Here you will find all you need to know about the physical ride from Alexandra Place to Download Festival


Please note this is a complex itinerary and is subject to change.


GPX Links

Download these into your GPS app to follow the exact route.

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3

Tuesday 6th June

London – Milton Keynes

approx. 107km /66.6 miles

Our journey begins at Ally Pally, the “People’s Palace”, a venue where the likes of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Kings of Leon, The Who have all played, and many more besides. It’s an early meeting time of 8am within the private grounds of Alexandra Palace in North London so you can set up your bikes which are going to carry you across the 150 miles of road to Donington, and time to load your bag onto the support vans which will be carrying your luggage as you cycle. The views across the city of London from here are stunning. Our route today takes us quickly out of London using back roads and cycle routes, including the traffic free Lee Valley bike route which is nice and flat. For the rest of the day it’s “undulating”. Cycle into rural Hertfordshire with great views as we cross the Chilterns then a leisurely lunch stop 40 miles into our day. Rest and relax, then spend the afternoon cycling along country roads, through quiet villages until we reach the outskirts of Milton Keynes. 5 miles from the hotel we re-group at the Marshall Amps factory for a break, coffee stop (possible beer) and then snake through the Milton Keynes bike path network all the way to our overnight accommodation at the Mercure. Dinner and briefing, then relax and socialise. Generally, everyone heads to the hotel bar for metal talk and team bonding on this first evening, making new friends for the journey ahead.

Wednesday 7th June

Milton Keynes – Leicester

approx. 95km /59.1 miles

Reasonably early start this morning as we take our time, make the most of the long June daylight hours and take regular breaks every 20km or so. We head out of to the West of Northampton passing through meadows, back roads and cycle paths, through quiet villages such as Paulerspury, said to be the site of Boudicca’s battle We criss-cross the ancient trackway of Watling Street which the Romans later paved, for much of the morning we cycle parallel to the Grand Union Canal. We stop for lunch at 36 miles at The Witch and Sow, a 16th Century pub in the village of Guysborough. This quirky village has been host to many historical events and characters – The Battle of Naseby, William Wordsworth, the sinking of R.M.S. Lusitania, Shackleton’s 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition, James 1’s witch hunts, not to mention a very gruesome murder in 1764, ghost hunting in the 30s, Royal Visitors, and even a Nazi Spy! After lunch we face the toughest sections of the day, with plenty of hilly sections which ease off towards the end. Skirt Towcester racecourse, following designated bike paths as we get closer to Leicester and brings us to the end of day two and time for a well-earned rest. Dinner and briefing followed by free time to rest up and socialise with quite possibly a few surprises in store.

Thursday 8th June

Leicester – Donington

approx.40km /25 miles

Final day of the ride and the aim is to get to Donington Park around midday. The route sticks to small roads through the green and rolling countryside, mostly gentle up for the first part and then down for the second. Regroup to ride the last few miles together. The ride finishes with a celebration close to but outside Download at Donington Park with food and drinks provided. Say goodbye to your bikes, and then after an hour or so head for the Festival 2023. Mission complete!


TOTAL TO PAY: £800 per rider


To take part in the physical ride, there are costs involved. This year, due to rising event costs, we unfortunately have to ask that all costs related to the ride are paid for, in full, by the individual riders. This does mean that the individual minimum donation target is lowered from previous years.

We understand that this is difficult for some of you, especially those returning riders who have supported us gallantly over the last 10 years- it’s not a decision we have taken lightly. But thanks to our wonderful friends at Live Nation and Marshall Amps, we’ve added some additional perks to make the news a bit more bearable! Keep reading for more info.

Should you have any queries on any of this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Helen Curl- Head of Operations for The Truants Foundation on

When you register on Race Nation, you will pay £100 deposit (+ £5 to cover admin fee). Once you have been vetted by our Operations team that you are made of real metal, you will receive another invoice for the remaining balance.

We ask that the payments be made either in full or in instalments:

£100 Immediate non-refundable deposit due on sign up, payable via Race Nation
£200 1st instalment due Jan 27th 2023
£200 2nd instalment due Feb 27th 2023
£200 3rd instalment due March 27th 2023
£100 Final instalment due April 27th 2023

The price includes the following:

  • 1x Weekend Guest, non camping, ticket for all 4 days of Download Festival worth over £300
  • Visit to World Famous, Marshall Factory & Studio on Day 1
  • Hotels for Tues, Wed night (based on twin share)
  • Bike Hire
  • Support staff:
    • Tour Manager & Tour Assistant
    • 2 x mechanics
    • 3x support vehicles (2 x vans & 1x people carrier)
    • Fully qualified Medic
  • All meals – breakfast, lunches, dinners, snacks during event days
  • Water and soft refreshments during ride hours
  • Shot at the final break stop
  • Beer at the end!
  • The knowledge that you’ve not only helped the environment by cycling to Download, but you’ve raised money for children’s charities whilst doing it.

Additional Costs

If you wish to have your own room during the event, the cost of £99 will be invoiced separately via Classic Challenge.

If you wish to extend your stay at the Leicester Hilton for any of the days of Download Festival (Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun), the cost of £115 per night will be invoiced separately via Classic Challenge.


Although the initial deposit is non-refundable, please be assured we will always retrieve as much of your payment as possible if you are to cancel up to 6 weeks before the event takes place.

Should you cancel after this time, we will not be able to offer you a refund due to event costs being paid.

If a replacement rider is found to take your place who can cover the full amount, your money would be fully refunded.


There is the option to get sponsorship from your employers, or any other brand partners. We are happy to arrange an invoice from The Truants Foundation for £1,800 per rider to cover your full ride costs and a £1,000 donation to charity to start you off

We welcome any brands to also get in touch for more partnership opportunities.

If you would like to know more about this option, please email


UK Residents

Insurance is not included in your tour cost. Insurance is not required for accidents and emergencies, you will be treated by the trip paramedic or taken to the nearest medical centre. Valuables are not insured unless they are protected by your home contents policy. Please note there is no refund if you cancel your place on the ride.

Non-UK residents

Please check that your travel insurance policy provider is aware that you are doing a charity bike ride in the UK.

All non-UK riders will be asked to provide a copy of their insurance schedule detailing insurance company name, policy number and 24 hour medical helpline number. You can do this now by emailing info@heavymetaltruants. We require your insurance details by 6 weeks prior to the event.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you need to advise your insurance company so that you are adequately covered.

If you plan to bring your own bicycle, please check you have insurance in place and bring an insurance-compliant bike lock.



  • T-shirts – one per day and spares for the evening (3 cotton HMT shirts will be provided for every rider)
  • Socks –one pair per day plus spares and extra for evenings
  • Waterproof jacket / bicycle poncho & trousers (we’re in the UK – expect rain!)
  • Cycling shorts – 1 or 2 pairs (padded)
  • Cycling shoes – or suitable footwear e.g. sports sandals (which dry quickly) or trainers
  • Fingerless gel padded cycling gloves – one pair
  • Scarf to cover back of neck to avoid sun burn
  • Cap to cover head when not wearing helmet
  • Spare trainers
  • Casual wear for evenings and free time
  • Warmer layers for the evening


  • Cycle helmet – essential
  • 1 – 2 water bottles for bike, with a cover on top to prevent mud from getting into the drinking nozzle. A more hygienic alternative is a “camel pack” which is worn on the back.
  • Saddle – your own saddle or a gel seat cover (optional)
  • SPDs and bar ends (optional)
  • Bum bag for carrying small items while cycling e.g. camera, sun cream, tissues etc.
  • Small ‘day’ bag which can be used for extra items and transported on support vehicle
  • 1 lightweight travel size towel
  • Good quality sunglasses with UV protection
  • Ear plugs (sharing with noisy room mates can prevent sleep!)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Carrier bags/bin bags – useful for dirty washing or wet clothing
  • Camera and memory cards


  • Sufficient supplies of regular medication
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Plasters & bandages
  • Ankle & knee support
  • Pain killers
  • Diareze, Dioralyte, immodium
  • Vaseline or sudacrem
  • Isotonic powders (if used to taking them during training), energy sweets, cereal / energy bars
  • Lip salve (minimum factor 20)
  • Sun block (minimum factor 30)
  • Tissues & toilet paper
  • Wet wipes & anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Contact lens wearers should bring glasses and / or prescription sunglasses
  • Ladies are advised to take tampons regardless of timing



Meeting Time: 08:00

It is important you arrive on time so that there is time for bike fitting, registration, loading your luggage on the van and have a group briefing before departing at 09.30.


Alexandra Palace

The Beach, nr. Palm Court Terrace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY


By Car

Postcode for Sat Nav: N22 7AY, if you’re being dropped off by car marshals are on hand to direct you.

By Tube

Wood Green is the nearest underground station on the Piccadilly Line. (journey time is 20 minutes from Piccadilly Circus). Exit Wood Green Station and go to bus stop A to pick up the W3 bus up the hill to Alexandra Palace, Palm Court Entrance.

Distance from Wood Green Tube on foot: approximately 30 minutes.

Finsbury Park is on the Piccadilly and Victoria Line. On arrival at Finsbury Park station, take the W3 to the Palm Court Entrance. (Journey time from Finsbury Park is 20 minutes).

By Rail

Alexandra Palace has its own British Rail Station, fittingly called Alexandra Palace Station. It is located at the Wood Green entrance to the Park. A regular train service runs direct from Moorgate or from Kings Cross, changing at Finsbury Park.

Distance from Alexandra Palace Station on foot: approximately 10 – 15 minutes uphill.

By Bus

The W3 bus route will take you directly to the Palm Court entrance at Alexandra Palace.

From London Bridge walk to Monument bus stop Q and take the 141 bus to Wood Green Station, then take the W3 bus to Alexandra Palace.

From London Charing Cross walk to Trafalgar Square bus stop C and take the 29 bus to Finsbury Park, then take the W3 bus to Alexandra Palace.

From London Victoria take the 38 bus from bus stop D to Denmark Street, then take bus 29 to Finsbury Park, then take the W3 bus to Alexandra Palace.

By Air

From Heathrow Airport, take the Piccadilly Line directly to Wood Green Station.

From Gatwick Airport an express train takes you direct to Victoria Station, then take the Piccadilly Line direct to Wood Green Station.

From Stansted Airport, take the Greater Anglia train to Tottenham Hale Station, then take the Victoria Line to Finsbury Park Underground Station, and then the Piccadilly Line direct to Wood Green Station.

From Luton Airport, take the Route Express bus 888 to Luton Airport Parkway Station, then take the First Capital Connect service to St Pancras International, then walk to King’s Cross St Pancras Underground Station and take the Piccadilly Line direct to Wood Green Station.

Transport is subject to change, please check your route a day or two in advance on the Transport For London website (


Should you wish to stay close to Alexandra Palace, please see the list of suggested hotels provided by Alexandra Palace and few other cheaper options. This is not included in the arrangements.

White Lodge (Hornsey) 1 Church Lane, London, N8 7BU 020 8348 9765 Twin B&B

Comfort Hotel (Finchley) Leisure Way, High Road London, N12 0QZ 0208 446 6644 Twin B&B

This list is a guideline, not a recommendation. They have not been checked by Classic Tours. There are other hotels & B&Bs in the area. See the list on the following page. There are other hotels & B&Bs in the area. Prices are subject to change.