Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ride options?

Number of Days/Nights of Participation Dates
(2020)
Early Bird Registration Fee
(by 31/08/19)
Full Price Registration Fee
(after 31/08/2019)
Minimum Fundraising
(per rider)
7 (6 nights) 28th March –
3rd April
$1,260 $1,400 $4,000
4 (3 nights)

 

28th March –
31st March
OR
31st March –
3rd April
$810 $860 $4,000
2 (1 night) 28th March –
29th March
OR
2nd April –
3rd April
$450 $500 $2,500

In addition to the options above, upon request Mercer SuperCycle may be able to facilitate additional options for riders, i.e., riding for 3, 5 or 6 days. In these cases, the ride details are:

Number of Days/Nights of Participation Dates
(2020)
Early Bird Registration Fee
(by 31/08/19)
Full Price
Registration Fee
(after 31/08/2019)
Minimum Fundraising
(per rider)
6 (5 nights) 28th March – 3rd April $1,165 $1,215 $4,000
5 (4 nights)

 

28th March – 31st March
OR
31st March – 3rd April
$990 $1,040 $4,000
3 (2 nights) 28th March – 29th March
OR
2nd April –
3rd April
$630 $680 $4,000

 

What sets Mercer SuperCycle apart from other cycling fundraisers?

Mercer SuperCycle is a five star fully supported multi-day and multi-distance cycling tour through regional South Australia.

The ride is peloton-structured and team-based taking you through some of the most picturesque regions of rural South Australia while giving you the chance to raise money to help support cancer patients and their families from regional SA.

“Challenging”, “Amazing”, “Unique” and “Rewarding” are just a few of the ways SuperCyclists have described the Mercer SuperCycle adventure. When you sign up for Mercer SuperCycle you’re signing up for a truly memorable experience!

As part of Mercer SuperCycle you will:

  • experience an amazing holiday with a great group of people;
  • ride in a safe but exciting peloton environment;
  • enjoy some of Australia’s most scenic outback;
  • improve your health & fitness while training for the challenge;
  • visit and feel a part of welcoming local rural communities;
  • and be helping to provide an easier path for people in their battle with cancer by raising funds for rural cancer patient accommodation in Adelaide.

 

How difficult is Mercer SuperCycle?

An honest answer to this would be… everyone will find it difficult in some way, whether it be the physical, fundraising or emotional aspects.

The first two are somewhat easy to manage by starting early and utilising the proven support structures that Mercer SuperCycle provides.

 

How do I know if Mercer SuperCycle is for me?

Probably the easiest way to answer this question is to share with you some of the previous riders testimonials.

 

How do I decide which ride option is right for me?

Which one is best for you is largely answered by having you reflect on two questions:

  • Your capacity to meet the fundraising targets (either individually or as a team).
  • Your current bike fitness and capacity to commit to the required training.

Our website is full of great information regarding the ride, including dates, distances, climbs etc. This should give you a good sense of what the different days entail. If you are still unsure of which option to choose, please contact our staff who will gladly offer you their recommendations.

As a footnote to the fitness aspect; we have had riders who didn’t own a bike in August and successfully completed the full 7-day ride 6 months later.

 

Can I speak with someone in my area who has completed a SuperCycle event?

Definitely! Many of our former riders are more than happy to answer questions and share their experiences. Contact the friendly team at The Hospital Research Foundation team and they will be pleased to put you in touch with one of our riders in your area.

 

What are the costs and fundraising requirements?

How much does Mercer SuperCycle cost?

In addition to the minimum fundraising requirements, the registration fees for the event are as follows:

Number of Days/Nights of Participation Early Bird Registration Fee
(by 31/08/19)
Full Price Registration Fee
(after 31/08/2019)
7 (6 nights) $1,260 $1,400
4 (3 nights) $810 $860
2 (1 night) $450 $500

More information can be found here.

What does the registration fee cover?

The registration fee covers all your accommodation, meals including snacks and water stops, riding kit, etc., ensuring 100% of your fundraising goes to the cause.

What are the fundraising minimums?

