Section 1: The Rides & Different Distances

  • Can I do Tour De Salah if I am a beginner?

    Yes you can, but you need to prepare for it by adhering to a training plan with an 8-10 week lead in period. Most London councils offer cycle training free of charge which includes building road confidence so check out their websites for more details. Tour De Salah is for everyone and with four different distances to suit all abilities and experience we would love to see you there.

  • Which distance should I do?

    It is important that you select a distance that best suits your cycling abilities, fitness levels and ability to train for the ride.  It is about picking your personal challenge and having fun at the same time!

  • Is there an assessment I can do to decide the best distance?

    When you register through the Tour De Salah website there are a number of questions to assess the cycling abilities and experience of each participant.  It is important that you are as accurate as possible in answering these to ensure that you are matched to the best distance and ride for you.  If we feel that there is a ride that is more appropriate for you based on these answers then we will contact you to discuss it further.

  • What happens if I sign up to the 100km ride?

    If you sign up for the 100km ride you will be asked to also submit a a strava link, garmin link or GPX/TCX file which shows the detail of your ride including time and distance. It should should show that you are able to do one of the following 60 miles in 7 hours, 30 miles within 3.5 hours or 20 miles in 2 hours . This is to ensure that you will be able to finish the ride within the given time frame.  If you are unable to send the file you will need to contact us at least one month before the event to arrange something alternative.

  • What happens if I cannot finish the ride or reach designated time checkpoints on time?

    Each ride distance will have designated time checkpoints which you will receive prior to the ride.  On the day of the event if you do not meet each of these within the specified time frames then you will be asked by us to complete a shorter distance by either moving onto an alternative ride, go an alternative route or make your own way to the finishing point.

  • How fast will be pace be on the ride?

    Riders will set off in batches within their chosen distance and will have the option of cycling with a trained ride leader or solo with a provided map. This gives riders the option to decide their own pace within each distance based on their experience and ability. Marshalls will be used during the ride to serve as markers and to guide all the groups along the route.  All riders need to arrive at all the checkpoints within designated times to be able to continue on their chosen distance routes. These and route maps will be provided to all cyclists before the day of the event so you are fully prepared.

  • What happens if I need to stop?

    There will be ample train stations along the route where riders can make their way to in order to get home.  Alternatively, you can proceed with the event until the next mosque from where you can arrange to make your own way home. If you do not reach checkpoints within the designated times then you will be asked to swap to a shorter distance ride or make your own way to the finish point of the ride.

  • Are there any age restrictions for the event?

    None!  The organisers of Tour de Salah see this event as an amazing opportunity to encourage more young Muslims to get involved with cycling.  All participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a fee paying adult and register here so they can enter the event for free.

Section 2: Bikes & equipment

  • Do I need my own bike or can I hire one?

    Yes you will need to have your own bike for participating in Tour De Salah. There are many places in London where you can hire a bike if needed. Below are the links for some recommended companies but we would advise you to search for somewhere local to you as you will need to arrange your own collection and drop off for the bikes.

    – http://www.onyourbike.com/rental.php
    – http://www.londonbicycle.com/hire/traditional-bicycle

    Please note that you will not be allowed to use a boris bike for the event due to health and safety reasons.

  • What type of bike should I buy?

    Tour De Salah takes place on the roads of the city and so a road bike would be ideal. However, these are a little expensive and if you do not do a lot of cycling it can take some time to get used to them. As such, a hybrid bike is the most suitable. It is shaped and built so that it can be used on the roads and trails for long distances with a level of comfort.

    Having the right size bike is paramount otherwise you will feel the discomfort and be prone to injury. All bike retailers will provide a bike fitting service which will measure you up and advise on the required frame size. Note that frame sizes can vary between different bike manufacturers.

    The bike should have a sufficient number of gears to allow riders to tackle different levels of incline. Try and look for a hybrid having a minimum of 21 gears. The tyres are also important as well; make sure the bike has tyres that are suitable for roads to ensure you ride efficiently.

  • Where is the best place to buy a bike?

    We would suggest using a reputable seller such as Evans Cycles, Cycle Surgery or Halfords. These have branches throughout London. There is also an array of independent retailers as well who can offer sound advice and a personal service.

  • What sort of budget should I have in mind?

    You can purchase a suitable hybrid for approximately £350. Bear in mind you will also need to budget for basic accessories.

    Many employers offer a cycle to work scheme which is a cost effective way if buying a bike and accessories which can see you save around 40% of the price. The details will vary from scheme to scheme, but typically you are limited to £1000 and the cost is deducted over a set period from your gross salary. The bike is leased for that period after which time you can purchase the bike outright by making a small balloon payment based on its value at the time.

    Most retailers also offer a finance deals on the purchase of new bikes including 0% deals. These are worth considering as it allows the cost to be spread over a set period.

  • Can you advise on buying second hand bikes?

    Buying a second bike is can also be cost effective way of purchasing a bike, but you need to know beforehand what kind of bike you need and what size. It is then a question of waiting for that to show up on places like eBay or Gumtree. Check the condition of the bike, making sure that the gears change effectively. Check the wheels for any broken/damaged spokes and the tyres. Check that the handlebars are aligned otherwise these could be costly to repair. Check if the bike has been serviced recently. Take someone with you to view the bike and ask about its history to ensure that what is being offered is genuine.

  • Can I hire a bike for the event?

    Bikes can be hired around various outlets in London for a small fee. Hybrid bikes for a weekend can cost around £50 whereas a road bike can be in the order of £100. These costs include helmets and some basic lights. However, it’s always better to take part in an event with a bike that you are familiar and comfortable with.

  • Can I use a Boris bike for the event?

    Not really. These are designed for short distances around the capital and with their heavy weight and limited gears you may struggle on any inclines and when trying to maintain a high pace.

  • What accessories should I buy?

    You will need a helmet, some suitable bike lights, a waterproof high-viz jacket, a refillable water bottle and a bike lock. A bike lock most likely will not be needed for the actual event as there will be volunteers to look after bikes, but it’s good practice to use one when training to secure your bike. A combination of D-lock and a cable lock provide good protection allowing all aspects of the bike to be secured against a bike stand. Note that a D-lock can add significant weight to a bike though and when riding out with as group a better option has been to use multiple cable locks to secure the bikes in full view of someone.

    There are a variety of lights available for different budgets which can be cost effective if bought in a set (front and rear). Rear lights need to let other roads know of your presence. Front lights also serve the same purpose but they need to be bright enough to light up the road in front of you so can see the turnings and to avoid hazards.

    A waterproof jacket is also important. It needs to have some kind of reflective strip on it to let other road users know of your presence. These will vary in price, but ideally it needs to be light in weight and offer good protection from the elements. Reflective snap on bands can be purchased at a low cost from most supermarkets and bike shops. Even if it’s dry, a jacket is useful in keeping you warm when not riding.

Section 3: Preparation & fundraising

  • Can I do Tour De Salah if I am a beginner?

    Yes you can, but you need to prepare for it by adhering to a training plan with an 8-10 week lead in period. Most London councils offer cycle training free of charge which includes building road confidence so check out their websites for more details. Tour De Salah is for everyone and with four different distances to suit all abilities and experience we would love to see you there.

  • What training do I need to do?

    The ideal amount of time to prepare is about 8 weeks. The aim is to build up the amount of time you spend in the saddle so your body gets used to it. A typical plan would involve two to three rides of between 5-10 miles in the week, with rest days in between.  Then on a weekend you should aim for a longer ride increasing the miles each week. See the section on ‘Training Tips’.

  • Can I fundraise for any charity?

    Yes. When completing the registration form simply make sure you give the name of your chosen charity and then all you need to do is contact them to let them know your taking part to get started.  Charities must be registered in the UK with the Charity Commission and we have the right to reject a charity if it’s objectives and work undermine the values of Tour De Salah to create community harmony.

  • How much do I need to fundraise?

    This will vary for each charity and you can find out more by contacting your chosen charity either before or after registering.

Section 4: On the day

  • What does my £30 registration fee include?

    The registration fee covers the cost of putting on the event.  It includes all of your food and refreshments for the day including water, energy drinks, energy snacks and the end of day meal.  It also includes access to bike mechanics, first aiders and experienced cycle leaders.

  • What kit do I need on the day?

    We’re not talking about Tour de France style wardrobes here, simply the right clothes to ensure you stay comfortable!

    In the context of Tour De Salah which is a 100km cycle ride, you will need comfortable clothing which means staying cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s not. In other words, wearing the right clothing for a) cycling, and b) for the weather conditions.

    Essential:

    • Bike (see question about what type of bike is needed)
    • Hi-vis jacket or clothing with reflective strips (important as part of the ride will be in the dark)
    • Any other high-viz items such as snap on bands which will alert other riders and road users of your presence
    • Suitable working front and rear lights with batteries for riding in the dark or reduced visibility. Front lights need to be able to light up the road ahead and provide other road users of your presence. Single LED wrap around front lights on their own are not suitable. Note that lights are mandatory and failure to have them could result in riders having to leave the event early.
    • Helmets – ensure helmet provides good fit and ventilation and there are no cracks in the shell, any torn or fraying straps or damaged buckles/fastenings.
    • A jersey or light fleece which can be worn in case the temperature drops or when breaks are taken to maintain bodily warmth.   This will need to be carried in a back pack as referenced below
    • Waterproof and windproof layers in case of cold weather and rain
    • Padded shorts or leggings (can be worn underneath other layers)
    • Reusable water bottle (please try to avoid disposable plastic bottles if possible as these are bad for the environment!) to top up at stop points
    • Inner tube for your bike. Some spares will be carried, but these may not suit each bike

    Optional

    • Something to pray Salah in, particularly for men who might opt to wear shorts – you might want to carry a lightweight jubba or change of tshirt for the stop points.  Please note that there will be limited space in the support vehicle so you will need to carry it with you.
    • Women wearing hijab may wish to wear a one-piece sports hijab and take a change of hijab.
    • Wet wipes/pocket tissues
    • Light rucksack or pannier bag to carry anything you need with you
    • Sunglasses
    • Sun lotion
    • Lip balm
    • Trainers or outdoor shoes (not boots)
    • Talcum powder or Vaseline (optional, to prevent chafing)
    • Additional snacks – Snacks will be provided at the break points as well as lunch at Regents Park in time for Zuhr prayer. If participants feel they will need additional items such as chocolates or sweets they can be carried in a saddle bag.
    • Riding gloves – they can provide cushioning and protection to the hands when riding for long hours.
    • Monies for items that you may need to purchase

    Not required

    • All food and refreshments will be provided during the day therefore you do not need to bring this with you.
    • Bike lock – there will be an allocated area at each mosque for the bikes and a volunteer responsible for watching over the bikes during the break times.  Refreshments will be provided (see further below)
  • What refreshments will be provided?

    There will be designated refreshments stops and a lunch stop as part of the ride. We will provide plenty of fluid and energy tablets along with snacks and a lunch for the 60km and 1o0km rides.

    We ask that everyone brings a reusable bottle with them and tries to avoid using disposable plastic drinking bottles.

    If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know when you sign up.

  • What time do I need to be at the starting point?

    The starting time for each ride will vary depend on your chosen distance and the details will be confirmed closer to the event.

  • What happens if I need medical treatment during the ride?

    There will be first aiders on the ride and we will be able to promptly contact emergency services if required.

  • What happens if I need a mechanic?

    A mobile mechanic will be available to assist in any mechanical failure you may experience along the route. You will be provided with an emergency number list which will include the mechanics contact number. Come prepared with a puncture repair kit and a pump as you may have to wait a while for the mechanic to arrive, if it is a minor repair it is best advised to try and fix the fault first. Remember of a group ride you are also likely to meet fellow participants who are more than willing to stop and assist.