Challenge Central Logo

London to Amsterdam FIDI Cycle Challenge


A new and exciting FIDI Challenge is here.

2019 will mark the final year of FIDI's support to Operation Smile Honduras and the FIDI Conference in Amsterdam. With cycling being the main mode of transport in this bustling cultural city, it is only fitting to announce our very first FIDI Cycling Challenge. What better way to come to the 2019 FIDI Conference in Amsterdam than on a bike saddle with your fellow conference attendees and friends, all in the name of charity? With your support and fundraising efforts, we are sure to reach our target of raising 150,000.00 US$ for Operation Smile Honduras.

The FIDI Cycle Challenge will take you from London to Amsterdam in two days. The 141-mile (226km) cycle tour will depart from the centre of London and finish at the NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam, the host of the 2019 FIDI Conference - just in time for the opening of the Conference on Sunday, 31st March 2019.

Between these two bustling capitals, two days of cycling await following an exciting route through some of the most beautiful countryside and coastal areas both countries have to offer.

The London to Amsterdam FIDI Cycle Challenge is expertly managed by the Challenge Central team all along the way. A support vehicle will carry your personal belongings and will meet you at every checkpoint, in case you need anything.

You will also have the option for your bikes to be transported back to the UK following the challenge – allowing you to explore Amsterdam in all of its glory and attend the conference!

Please note the price of the challenge includes the overnight ferry to Holland but does not include accommodation in Amsterdam or your return to the UK.

London to Amsterdam Sponsor

Day 1 - London to Harwich – 83 miles (134km)

The challenge begins at Carlton House Terrace, London (SW1Y 5AH) at 08:00. Here you will meet the Challenge Central team and of course your fellow cyclists! We will travel a short distance on foot to our starting point in Trafalgar Square, where we will depart at 09:00.

A short photo-opportunity stop will be made outside the Lloyds of London building where we may also be joined by other riders who are starting their challenge from here.

We will head out of the capital towards the port in Harwich, travelling through the lovely, meandering country roads of Essex. Whilst smooth roads will allow us to pick up the pace, the terrain is both undulating and challenging – although we will have refreshment stops along the way! 

Our evening on the overnight ferry to Holland is a fairly luxurious affair with restaurants, bars, a cinema and the all-important free wifi onboard! Cabins have en-suite showers, towels and bedding provided.

For even further comfort, it is also possible to upgrade your cabin accommodation to single occupancy at an additional charge, subject to availability.


Day 2 - Hook of Holland to Amsterdam – 58 miles (93km)

Our ferry will arrive approximately 07:45 local time at the Hook of Holland. From here we embark on a truly magnificent coastal ride before heading into the heart of Holland via the vibrant cities of The Hague and Leiden. After refuelling at lunch, we push on for the final 28 miles (45km) to Dam Square for photos and onto NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam.

The challenge concludes around 16:00. You have the option of your bike being transported back to Hertfordshire for collection during the week, allowing you the freedom to explore the streets, canals and parks of this most vibrant city at your leisure. Our team regularly stay in Amsterdam and we welcome all challengers to enjoy a well-deserved drink or two in the evening!

The return from Amsterdam is not included in the trip so will need to be arranged personally by each challenger.

The Challenge Central support vehicle can however transfer bikes and any personal belongings back to the UK for a Hertfordshire collection for an additional fee. Belongings can be collected from Letchworth, Hertfordshire at an arranged time from the following Monday evening.


London to Amsterdam Group Photo

What’s included:

>> Support Vehicle

>> Cycle Leaders

>> Overnight Ferry (Day 1)

>> London to Amsterdam Finisher Medal

>> Light Refreshments & Fluids


What's not included:

>> Equipment

>> Personal Insurance

>> Food

>> Accommodation in Amsterdam

>> Transport back from Amsterdam


All Challenge Central events require a minimum participation level in order to operate. On very rare occasions if this level is not reached with 3 months to go, we may unfortunately have to cancel the challenge date. Bookings can either be refunded in full or transferred to another Challenge Central event within the next 18 months. 

