The David Eales Memorial ride is an award-winning 4-6 day group charity ride from London (or Dunkerque) to Amsterdam each September. The ride is long but leisurely, averaging 60 miles (about 100km) each day. The cycling conditions in Belgium and the Netherlands are level and pleasant, allowing riders to take in the scenery along the route.
Riders organise in groups of 4-6 with advice and support from veterans of the ride. Hostels are booked by the groups themselves, and group members perform navigation and logistics for one another while riding.
The printed manual distills experience from the 2016 and 2017 events into an outline for forming your team and conducting the ride. It contains advice on packing and preparations, organising your team, fundraising, and a description of the route complete with knooppunten sequences and high-level maps. There are also links to recommended hostels, maps, and software as well as advice on booking your return trip after the ride.
Copies are available at meetings and social rides, or you can download the PDF.
The 2019 ride will run from 21-24 September, with an optional UK leg on the 19th and 20th.
Most teams riding from London to Dover will do so on this Thursday and/or Friday. People taking the train to Dover will do so on the 20th, and everyone should aim to take the ferry to Dunkerque on the evening of the 20th.
Dunkerque to Brugge, via Veurne.
Brugge to Antwerp, via Ghent
Antwerp to Rotterdam, via Roosendaal
Rotterdam to Amsterdam, via Hazerswoude
Registration for the 2019 ride is now open!
To sign up for the ride, please fill out this form over on the London Cycling Campaign’s site. You will be asked for some basic contact details, as well as some questions about how you’d like to complete the ride.
Upon filling out the form, you will have the option to be subscribed to regular e-mail updates, and we’ll also give you access to real-time messaging via our Telegram chat system.
We also have an official Twitter account:
@eales_ride, and you can follow the
#ealesride hashtag for ride updates there.
For an idea of the ride’s route, take a look at this on-line map. The
< buttons will move you forward and backward along points of interest along the way.
The core waypoints of the ride are as follows:
Most riders meet at a pub near the Dover ferry terminal on the evening before the start of the ride, and travel to the hostel in Dunkerque together.
While most riders take their bikes down to Dover by train, the more adventurous participants will ride from Parliament Square in London to Dover over two days, spending a night in Whitstable. Even more dedicated riders may attempt London to Dover in a single day.
The route is published on bikemap.net, and the more technically inclined can download the GPX or KML route file for use in mapping apps or routefinding devices.
Riders are asked to raise funds for two charities which have a personal connection to David Eales. Veterans will help new riders in setting up fundraising pages and reaching out for pledges.
David was a passionate advocate for the transformative power of cycling, and took an active role in a wide range of cycling groups in London. Many of these were local chapters of the London Cycling Campaign, who inspired the very first ride. It was this first LCC ride in 2016 that David had planned to participate in, and we dedicated the event to his memory when he was taken from us mere months before departure.
While you’re at it, joining the LCC as a member wouldn’t go amiss!
The SJS Awareness UK charity funds research into the alarming disease that took David from us so suddenly in 2016.
In 2016, six people rode to Amsterdam. One rode from Dunkerque, three had to take a train for part of the UK segment, and two made it all the way from London to Amsterdam under their own power.
In 2017, 13 people rode: six rode from London (though one had to turn back at Rotterdam), and seven joined in Dunkerque. We travelled in three squads of 4-5 riders, and had enough separate arrivals that we couldn’t all pose for one photo at the end!
In 2018, we had 18 participants, six of whom rode from London and twelve from Dunkerque.