The Fireflies Cycling Club was set up in 2015, in part to help new Fireflies with training and information. Once a first payment has been made for The Fireflies Tour, new riders will be asked to join the Club and will be assigned an FFCC contact who can advise on training, equipment, travel and help with any questions you might have.
Also new Fireflies will be asked to join the Fireflies Strava group. The Tour organisers will then be able to confirm that riders are training. If riders don’t train, they won’t be allowed to do the Tour.
Q: I don’t have a road bike, but I would like to do the Fireflies Tour in 2019. Is this possible?
A: Anyone with a basic level of fitness and a high level of determination will be able to join the 2019 Tour, but you will need to buy a bike soon and start training. You can contact us for advice on bike purchase.
Q: What sort of training should I be doing?
A: Riding your bike as much as possible, for a start. If you are based in the UK, winter weather can make it difficult to consistently train on the roads. Therefore we recommend signing up for cycling-specific spin classes. In London these include Digme and H2. Our friend Pat Leahy has trained a number of Fireflies and has agreed on reduced cost training. The current plan is for 2 x 8 week blocks of classes at 7pm on Tuesdays, starting in January.
We would also suggest building up winter base miles. Here’s a useful article on winter training.
Strength and cardio training, whether at home or at the gym, is also recommended.
There is also the option of buying a turbo trainer for winter training at home. We advise getting a trainer that works with Zwift, an app that provides training programmes and workouts tailored towards specific goals. Your Zwift workouts are also recorded to Strava. The least expensive turbo trainer currently available is the Tacx Satori Smart Trainer T2400, available at £214. Here’s a video explaining how Zwift works.
We will also be publishing a 12 week training plan leading up to the Tour.
Q: How many training rides happen in the UK each week?
A: In London, training rides leave from Richmond Park and Crystal Palace every Saturday morning. If required there will also be introductory rides that stay inside Richmond Park. On Wednesday evenings there is a North London Hills ride. From January we will be starting Tuesday morning Regents Park laps from 07.30 to 08.30.
There is a WhatsApp group for each of these rides. There are also FFCC groups in the US, South America and Australia. Contact us to ask if there are any Fireflies riding in your area.
Q: What kit will I need for the Tour?
A: We have a suggested kit list here. If you have any questions, ask your FFCC contact.
Q: Are there any female riders?
A: Yes, but not nearly as many as we would like! If you’re female and thinking about doing the ride, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and Kati Hall or another female Firefly will be happy to chat to you.
Q: What isn’t included in the Tour fee?
A: Flights, lunch, nutrition needed during the ride. You will also have to pay for your hotel room in Cannes. As the Tour arrives in the middle of Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, we recommend finding accommodation as soon as possible. Airbnb can be a good option.
Q: How do I get my bike to the start point?
A: You’ll need a bike box. These can be hired, or past Fireflies will lend theirs.
Q: Do you help with fundraising? How much is each rider expected to raise?
A: We ask each rider to raise £2500 to help Bloodwise with their lifesaving research. We are happy to help with ideas on how to raise your target amount. Not least we will help you create a compelling sponsorship page and supply you with information and images to use when contacting friends and family and in social media. As well as direct fundraising, in recent years Fireflies have organised prints to sell and sold cycling socks and caps, custom headset caps (from companies such as https://www.kapz.com). There are also options for your company or friends with deep pockets to sponsor your jersey and caps - we will have more information about this soon.