What you need to know.

Big Rider FAQs

Click through the FAQ’s below to learn more about this year’s BIG RIDE.

General Information

What is the BIG RIDE?

The BIG RIDE is a charity relay bike ride. In past years teams have cycled from Halifax to Austen, Vancouver to Austin, Banff to Boulder, Ottawa to Halifax, the Cabot Trail, and Iceland!

This year GIVETOLIVE will be changing things up a bit, and taking on the Alps! In 2018 we will be traveling in a loop starting in the Munich Area, and cycling through Germany, Austria, and Italy. This trip will take place over the week of June 24th to July 2nd.

Riders can expect to cycle an average of 100 km a day for seven days over mountainous terrain. Depending on our accommodations for the night, cycling legs could be as short as 75 km and as long as 130 km.

When will the route be available?

The route is nearly complete. It has been sent to a few local cyclists for feedback. Based on our preliminary planning, you will be very excited about the beautiful scenery and terrain we will cover. It will be the best BIG RIDE to date.

I’m not a serious cyclist. Can I still participate?

Although we will have a number of experienced riders, this adventure is about the “cause”, not about setting cycling records. We LOVE having new riders join our family.

All levels of cyclists have participated in past rides, from people who have ridden a bike their whole lives, to people who had bought their first bike three months before the ride. You do not have to be a serious cyclist, but you do have to be committed to getting in shape and getting comfortable on the road.

BIG RIDE participants will be divided into teams of five or six. Teams will ride single file on the shoulder of the road, and average approximately 25 km/hr over rolling terrain.

Can I bring along a family member / friend?

We encourage you to share this opportunity to see the Alps with your friends and family, but space in the support vehicles will be limited. GTL does however require volunteers (first come first serve) as support vehicle drivers.

If a friend or family member has a valid license, and a willingness to help, than this is an avenue you may be interested in. Preference will be given to volunteers who have first aid and bike mechanic skills.

How challenging will the Ride be?

Any multiple day bike-ride is bound to be challenging, but the BIG RIDE will be manageable for those who commit to a reasonable training plan. You will complete on average 100 km/day, spending approximately 4-6 hours a day in the saddle. Each team rides together and all team members help and support each other throughout each day.

Some riders look forward to the break-through physical challenge, while others may decide on a particular day that they need a little more time enjoying the view from the support vehicle. There is absolutely no pressure for each rider to complete every kilometre.

How do I train?

The best way to train for a multiple day bike-ride is to get on you bike and ride 3 -5 days a week over the spring. Start out with shorter distances and work your way up to back-to-back 100 kilometre rides. Do not get discouraged if it is challenging at first. Just keep riding and it will get easier!

Please check out the GIVETOLIVE website for a suggested training plan.

What kind of weather can I expect?

Try as we might, GIVETOLIVE cannot control the weather. We will be cycling in the mountains, so you can expect cool temperatures at higher altitude, and warm temperatures in the valleys.

Riders have to be prepared for rain, wind, and possibly snow. Safety is always GIVETOLIVE’s first concern. If conditions are not safe to ride in, we will not ride. But a little rain has never hurt anyone, so be prepared to get a little wet.

How does riding in a team differ from riding by myself?

Cyclists will ride single-file in teams of five or six. By riding single file, riders will be able to draft off each other, making it easier to go faster and longer, with less effort. To maximize drafting, riders ride as close to the back wheel of the rider in front of them as possible.

If you have never ridden in a group, please contact GIVETOLIVE and we will set you up in a group ride. If you are not in Nova Scotia, contact a local cycling group and go out for a ride with them. All BIG RIDE participants must participate in a group ride prior to June.

I don’t bike, can I still come on the BIG RIDE?

If you want to come on the BIG RIDE without biking, you can still participate as a driver. More information on required volunteers will be coming soon.

How will the “culture” evolve on the road?

You will be meeting, riding and travelling with, supporting and relying upon a special group of individuals, committed to the war on cancer. There will be inspirational moments, endless laughter and a few tears along the way. We will become a “family” and everyone will walk away with new life-long friends.

We will have special “treats” but acknowledge that we are a “no-frills” ride when it comes to a lot of luxury and extras. That way we can maximize the donations to the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute.

It sounds like lots of fun. What else can I do to get a sense of what to expect?

Yes, this is supposed to fun and there is no shortage of laughs. Have a look at the links to our videos on YouTube. We have posted a number of videos that were developed prior to and after, previous BIG RIDEs.

Halifax to Austin 2008

The BIG RIDE 2009 Promo

The BIG RIDE Vancouver to Austin 2009

WindPushers BIG RIDE 2010 Opening Credits

BIG RIDE Vancouver to Austin Texas 2010


What will the money raised by The BIG RIDE and given to the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute be used for?

The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute is a collaborative research centre. At this time, the funds are not dedicated to a specific research project, and will be directed towards the area of most need at BHCRI.

What percentage goes to the cause?

We work very hard to reduce the expenses related to the event to maximize your donations. It is anticipated that approximately 90% of donations will go to cancer research.

I don’t like fundraising, what do I do?

There are few people who actually like fundraising. However, each rider must raise at least $2,000, by whatever means possible. Please look at our fundraising tips page for ideas on how to raise your money. If you are interested in group fundraisers, please contact GIVETOLIVE and we will try to help you connect with other riders.

Once you start talking to people you will be amazed at how generous they will be. In the past, riders have raised over $20,000. Every one has been affected by cancer in one way or another, and people are very willing to donate to such a great cause.

Registration & Costs

How do I register?

Registration for The BIG RIDE 2018 is now closed.

I’ve registered, what’s next?

It’s simple:

  1. Fund-raise a minimum of $2000 by securing donations and staging events. We will set fund-raising benchmarks for reaching specific totals as we move through the spring.
  1. Get yourself in shape and ready for the ride of a lifetime. Prepare to ride 100 km each day for 7 days. See the training document posted on our site for more details. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.  If you would like, we will also put you in touch with former riders who will be happy to share their experience and advice with you.
  1. Help us recruit more riders and spread the word.

What does my registration fee cover?

Your registration fee will help to cover some of the expenses of your participation in the BIG RIDE. GIVETOLIVE will pay for your accommodation and transportation throughout the ride.

GIVETOLIVE will also be responsible for tour organization including communications, logistical support, ground transportation and fundraising advice, among other things. Some meals may also be provided by supporters along the way.

Are there deals at local bike shops?

GIVETOLIVE has been lucky enough to receive great support from both Hub Cycle and Bike Monkey, located in Truro, Nova Scotia. Hub Cycle and Bike Monkey will provide those who have registered with the BIG RIDE with 20% discounts.

Hub Cycle and Bike Monkey have avery knowledgeable staff and are well worth the trip from Halifax.


How do I get to the start in Munich?

You are responsible to get yourself to Munich no later than Sunday June 24th at 9 am. An official meeting location will be communicated soon.

How does a typical day on the tour work?

By the start of the tour you will be grouped with 5 – 6 other riders. You will ride independent of other teams.

Each team will be provided with a support vehicle, to be driven by a volunteer driver. 

Every morning there will be a morning meeting, to go over the route, and things learned the previous day.

You will have flexibility to determine the time of day you wish to depart to cover the daily distance, allowing you to rest, socialize or use the remaining part of the day for sightseeing, etc.

Each night we will be in a different location.  Accommodations will either be at hostel, or budget hotel.  Remember, we are trying to raise money for cancer research, so do not expect luxury accommodations!

What else do I need to know about my Team?

We will be responsible for establishing Team make-up and will consider any special requests provided at the time of registration. Each team will have a Captain or leader who will be one of our more experienced riders and someone who has participated in previous BIG RIDEs.

What happens if I am injured?

We will have people on The BIG RIDE who have first aid qualifications and/or more broad medical experience. Where possible, we strive to have someone on each team with this skill set. You always have the option to take a day off from riding and drive the van or ride only a portion of the distance.

How will my bike travel?

You will be responsible for packing and traveling with your bike.

Please ensure that your bike is covered under your home insurance. GIVETOLIVE is not responsible for any damage that may occur.