All riders and support crew are encouraged to raise as much as possible towards the cause. The minimum fundraising requirements are:

  • $4,000 for 7-day riders
  • $4,000 for 4-day riders
  • $2,500 for 2-day riders

Upon registration and in the lead up to the event we provide you with fundraising tools and advice to assist you with your fundraising efforts.

When will I need to meet the fundraising requirements by?

The minimum fundraising requirements must be met by 16th March 2020. If the minimum requirement has not been met, you will not be permitted to ride. So start early with your fundraising!

What other expenses can I expect before and during the event?

  • Flights to and from the event for interstate/overseas riders
  • Pre & post accommodation for interstate/overseas riders (we arrange special deals for you which you can book and pay for when you register)
  • Bicycle, spare parts, gear & accessories
  • Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance (highly recommended)
  • Personal electronics, medical supplies, and any other personal needs
  • Personal food/snacks (we provide snacks and water breaks along the route)
  • We will be cycling through and staying in the best wine regions South Australia has… so maybe a small wine allowance!

How much spending money should I bring?

A good starting point is to bring $50 – 100 AUD, assuming you have a credit card to cover dinner time drinks.

 

Health & Safety

Is it safe?

The short answer is yes. Mercer SuperCycle has worked extensively to develop a structured ride which incorporates controls to manage associated risks. As with any road-based cycling there is a certain level of risk that everyone needs to accept. You will be riding in a peloton with a support vehicle in front and behind the peloton.

Your greatest hazard during training and the event will be motorized vehicles, as it is for cyclists everywhere, so adhering to and actively practicing SuperCycle’s riding techniques and wearing appropriate safety/visibility gear is essential.

Upon registering for the event, you will have access to a detailed Ride Guide. The ride guide outlines the following:

  • event riding structure
  • training and fitness requirements
  • riding requirements during the event
  • peloton riding techniques
  • equipment
  • support structure

Does training for the event pose a health risk?

You should always consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other physical activity to determine if it is right for your needs. Do not begin training if your physician or health care provider advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while exercising you should stop immediately.

The information provided to you with regards to training is generic in nature and is designed as a guide to ensure your Mercer SuperCycle is an enjoyable experience. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health or training requirements, you should always consult with a professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read in conjunction with this event.

What if I get sick or injured?

Each peloton will have two support vehicles which are utilised when a rider is unable to participate for various reasons.

In addition, each peloton has a qualified first aid officer in attendance. The first aid officers are there to provide assistance with minor scrapes and bruises, and to assist in the event of an emergency. If you become ill, consulting with the support staff early on will ensure you are able to get back to cycling as soon as possible.

Do I need insurance?

SuperCycle does not provide insurance to riders or their bikes, so you may wish to consider additional insurances specific to your situation, e.g., travel insurance, bike insurance, etc.

Is Mercer SuperCycle a race?

It’s important to mention, Mercer SuperCycle is NOT a race. It is a group ride where everyone works together using a team approach, for the greater enjoyment of all.

Some participants will be stronger riders than others, and some will be more successful at fundraising than others. Others will bring different skills to the event. It is expected that everybody will work together to make the event:

  • Safe,
  • Fun, and
  • A fundraising success.

 

Preparing for the event

What kind of bike should I bring?

A standard road bike with drop bars is required for this event.

Do you allow e-bikes on your event?

The simple answer is NO, e-bikes are not permitted on the ride.

How can I make my bike more comfortable and practical for the event?

Many opinions exist around this subject and what may work for some could be detrimental to others. Equally the time to make changes is not the week before the ride as your body needs to become accustomed to any new riding position and build the muscle structure to suit that position.

Our only advice is to seek an expert when setting up your riding position. A proper bike fit will take anywhere up to a couple hours to perform and ensure your flexibility, fitness, bike ergonomics and ride style are appropriately matched.

Who is responsible for transporting my bicycle to the starting point and back home after the event?

You will be responsible for transporting your bike to and from the event. We will assist where possible based on our experience over prior events.

What kind of training is required?

