The #rideFAR challenge has just wrapped up. Over 1000 riders were able to plan and execute their version of the #rideFAR ride and we are happy to proudly present the grand finale to a great and successful season-start: We set up a Best-Off collection for the #rideFAR challenge in 2022. In this blog-post we would like to take a deep dive into a great selection of rides, to highlight the best out of the 1,000 #rideFAR rides.
Orbit360.cc is the galactic cycling club where gravel cycling is made accessible for everyone. And the range of participants shows. The field varied from full-time professionals like Paul Voss, to striving amateurs and first-timers of all ages. Their motivations for taking part varied from: Riding to beat a record. Riding for fun. Riding to make a difference.
Whether it was individual riders’ main purpose for riding or not, the #rideFAR challenge was about using the extraordinary distance that passionate cyclists cover every year, for a good cause. The combined distance of the event came to more than 200.000 kilometers in 21 countries, raising over € 15k for Faradgang e.V., Bikeygees e.V., Velafrica, World Bicycle Relief and Global Giving. Needless to say, it’s a mission complete! Our partners VOTEC, komoot, CRAFT and ENJOYYOURBIKE contributed to the #rideFAR challenge by adding another 10 % of the rider’s donation.
We want to thank all participants not only for taking part but also for supporting the five cycling-related nonprofit organizations with your donations. We are blown away by the number of riders who donated generously.
Let’s have a look at the most amazing rides:
#rideFAR was a DIY event, with the sportive goals to ride your bike (long) and push your own limits in an adventurous outdoor challenge.
While there are so many amazing rides ridden, with so many wonderful background stories, we picked out three of the most unique stories from the event to highlight and show you. Together they underline the diversity of the #rideFAR challenge. Three rides whose reasons for participating could not have been more different, but they are equally unique and heartwarming:
Let’s start with the first story about three riders from Switzerland who pushed through the night. We asked Nils to write down his thoughts :
“As the Russian invasion of Ukraine dominated the headlines in early March, I was wondering how I could help support the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, Philippe’s first ultra-event was approaching and he asked me if I would join him for a night ride to test his gear and the effects of sleep deprivation on his body. The idea of pushing through a cold March night in Switzerland was not on top of my list, but if we would do it, why not do it for a reason?
The aim was therefore to ride a 360 km loop from sunset to sunrise as part of the #rideFAR event. We talked about our idea to a few of our friends and Anthony was keen to join us and help us achieve the distance in less than 12 hours. As the sun faded over the horizon, we started our ride at 6:33 pm in front of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.
We headed towards Olten and the night got progressively quieter as people went to sleep. The cold also became more biting, but we were pushing hard. Did I say we? Anthony was mostly leading the train and we were flying in his wheel. As we reached Olten it was time to head back to our starting point, but the fatigue started to set in and the temperature dropped even more. During these rather uncomfortable hours, we nevertheless had the opportunity to appreciate our situation where suffering remains a choice. And after the last climb where a strong headwind was giving us a hard time, we slipped through the Lavaux vineyards and descended to our destination, shortly before sunrise.
We are grateful to Orbit360 for setting up the Ride For A Reason event and getting the cycling community engaged to support cycling-related charity organizations and the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund! Cycling can make a change, and we kinda like riding for hours so it was a win-win situation.”
1055 kilometres. Most people need a couple of days for such a massive distance. If not weeks. Or months.
Brother(s) from another mother – Frank(s) all the way!
Frank Bueltge and Frank Eisenblätter combined their participation on Hoved Ting, a route starts in Hamburg and follow beautiful coast lines to the Danish Fin, with the #rideFAR challenge. It only took them 93 hours to complete their 1.055 km (4.550 hm) ride.
This ride beats the actual record of 720 km from Martin Themen, who rode two 360 km distances in a row, by far. Hey two Franks, thanks for setting another milestone in the Orbit360 cosmos. Have a good rest!
Julien rode his very own Orbit on an island called “La Réunion”. We didn’t know this little part of the world and are totally blown away by the beauty of this hidden paradise. You are about to plan your next holiday? Well, check Juliens route and give him a visit! Julien was kind enough to send over some thoughts:
“Réunion is a lush, tropical, volcanic rock emerging island out of the Indian ocean. It’s the mixing of cultures (French, Indian, African, Asian…) that gave it its name. Black sand beaches, lagoons, an active volcano, a remarkable flora diversity and steep terrain are to be expected. Cycling here can be resumed by climbing and descending. Looking for flat roads ? The coast is your only salvation.
My wife is from here. And after many roundtrips for vacation the last ten years, we decided to move there for a while. And on the very first moment I rode my bike here two years ago, I dreamed of riding this Tour de la Réunion.
A few weeks ago, when I read « Ride for a reason » and « Orbit » on the same web page, I knew it was my opportunity : stop planning it, get out and do it. Ride that circle and make it mean something.
Then I registered right away so I couldn’t postpone any further and mark it as a red spot on the calendar.
The big idea was to ride as close to the ocean as possible but to include a climb (well named La Montagne) and a gravel path to avoid the traffic near the main city, Saint Denis. And mainly take my time and enjoy the view, ocean on my left side… So clockwise it will be !
Alarm was set : 4am so I could reach the north of the island and start the climb as early as possible before it gets too hot. 32°C is the average this season. It was more than 40°C around mid-day. The climb felt hard but the descent cleared a good part of it. The gravel part which was a former train line shook me with its rocks and mud from the heavy rains of the last night to make sure I won’t fall asleep after my lunch break. And speaking of breaks… there were loads of it. I can’t recall how many stops to grab water I had to make during the rest of this wavy ride along the coast. At 4pm I stretched out my back on the side of this old lava flow covered now with young trees and a brand new tarmac on the south east of the island, wondering if I will be able to end this ride. I’ve been so slow…and still 70km to go. A text from my wife told me I don’t need to be fast. I just have to finish it at my own pace. And so I did.
Few hours later, the sun was setting, I looked at my GPS screen telling me I had ridden more than 200km. That’s the second time I ever rode this much in a row.
One last hill to close the circle and get back home, the biggest circle possible here : 244km.”
With the new Covid-19 regulations, cycling in groups is finally allowed. Time for the first Orbit360 #rideFAR Peloton!
Three Pelotons, one for each distance, set off from the Berlin Prinzessinnengarten to ride for a reason. The first group started at midnight to cover the first 180 km loop. They met the second group at 8 am in the morning and started for their second 180 km loop. Two hours later, another group gathered to ride the 90 km distance. What a great weekend! Thanks everyone for showing up and riding together.
Together with the Faradgang we welcomed the Pelotons with waffles, coffee and beer and raised another 250 EUR that we put into the donations box. Chapeau!
We put together a timeline of the 360 km:
11.30 am: We met for a coffee ceremony at the Orbit360 HQ.
2 am: 60 km done. Water was frozen. As well as the Snickers. Ciao. Basti prepared hot tea. The only liquid that was drinkable.
5 am: Tiredness sets in. As well as the cold. But we could smell the cake(s) already.
5.30 am: Hi Holly! Coffee and cake stop at Hollys Kuchenparadies. Time to defreeze the water bottles.
8 am: First 180 km done. A warm welcome at the Prinzessinnengarten where the 180 km Peloton was about to set off. After a short breakfast break and continued our journey.
12 pm: 260 km done. More drafting now as the fatigue hits.
1 pm: On our way back to Berlin. We passed Mallnow and faced strong headwind.
1.30 pm: Resupply stop at a petrol station where we met all riders from the 180 km Peloton.
2.30 pm: After pushing the bikes through some sandy roads, we preferred tarmac and slightly changed the route.
4 pm: Getting brutal now. One rider has knee pain, another rider is too exhausted. We slowed down the pace.
5 pm. 365 km in the books! What a ride! What a Peloton! First time as a team. And we all made it to the finish line. Hi Faradgang. Hi riders from the 90 km route. Lovely hugs. Even some tears. Waffles, cakes and beer.
6 pm: Arrival of the 180 km Peloton. Everyone made it back to the Faradgang.
Since e-bikes are not allowed, Maik took out his battery and replaced it with a bottle of coke. Well, we all know how much a coke can help in fatigue situations. Maik switched from “e” to a normal bike and finished the 180 km in just under 13 hours. Well, let’s see if he needs the battery anymore.
Rest between the rides is overrated! So while many other riders have accomplished all three distances in the given time window, Heiko Zöllner rode all three distances in a row. 636 km in one go! You certainly deserve some rest now!
That’s the overview of the fastest time for each solo category.
Most people of the Orbit360 cosmos ride a road-, gravel- or MTB-bike.
This year, we have new bikes that entered the intergalactic galaxy. Happy to have you on board!
While it is easy to get caught up in the longest rides, impressive numbers or spectacular stories, which are certainly impressive, there are a bunch of riders who created their own special Orbits.
Those GPS-coordinates were identified from the Orbit360 space station, because they looked other than the “normal” Orbits and we are happy to present them: