The Challenges

The 2018 Challenge

In 2018, the Oblivion Tour goes to Portugal

It is said that the history of Portugal goes back over 400,000 years with the traces of Homo Heidelbergensis looking like an Oblivion Tourist (picture right courtesy of Wikipedia) proving that the Portuguese coastline was, even then, a compelling destination.

It is also said that every single Oblivion Tour endures at least 25% of the time in rain!

So the desire, this year, is to go in search of sunshine.

And what a destination. This central Portugal region is filled with picturesque towns, stunning beaches, magnificent palaces, and contains one of the most important pilgrimages of Western Europe.

There is also the not-insignificant factor that this region is the home of the most wonderful of libations, the fortified wine that is Port!

The route for the Tour runs along the spectacular Atlantic coast and then turns inland to rise up the magnificent Douro Valley, before we turn west towards Atlantic again.

Day 1 – Thurs 18th Oct – Lisbon to Caldas (81 miles)
Staying in Lisbon (pictured above) on Wednesday night means that there is no gentle warm-up half day. This will be an an early start on Thursday giving us a very full first day of riding. The run up the coastline gives a taster of a few small hills but nothing too testing – however, the wind racing off the ocean could easily provide a challenge. One large lump to clamber over during the morning ride means that the afternoon is a little more leisurely. The picturesque Caldas (below) will be a welcome sight for out second evening, after the 81 mile run up the coast.
Day 2 – Fri 19th Oct  – Caldas to Luso (94 miles)
Caldas up to Luso is a long hard ride, but thankfully, with only 700metres of climbing during the entire day, this will provide the opportunity for Tourists to settle into a nice steady pace. This is a stunning stretch of coastline and Luso, steeped in history, will be a wonderful venue for our 3rd evening.
Day 3 – Sat 20th Oct – Luso to Pinhao (84 miles)
The stunning town of Pinhao sits at the very heart of the Douro valley and provides a stunning backdrop to the end of day 3 of the Tour.
We will spend the whole day cycling up and up and up to climb over the imposing valley walls, with only the final hour being a downhill drop into the town. But the views down the valley will provide a tantalising taste of what is to come on the fourth day!
Day 4 – Sun 21st Oct – Pinhao to Porto (85 miles)
Departing Pinhao will be a real treat as the Tourists get the opportunity for almost 10 miles of a fast run down the valley. Following the Douro River, the route will take in some of the most spectacular scenery that Portugal has to offer before getting, eventually, to Porto.
There are few places in the world that are as colourful as Porto. Whether this is influenced by the consumption of large quantities of Port, who knows, but this ancient city will provide a magnificent finale to the 2018 Oblivion Tour!

Arriving in Porto brings us to a total of 344 miles and we will have climbed over 21,300 feet during the 4 days – this is not a Tour for the faint hearted – but the Oblivion Tourists are like the Spartans of ancient rome – we were born for this!!

And finally…

The Oblivion Tour is proud to have raised over £52,000 for Breast Cancer Care and many other worthy causes over the last few years. Our fundraising work will continue as we try to help ourselves get fitter and we try to help others less fortunate than ourselves. Find out more on our Charities page.

 


 

2017 Challenge

In 2017, the intrepid Oblivion Tourists head for the Ring Of Kerry

If you’re not familiar with it, the Ring of Kerry (also known as the Iveragh Peninsula) is part of a mythical and unspoilt region in the south west of Ireland that has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years.

The Ring of Kerry is home to some of the finest beaches in Europe (Rossbeigh), but above all it provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland.

Within the Ring there are monasteries, Iron Age forts, Ogham stones and a landscape, which was moulded over 10,000 years ago by the last Ice Age.

There is also a statue of Charlie Chaplin apparently!

This is what awaits the Oblivion Tourists in late August and early September 2017.

Cork to Killarney (50 miles)

On Wednesday 30th August, we will rendezvous in Cork. From there we will have a gentle run up through the pretty villages of Aubane and Rathmore, arriving for our first night stop at the historic town of Killarney.

Killarney to Glenbeigh (84 miles)

Thursday 31st sees us head on west from Killarney, around Lough Leanne through the breathtaking Gap of Dunloe and Molls Pass, round the south coast of the peninsula, through Waterville and then back along the north coast to our second night stop at Glenbeigh. This is the biggest day as we tackle the Ring of Kerry – but is likely to prove the most memorable!

Glenbeigh to Tralee (70 miles)

On Friday 1st September, we continue east from Glenbeigh, passing through Castlemaine, we then head west again, this time taking on the Dingle peninsula. This will bring us round to our next night stop in Tralee. (Isn’t it funny how all these place names are just sooooo familiar!)

Tralee to Cork (63 miles)

Finally, on Saturday 2nd September, we head south east from Tralee back towards Cork passing castle after castle, pub after pub along the way, with perhaps the odd one or two ‘special’ stops.

Let’s just be clear, this is the west coast of Ireland so it is likely to be windy and it is also highly likely that we will get wet on this trip. You may remember that our last trip to the island coincided with the worst summer storms seen in Northern Ireland in living memory, including us being only 2 miles from a landslide that was so dramatic it appeared on BBC news.

But neither wind nor rain will dent our enthusiasm for what promises to be one of the most beautiful tours we have undertaken …. bring it on!!

 

And please spare a thought:

One of the Oblivion Tourists, our trusty Coins (aka Phil Battye) is soon to embark on what promises to be an epic challenge in advance of the Ring of Kerry tour.  The mighty MizMal challenge!

In late June, Coins takes on the Ireland Head to Head. This mammoth 600 mile trek will see Phil and 3 friends (Roger Carter, Arwel Roberts and….. the other guy) cycle from the very southern most point of the isle of Ireland at Mizen Head to the northerly most point of the island at Malin Head.

It promises to be an arduous but brilliant trip and we all wish Phil and his mates the best of luck and the very best of weather!!

What could possibly go wrong?

 

 


2016 THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE

Each year the Oblivion Tour tries to take on a new challenge so that the Tourists can get fit and to raise a little money for charity along the way. So far we’ve raised just over £40,000 for a variety of charities including Breast Cancer Care: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Oblivion16

But in 2016;

it is time to take on the Ultimate British Cycling challenge – Lands End to John o’Groats.

Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, the furthest possible distance in the
British Isles, is a classic challenge that many cyclists will dream of.

Starting at Land’s End on the south-westerly tip of England, we will pedal our way through Cornwall, over Dartmoor and north along the Welsh border, skirting the Lake District into
Scotland, via lochs and the Highlands to the North Coast and John O’Groats.

In all we will cover roughly 1000 miles, passing through some of the most
stunning and remote countryside in the British Isles.

This is going to be a phenomenally tough challenge, a fabulous way to see the country and, hopefully a great chance to raise money for a great charity, Breast Cancer Care.

lands-end-john-ogroats-cycle-map

Tues 30th August: Land’s End – Liskeard
Cycle approx 80 miles and 5,300ft

Wed 31st August: Liskeard – Tiverton
Cycle approx 77 miles and 5,800ft

Thurs 1st September: Tiverton – Chepstow
Cycle approx 96 miles and 2,800ft

Fri 2nd September: Chepstow – Shrewsbury
Cycle approx 90 miles and 5,300ft

Sat 3rd September: Shrewsbury – Preston
Cycle approx 92 miles and 2,200ft

Sun 4th September: Preston – Carlisle
Cycle approx 90 miles and 3,600ft

Mon 5th September: Carlisle – Kilmarnock
Cycle approx 100 miles and 2,600ft

Tues 6th September: Kilmarnock – Inveraray
Cycle approx 80 miles and 3,400ft

Wed 7th September: Inveraray – Loch Lochy
Cycle approx 95 miles and 7,600ft

Thurs 8th September: Loch Lochy – Brora
Cycle approx 97 miles and 5,200ft

Fri 9th September: Brora – Thurso
Cycle approx 65 miles and 2,200ft

Sat 10th September: Thurso – John O’Groats
Cycle approx 30 miles and 500ft

Sun 11th September: Depart Inverness

 


2015 CHALLENGE

In 2015, the Oblivion Tour Goes to Northern Spain (in search of some sunshine!!)

From 2nd September the Tourists travel to Bilbao.

Then on 3rd September:

Day 1 Route

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the 4th September:

Day 2 Route

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally on the 5th September:

Day 3 Route

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of all the choices that could have be chosen, this year the Tour chose the choicest of challenging challenges this tour has ever challenged itself to!!

Sweet!!

Follow our progress here, on our twitter page @TheOblivionTour or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OblivionTour

We feel no fear!!!


2014 CHALLENGE

The clock is counting down to July 30th 2014 when the 2014 Oblivion Tour begins!

This is the route that will take us around the six counties of Northern Ireland covering just over 315 miles in 3 1/2 days.

Final Route

The elevations shown here total about 13,900 feet of climbing over the 315 miles.

To put that into some level of context:

… if you add together the heights of the 4 major peaks in the United Kingdom, Ben Nevis (4409 ft) + Snowdon (3560 ft) + Scafell Pike (3209 ft) + Slieve Donard (2795 ft) you get 13,973 feet – this is approximately the same  total amount of climbing as we will do on the 2014 Oblivion Tour  

Oblivion 2014 Elevations

2013 CHALLENGE

 

The challenge in 2013 was to cycle from London to Brussels (via Bruges) in time for the Belgian Beer Festival – we made it only just in time!


2012 CHALLENGE

The clock truly was running when, in 2012 we raced from London to Paris in under 36 hours.


2010 CHALLENGE

This was the first of the Oblivion Tour events with the original 4 Oblivionistas (Mark Boytie Boyt, Ian Ginger Matthews, Nestle Nick Redman and Steve The Guv’nor Robinson) taking on the 320 mile ride from London over the jaggedy hills of Kent to Dover, then on through rolling undulations of Northern France, passing the memorable war cemetries, and on into the romantic heart of France, Paris, navigating the Arch de Triomphe and ending up in front of the Eiffel Tower – what a brilliant trip!!

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