ONE STEP FROM HEADING SOUTHWEST

'Heading SouthWest' is an adventure-cycling challenge across Portugal mainland in one-stage with 1.000 kilometers and 15.000 meters of elevation gain. You can ride 'SouthWest' solo or in duo (each duo category rider must register alone). Please read carefully all information on this page before registering (form below).

THE EVENT

- 'SouthWest' is designed and organized by Finisterra with the co-organization and the collaboration of the community of Portuguese long-distance cyclists;

- The main goals are the promotion of adventure-cycling/self-supported ultracycling in Portugal (joining the community in the same event) as well as a cycling destination for international riders;

- Organization budget is basically 0,00€, but our passion for the sport will provide: the GPX file of the route, race manual/road-book, bike box storage for intern. riders, briefing, information support.

THE ROUTE

- The route was designed to explore the diversity of Portuguese landscapes and cultural heritages from the mountains in the Center to the plains and hills in the South (Alentejo & Algarve regions); 

-  This is a set route event: 99% on-road and 1% gravel. A road bike with 28mm tyres is perfectly okay to face the 'pavé'/cobblestones sections and the smooth gravel sectors;

- The event starts in Coimbra - Parque do Choupalinho / Ponte Pedonal Pedro e Inês - and finishes in Alte, Algarve  - Germano BiciArte Café.

THE RULES

(1) Respect the local traffic rules as well as the local communities and the environment;

(2) Ride the official route (if you go off the route, then return in the exact same point);

(3) No third-party support (family & friends helping with food, accommodation or mechanical); 

(4) No drafting: not allowed to follow other riders or vehicles for aerodynamical advantages;

(5) Use your own energy (e-bikes aren't allowed or any kind of 'artificial' help). 

THE REGISTRATION

There isn't an entry fee. Riders are financially responsible for the (1) tracker (2) briefing-dinner and (3) 'race' cap. A few hours after submit the registration (form below), riders will receive information about the payment procedure with our tracking partner (Follow My Challenge). The successful payment of tracker rental or mapping integration of the own tracker will work as the final registration confirmation in the event. Personal insurance is mandatory. Entries are limited to 30 participants. We encourage applications from any nationality, but 50% of spots are reserved for riders living in Portugal or Portuguese citizens (due to the organization's goals). If necessary, extra entries will be open to balance the number of male/non-male riders in the lineup.

THE KEY DATES

December 1st 2021 | 00:01 CET | Registration Open

March 20th 2022 | 'Race' Manual /Road Book and GPX Route File (final version) available

May 20th 2022 | 19:00 Local Time | Accreditation and Briefing-dinner in Coimbra

May 21st 2022 | 08:00 Local Time | Event Departure in Coimbra

May 27th 2022 | 23:59 Local Time | Event Deadline ('slow is okay' approach)

an EXPENSIVE hobby

'It's an expensive hobby' - someone said about this sport. 'SouthWest' inaugural edition is nonprofit and no-fee registration. Anyway, there are mandatory costs to the participants. Our aim is to ensure the necessary safety conditions and a certain level of organization:

(1) Tracker | For safety purposes and recreation of the community. The live tracking allows organization, family, friends & dotwatchers to follow riders's progression in real time. Trackers also have an emergency button, sending instantly an alert message to the organization. The tracker is also mandatory for both riders in the duo category (one duo, two trackers). Payment will be available a few hours after you submit your registration and successful payment for the tracking service will serve as final confirmation of registration in the event. There are two options:

(1a) TRACKER RENTAL | 48,40€ + 50€ cash deposit  (delivery at accreditation and return to rider when the participation in 'SouthWest' is ended) or;

(1b) Mapping integration of OWN TRACKER | 36,30€. NOTE: A GPS cycling computer (e.g. Garmin Edge, Wahoo, Bryton devices, etc) isn't a race tracker. The integration service is only available for Garmin InReach and SPOT Gen3 or Gen4.

(2) Briefing-Dinner | The community meets in Coimbra. Accreditation (presence confirmation, delivery of the tracker & race CAP to the riders). Organization talk on the spirit of the event and reminders about the rules and route. 30€ maximum (we are searching for the best spot in town). Pasta dinner with a vegan option. Payment at the restaurant during the briefing session.

(3) Race CAP | Following the tradition of adventure-cycling and self-supported ultracycling events (instead of medals or trophies). The CAP works also as the rider identification by 'racer' number. 15€. Payment at the accreditation and before the briefing-dinner session.

A valid personal insurance during the event is mandatory. For Portuguese riders we recommend Federação Portuguesa de Ciclismo 'individual' insurance/registration (from 33€ and valid for one year).

You should also be aware of all direct and indirect expenses, such as transport to the departure and from the finish point, food (some say long-distance cycling is also an eating contest), accommodation (if you are not okay about in sleep or take a nap outdoors), gear, mechanics, etc.

From a marketeer's perspective, it's certainly not a good strategy to write about expenses in the registration page. Transparency and honesty are gold values for us and managing expectations is crucial.  Anyways, we are working on partnerships and we will provide information about quality & economic options along the adventure, from (before) the start to (after) the finish. You can also see 'SouthWest' from an alternative perspective: this will be a lifetime experience and with mental health benefits for years. Happy rider, happy organizer.

 See you in Coimbra


 [email protected]

registration form