Your London to Amsterdam booking also cannot be 100% confirmed until we have secured your place on the ferry. If the situation arises whereby the ferry is full at the time we book, we will of course refund your deposit. We strongly suggest you therefore do not purchase your return journey until we have fully confirmed your place. 

Please find our full Terms and Conditions here.


London to Amsterdam Group Photo

Downloadable Check List available here

Bike Clothing:

>> Bike Helmet (compulsory)

>> Bike Gloves

>> Padded Cycling Shorts

>> Cycling Tops / T-Shirts

>> Waterproof / Warm Cycling Clothing (having layers of clothing on will also help to keep you warm)

>> High Viz Vest / Clothing

>> Cycle Shoes and Socks


Other Clothing:

>> Casual Clothing (for when not cycling)

>> Shoes / Trainers


Bike Kit:

>> Bike

>> Bell (legally required in Holland)

>> Bright Bike Lights / Head Torch (the mornings can be very dark)

>> Water Bottle / Camelbak (to be used while cycling)

>> Small Backpack or Bento Box (for accessible food)

>> Tyre Levers

>> Bike Tools and Pump

>> Spare Inner Tubes x4

>> Puncture Repair Kit

>> High Quality Puncture Resistant Tyres (are strongly advised)


Luggage / Packing Equipment:

>> Holdall (for everything in the support vehicle)

>> Packing Sacks and Dry Sacks

>> Plastic Bag (for wet clothes)


Hygiene & Health:

>> Toiletries

>> Sun Protection

>> Baby Wipes (or similar)

>> Anti-Insect Spray

>> Anti-Chafe Cream

>> Anti-Nausea Tablets / Bands (for ferry crossing)

>> Prescribed Medication (if applicable)

>> Small First Aid Kit (Guides will carry as well)


Nutrition (suggestions only):

Cycling nutrition:

>> Energy Snacks

>> Fluid Replacements

Documentation / Other:

>> Passport

>> Return Travel Documents

>> Travel Insurance

>> Mobile Phone

>> European Plug Adapter

>> Currency


London to Amsterdam Group Photo




Day 1 - London to Harwich - 83 miles (134km)

London to Amsterdam Day 1 Route

Schedule (please view as a guide only; the timings and route maybe subject to moderate changes)

Start: Trafalgar Square 09:00 

(Lloyds of London Photo Stop on route)

Mini Break: Leytonstone (at 9 miles / 14.5km) 

Hour Break: Writtle (at 35 miles / 56km) 

Mini Break: Colchester (at 60 miles / 97km) 

Finish: Harwich (at 83 miles / 134km) 18:00


Day 2 - Hook of Holland to Amsterdam - 58 miles (93km)

London to Amsterdam Day 2

Schedule (please view as a guide only; the timings and route maybe subject to moderate changes)

Start: Hook of Holland 09:00

Hour Break: Leiden (at 30 miles / 48km)

Finish: Dam Square / NH Grand Krasnapolsky Hotel (at 58 miles / 93km) 16:00

Upgrades and Extras

All of the following extras can be purchased during booking process of the challenge.

Bike and Kit Transfer - Pre and Post Challenge

We understand travelling into London and back from Holland with your bike / kit can be challenging. We offer a transport service to take away the stress by bringing your bike and belongings to London for you on Day 1 and transporting them to Hertfordshire after the event for collection. 

Drop-Off Dates Pre Challenge are:

The Saturday before the challenge - Morning

The Wednesday before the challenge - Evening

Collection Dates Post Challenge are:

The first Wednesday after the challenge - Evening

The first Saturday after the challenge - Morning

If you would like to arrange an alternative drop-off or collection, please contact us directly with your preference and we will check staff availability. 

