YMCA East Surrey

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French 500

French 500
Sunday 15 – Friday 20 July 2018


The French 500 will be a challenging but rewarding experience covering 500k of stunning countryside with spectacular scenery, great food and rich culture. On day one cyclists leave the YMCA and ride to Portsmouth joining the overnight ferry with cabins to St Malo. The next four days follow quiet lanes through pretty French villages into the Loire Valley staying at hotels overnight in the beautiful towns of Ploermel, Chateaubriant and Cholet before arriving at the picturesque port of La Rochelle. A well-deserved celebration meal on the last night after which cyclists can unwind in one of France’s most attractive and authentic coastal tourist spots. Bikes will be brought back to the YMCA by our volunteer support crew whilst challengers enjoy a relaxing flight back to Gatwick at 17:00. This event is suitable for all abilities, but we recommend you take advantage of our free training programme especially those new to cycling.

Cost includes overnight ferry to St Malo, 4 nights’ hotel accommodation, flight back to Gatwick, breakfasts, lunches, bespoke cycle shirt, commemorative medal and full support during the event.

Download the French 500 flyer


Join our FREE, friendly and fun training programme designed to give you the fitness and stamina you will need to achieve your goal. A variety of ride options will be available on each day to ensure that training rides are tailored to each event.

Sunday 15 April 2018
Sunday 20 May 2018
Sunday 17 June 2018

Tuesday evening rides will run at 18:30 from 27 March 2018.

Find out more about our training rides

We would also encourage cyclists to join a cycle club, if not a member already where training sessions are available every week. The nearest one to us is Redhill Cycling Club.  Local club Team Cake also take regular social rides, information for which can be found on their Facebook Page.

Information evening – Wednesday 4 July

Please keep Wednesday 4 July free for our French 500 information evening starting at 19:30 at the YMCA Sovereign Centre, Slipshatch Road, Reigate RH2 8HA


The YMCA Challenge programme was set up to raise money for our charitable work and over the last three years our wonderful participants have raised over £466k in sponsorship which is being used to help build a fabulous £2.6m inclusive sports facility at our site in Princes Rd.

Sponsorship from events in 2018 will go towards helping us expand our play and leisure schemes for children and young people with disabilities across 4 sites in East Surrey.  These short breaks help children with complex needs to learn new skills, gain confidence and have fun, whilst offering parents and siblings a vital break.

We are hoping you will help us to reach our 2018 fundraising target of £100k.  This money will enable us to offer 300 families in East Surrey an additional 1,040 days of short break provision throughout the year.

The entry fee purely covers the cost of the event and we are hope you will feel inspired by our work in the community and what we are trying to achieve. Our suggested minimum sponsorship for this event is £500.

The best way to fundraise is to set up your unique Virginmoneygiving fundraising page. If you prefer the more traditional method of fundraising, please download your official sponsorship form.


  • £645 total
  • £200 non-refundable deposit payable on entry
  • Balance of £445 to be paid 10 weeks before departure date
  • Includes overnight ferry to St Malo, 4 nights’ hotel accommodation, flight back to Gatwick, breakfasts, lunches, bespoke cycle shirt, commemorative medal and full support during the event


Book now

Find out more

For more information, please contact the Challenge Events fundraising team.

T 01737 779979
E challenge@ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk