A series of five physical challenges, organised by The Prince’s Trust and taking place over the next year, kicks off in October with Beyond the Wall: China Bike Challenge. This unique cycling experience covers 450km, travelling through dramatic landscapes along some of the most impressive and least-visited sections of the Great Wall of China.
The five-day Challenge is expected to push participants’ physical limits thanks to pre-dawn starts, sub-zero temperatures at night and up to ten hours a day both on and off-road. Cyclists of all levels of fitness can take part, but participants must commit to a comprehensive training schedule in order to prepare for the intense physical demands of the experience.
The itinerary gives participants a chance to gain an insight into China rarely experienced by Western visitors. The Challenge begins four hours outside of Beijing and finishes at the dramatic location of Lao Long Tou, where the Wall disappears into the Yellow Sea. Visiting remote villages, camping en route in historic locations and enjoying the support of local Chinese translators all ensure that the Challenge is a two-wheeled cultural and historic experience like no other.
Subsequent Challenges in the series include cycling as part of the multi-disciplinary mix, including biking through the remote Sabah jungle in Borneo, a race to cross the Continental Divide at 2,330m in Costa Rica, and traversing inhospitable desert terrain in Namibia. The Challenges take place in seven countries across four continents, range from three to ten days in length and, in total, will see participants travelling the equivalent of three times around the earth in a variety of methods, including hiking, horseback riding, white water rafting, kayaking, running and abseiling. The Challenges will collectively aim to raise £500,000 for The Prince’s Trust to help disadvantaged young people across the UK.