£25.00 per transfer for Hertfordshire (each way)

We can also offer a customised pick up / drop off service in London and other major cities in England. Please contact us to get a price for this personalised service.


Ferry Cabin - From Harwich to Hook of Holland

Cabins are allocated based on a male / female split or by groups who sign up to the challenge together in the most suitable options available at the time we book the ferry. People who wish to have a cabin of their own or in smaller groups, can purchase at an additional fee.

Single Birth Ferry Cabin Upgrade 

This standard cabin for 1 person is located on the inside of the ship and you'll find:

Bunk bed (lower 200cm x 90cm and upper bed 200cm x 80cm) with duvet and linen

Bathroom with: sink, shower, toilet, towels, shampoo and soap

Flat screen satellite television

Desk / Dressing table




Please note our price is based on the standard cabin type. If this is not available at the time of booking the ferry, there may be an option to pay more for a different type of cabin however we would consult you first to seek approval for the extra cost. If no cabin is available or you do not wish to pay more for a cabin, we will refund the cost of the cabin to you. 

If you would like to purchase any of our challenge extras, they can be selected at the time of booking or from your booking profile once registered. Alternatively, please contact us.

London to Amsterdam Group Photo

Any help to reach our fundraising target for Operation Smile Honduras is welcome. 

If you need some ideas on how to make the most out of your fundraising efforts for this FIDI Cycle Challenge, send us an email at - we will gladly help you out!

Cycling the distance over two 2 days is no easy task but providing you are currently active, this challenge is certainly achievable for an average level of fitness.

Relevance training is always key when planning for any event. In this case, you are cycling quite a long way so your first point of training should be out on your bike. We would also strongly advise where possible, to get experience cycling in close proximity of other cyclists.

If the glorious UK weather does not allow any outdoor cycling then a turbo trainer, which uses your own bike would be a suitable replacement. This means you can get used to your own bike whilst cycling in the comfort of your home.

Spinning classes are another excellent way of preparing you for the London to Amsterdam cycle although the intensity vs time will be different to the challenge. A spinning class is normally a high intensity blast of 45 minutes whereas the event will see you cycling all day at a much lower intensity.

The gym can also be used to help strengthen muscles required for cycling. Exercises such as squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf raises will all help to increase leg strength.

When training, you should be aiming to cycle between 12 – 15mph.                                    

We encourage in the build up to the challenge, participants undertake physical activity for at least 3 months. All challengers will receive a plan to help support with their training.

If you are cycling with cleats/SPD's, you will need to be able to clip in/out with ease so please ensure you are comfortable with these shoes/pedals ahead of the challenge.

Please note you are responsible for your own food for this challenge. There will be plenty of opportunities to purchase food / snacks throughout the challenge at breaks / stops.

You will need a steady supply of energy whilst you are cycling so keeping fast releasing sources of energy such as bananas, energy bars, gels, sweets and nuts with you on the bike is essential.

We carry large canisters of water on the support vans (tap water in large containers) so it is not essential that you bring lots of bottles of water / drinks with you. There will be places on route to purchase additional fluids if required.

The ferry will take approximately 8 hours with the ferry departing England around 23:00 (depending on the tide).

You will have bedding and a towel to use in the cabin.

The cabin allocation is based on participants sharing and will be split male / female or by groups who sign up to the challenge together in the most suitable options available at the time we make the ferry booking. If you would like to have a cabin on your own or in smaller groups, we can request this for you (subject to availability) however please note there will be an additional charge.

Please contact us at the time of making your deposit to arrange.

This can be found on the route tab of the event page however if you require any further details about the route please contact us.

No one will be left behind. There will always be a Challenge Central leader at the front and back of the group to show the way. They will ensure that the group regularly re-groups and that no one is left behind.

We suggest purchasing puncture resistant tyres or using inner tubes with special gel inside, which help to seal the puncture. Failing that, you should have the kit with you to fix punctures and our leaders will always be there to assist if there is a problem.

