike4Tigers Challenge

The end of the challenge - Bike4Tigers - On The Go Tours

Protect India's Tigers

Join the TOFT Bike4Tigers Challenge and help protect India's precious tiger population. The Bike4Tigers Challenge travels between Pench and Kanha National Parks over three full days of fun off-road biking terrain. It’s about 180 km of quiet dirt forest tracks and undulating trails along this connecting forest landscape, home itself to a number of elusive tigers. This is a unique challenge for those who like getting off the beaten track and want to get a real insight into India’s ancient rural heartland and its forests whilst supporting tiger conservation efforts.

We're looking for 15-20 bikers to join the Bike4Tigers Challenge and raise £25,000 for TOFTigers. Proceeds from the fundraising bike ride will help support the TOFTigers Village Wildlife Guardian programme in Pench, Kanha and Ranthambhore national parks.

The ride is perfect for those who like biking and are fit and adventurous though you don't have to be an expert off-road biker. You should enjoy a physical challenge and expect to cover between 45km and 65km each day, or 8 hours on the bike saddle. Ages varied from 35 to 75 in 2016. You'll be riding in glorious forest or rural terrain, most of it easy biking for those used to off-road biking, but there are one or two uphill challenges and some fun off-road downhills. The two nights of the trip are spent in a comfortable pre-set tented camp in the forest run by respected luxury camping outfitters Pugdundee Safaris.

The work of TOFTigers

In 2014 TOFTigers helped pioneer and fund a ‘second protection force’ with the Village Wildlife Guardian scheme starting in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. Its success in adding additional villagers’ eyes and ears to forest protection has helped diminish the illegal bushmeat trade, helped track wild tigers outside this park, and provided valuable intelligence on hunters’ and poachers’ movements around its borders. TOFTigers continues to seek to expand these efforts around two more critically important tiger reserves, Kanha and Pench, which harbour over 150 wild tigers. Their poorly protected buffer and corridor forests need long term protection and connectivity into the future. And that's where you come in with this year's Bike4Tigers Challenge.

Start of the ride - Bike4Tigers - On The Go Tours

Bike4Tigers Challenge Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday 25th November 2017
This morning there will be a meeting at 9am in Pench National Park where the fundraising cyclists will meet for the first time and receive more information about the days ahead. The group will then enjoy a picnic lunch.
Accommodation - none provided.

Day 2 - Sunday 26th November 2017
Today you'll head out on your bike clocking up 65km during the course of the day.
Accommodation - tented camp.

Day 3 - Monday 27th November 2017
Your second day on the bike will again see you clocking up 65km through scenic forest landscapes.
Accommodation - tented camp.

Day 4 - Tuesday 28th November 2017
Today is your last day on the bike challenge and you'll cover approximately 45km, arriving into Kanha National Park in the afternoon. An arrival reception will be held at 5pm at the Kipling Camp with prizes presented. After 6pm you are free to continue with your own holiday arrangements.
Accommodation - none provided.

At camp - Bike4Tigers - On The Go Tours

A Typical Cycling Day – and Night

We aim to start the day’s ride at 8 am. The temperature in November will be around 25 to 28C, but will fall at night to about 8 to 10C and the mornings will be cool first thing.

Cyclists will ride in groups accompanied by an escort/naturalist who will guide the group along the route. A support vehicle will travel behind the last cyclist keeping a safe distance and will be carrying bottled water, soft drinks and fresh fruits. An accompanying vehicle is available to pick up cyclists if there is a problem, or if you just wish to take some rest. The driver will have a mobile phone or radio. There will be refreshment stops along the route every hour and a half and a nice lunch spot will be chosen to relax and fortify yourself with light but nutritious lunch, between 12 and 2pm during the heat of the day.

We will again ride for a further four hours in the afternoon, with regular water stops and opportunities to enjoy the views, take photos and keep an eye out for tiger tracks. This is not a race and it’s for everyone to enjoy, so we will travel in groups according to speed and for comfortable cycling.

Dusk comes quickly so we aim to arrive into our pre set up camp near a bordering village by about 5pm. Tents are Meru-style walk-in tents with two camping cots, sheets, blankets and a hot water bottle. Each tent has a bush shower and eco-loo.

We will enjoy good food and drinking around a campfire under a sky untouched by light pollution, before a good night’s rest in a comfortable walk-in tent.

How physically challenging is it?

The ride is at a height of between 250 and 600 metres above sea level, through forested and often shaded road tracks and reasonable paths used by local villagers and foresters. We will also be riding through and between villages using simple village roads that are largely used by bicycles, motorbikes or bullock carts, occasionally on a single-track tar road. On some short sections we have to travel on and cross tar roads. The terrain is largely flat, but with a number of undulating forest sections, uphill climbs and a few long winding descents along rugged forest roads and over riverbeds. There are some tricky sand banks to navigate.

For those used to road biking, be prepared for a harder peddle, as some of the paths are sandy or stony; others an easier ride. On day two there is a winding 10km hard uphill cycle after lunch. We strongly advise some advanced fitness and biking training and participants should be competent and comfortable on mountain bikes. However, a support vehicle is never far away for those wishing to catch a lift.

Riding through the forest - Bike4Tigers - On The Go Tours

The Bikes

All bikes will be provided of well-known international makes, for example, X-Caliber of TrekUSA, with lightweight alloy frames, 24 to 27 speed gearing, v-brakes or disk brakes and Shimano components and front suspension. They are mid-range 18.5˝ and large 19.5” frame size, to fit most riders, and we match riders to these. Special sizes are available on request.

It is not a problem should you wish to take your own mountain bike, but this will be at your own expense. Your bike should preferably have front suspension and be in good mechanical order with bottle holders for water.

The support vehicle and guide will carry basic spares and tools, though it cannot be guaranteed there will be spares for every conceivable problem. A basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump will be provided for those who wish to carry it. Spare cycles are also carried in the support vehicle.

Helmets will be provided, but you may wish to bring your own. Not wearing them can only be done if you sign an indemnity. A guide is trained in first aid and emergency rescue but to a large degree riders are responsible for their own safety while cycling. An indemnity form will need to be signed.

Challenge Pricing

The TOFT Bike4Tigers Challenge ride fee is USD $1345 per person. In addition to this participants will need to raise a minimum of USD $975 per person.

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation for 2 nights (Day 2 & 3) in comfortable tented camps on twin share basis
  • Warm up ride on Day 1 with picnic lunch
  • TOFTigers representative
  • All meals on the Challenge and whilst in the tiger reserves plus refreshments and bottled water during cycling
  • Bicycles and helmets provided
  • Vehicle for carrying bicycles and luggage
  • Services of local naturalists/guides/mechanic on bike tour
  • Insurance for medical evacuation by ambulance or air to the nearest and best hospital
  • Full support services on the bike challenge
  • All fees for Special Permit for cycling and camping
  • Current applicable taxes (9% Government services tax)

Exclusions:

  • International and domestic flights
  • All other arrangements, game drives and all accommodation either side of the above
  • Airport and other transfers beginning and end of bike trip
  • Visa
  • Tips and porters at airports, hotels, drivers etc
  • Personal expenses e.g, drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc
  • Travel insurance
  • Ground costs or insurance for any private holiday either side of the Bike4Tigers Challenge
  • Fundraising contribution to TOFTigers

Booking the Bike4Tigers Challenge

Bookings for the TOFT Bike4Tigers Challenge must be made via Pugdundee Safaris, a TOFTigers member, who are operating the bike safari. All bookings need to be made by contacting Ram Chandra on salesdesk@pugdundeesafaris.com together with a deposit of USD $250 to secure participation.

All payments can be made online, with final payments necessary 60 days before arrival. Cancellation fees are applicable as per Pugdundee Safaris booking terms and conditions.

Bike4Tigers 2016 Video

Pre and post touring arrangements

Participants are free to make their own touring arrangements around the four day Bike4Tigers Challenge and we're here to help. We offer tailor-made holiday services in India and can put together your dream trip either side of these four days. Contact our tailor-made team to discuss your options.

Exclusive offer for participants

We're offering 40% off these India group tours to all participants that join the Bike4Tigers Challenge and raise the requisite USD $975. Each of these tours departs on the 2nd December, four days after the bike ride. This gives you plenty of time to spend a few nights in Kanha National Park on game drives and get back to Delhi where our tours depart from.

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