The remaining balance is due 3 calendar months before the event start date. A member of the Challenge Central team will be in contact around this time to advise on the payment options.

You can, however we do recommend using road or at least hybrid bikes. Mountain bikes are heavy and can make the challenge tougher than it needs to be. If you are going to use a mountain bike, we suggest using a set of slick tyres to help decrease friction and increase speed.

If you would like Challenge Central to bring your bike / kit back for you, we can take them to our base in Hertfordshire where you can arrange pickup on your return to England within 2 weeks from the Monday after the challenge.

For £25 each way, you can travel to London and / or back from Amsterdam without the hassle of commuting with your bike. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please contact us.

Please note your booking will not be 100% confirmed until we have secured your place on the ferry. We aim to book the ferry as soon as the event has reached minimum participant level or 3 months before the challenge commences.

We strongly suggest you therefore do not purchase your return journey until we have fully confirmed your place with you.

You must have your valid passport with you for the ferry. Please ensure when registering with us for the challenge you state your full name as per your passport.

There is always a Challenge Central leader at both the front and back of the group. Depending on the group size, there may also be additional leaders interspersed within the group.

No the support vehicle will carry anything you do not need with you whilst you are cycling.

The support vehicle cannot be with us at all times as some of the route cannot be accessed such as when we are on cycle tracks.

There are designated points where we will meet up with the support team throughout the route but the vehicle is never more than approx. 30mins away if required in certain circumstances.

All challengers must be over the age of 18 (or 15 if accompanied by an adult taking part who will have full responsibility of the child during the trip).

You should carry enough food and drink to last you whilst cycling (30 miles max). We advise that all challengers have water bottles, small backpack or a bento box (this is attached to your cross bar) whilst riding with sweets/snacks/gels to keep your energy/fluid levels maintained.

We ask that all challengers carry two spare inner tubes at all times throughout the challenge. Extras can be left in the support vehicle, which should be re-stocked at our designated stops.

A puncture repair kit including a pump should also be carried with you just in case you have already used your spare inner tubes and another repair is required.

We also suggest you carry a lightweight windjammer in case it suddenly turns cold or for an emergency.

We strongly recommend anyone who has a medical condition should seek approval from their GP / Consultant before signing up to a challenge. When registering for the event, you are agreeing to be fit and healthy enough to take part. 

The Health and safety of all participants and members of staff are paramount to us. Depending on the type and severity of your condition, we may require a letter from a medical professional stating that you are fit enough to undergo the activity. Please refer to 6.6 in our Terms & Conditions.

Time before start of the challenge Deposit refund
More than 3 Months 50% Refund of Price Paid
(excluding challenge deposit)
Transfer to Another Event within 18 months
(excluding challenge deposit)
Between 1-3 Months 0% Refund
Transfer to Another Event within 18 months
(excluding challenge deposit)
Less than 1 Month 0% Refund
No Transfer

Please refer to section 9 of our Terms & Conditions for full details.

Any lost property can be collected from our HQ in Letchworth, Hertfordshire or we can post the belongings out to you. If posted, please note you will be charged P&P plus a £10 admin fee in advance of the items being delivered. Please refer to 6.5 in our Terms & Conditions.

Unfortunately, we cannot predict the weather however we do advise you to have layers of cycling clothing as you can increase/decrease your layers as the challenge (and weather) progresses! Items can be left/picked up when the van meets you at rest stops.

We would expect March to be cooler so should pack accordingly.

You are required to have your own travel insurance and it will need to cover you for cycling activities.If you have travel insurance already, we recommend you contact your provider and inform them of your challenge to see if you require further cover.

Visit British Cycling website for extra support and information on this topic.

Yes, Challenge Central have both public and employer liability cover from our Tour Operator insurance. This covers us for the costs of legal fees resulting from claims of negligence against Challenge Central. If you would like to view a copy, please get in contact.

Our insurance does not cover participants personally if Challenge Central is not at fault.