To complete Mercer SuperCycle, which places physical (and mental) challenges on riders, a specific training program will be offered. The training program is designed to allow riders to;

  1. get to know each other,
  2. bring consistency to peloton riding skills and signals, and
  3. offer riders an idea of how they will be expected to ride during the Mercer SuperCycle.

However, it is emphasised that this Program alone will not deliver sufficient fitness. All riders will need to do additional riding, in a variety of ways (road, trainer, flat, hills, peloton, etc.), to achieve the required fitness and peloton riding skills. The greater the work put in prior to departure, the greater the enjoyment during Mercer SuperCycle.

Training quality is important and rides should be on territory similar to the event if possible and at a similar average speed. In 2020, the event will average approximately 1500m of climbing per 150km and the approximate peloton speed for the event is expected to be 25-27km/hr.

In terms of distance, here is a guide as to how many kms you should be doing each week in the lead up to the event. Please note this is an indication only. A detailed training guide and ongoing feedback on your training will be available once you have registered.

  • Sep 100km per week
  • Oct 150km per week
  • Nov 200km per week
  • Dec 200km per week
  • Jan 250km per week
  • Feb 300km per week
  • Mar 350km per week

Visit the Training Page on the website for more information.

 

While on the event

Who carries the luggage?

Our support vehicles will carry your luggage which needs to consist of:

  • One clearly named soft bag for the majority of your after-ride clothing, toiletries, spares, etc. This will not be accessible during the day’s ride.
  • One clearly named small soft back-pack for use as a day-pack carrying those items you may need to access during a day’s ride (mud-guard, spares, rain jacket, creams, etc.). We ask that you be able to carry 2 water bottles, snack food, a multi tool, spare tube, patch kit and pump with you on the bike. Everything else will be carried in our vehicles.

What will I eat?

You will be provided with nutritious meals throughout the event including:

  • Breakfast supplies each day for you to eat in your hotel room before departure each morning
  • Snacks and water stops every 30km or so
  • Picnic style lunches including a mix of sandwiches and hot options
  • Dinner in local restaurants, community clubs and pubs

We pride ourselves in offering delicious food throughout the event.  

Are there rest days?

There are no planned rest days during the event unless you personally elect not to ride on a particular day. You will arrive into your hotel most days in the late afternoon in time for a rest before dinner.

Will I know the route prior to the event?

An illustrative route is available on the website detailing the general direction, attractions, distances, climbs and gradients, etc.

Each night at dinner, you will be briefed in detail about what the following day entails. In general, you can expect an average day to include 150km of riding including 1200 vertical meters of climbing, at an average pace of, at most, 27km/hr depending on weather and road conditions.

Where do I sleep?

We aim to provide the best hotel accommodation available in each at each of the locations we stay. 

You can expect to be sharing a room with 2-4 riders.

What is a typical day like?

  • Wake up around dawn, shower, pack your bag and have the breakfast you collected the night prior (breakfast usually consists of fruit, muesli, milk and cereal options
  • Deliver your bag(s) to the support vehicles
  • Undertake your daily bike check (tire condition, pressures, lights, etc)
  • Pre-ride briefing (introduction to your support crew and marshals for the day, allocation of lead riders and peloton formation)
  • Get on your bike and ride!
  • Approximately every 30 – 40km brief stop for food and water
  • Potentially a school or community group visit
  • Just past the halfway point: lunch
  • Potentially a school or community group visit
  • After lunch – continue pedaling
  • Arrive at accommodation – get your bag, find your room, refuel and relax
  • Inspect and clean bike as required
  • Dinner – including debrief of the day, what’s in store for tomorrow
  • Relax, read, socialize, laugh… until you are ready to go to bed
  • Repeat – this is living the dream life!

Who fixes/repairs my bike?

We will attempt to have a qualified bike mechanic with us at the end of each day’s ride. Utilising this service is at your cost.

 

General Information + The Cause

How long has SuperCycle been operating?

The 2020 event will be SuperCycle’s 9th year

What is the primary purpose of Mercer SuperCycle?

Mercer SuperCycle has partnered with SA-based charity The Hospital Research Foundation for the last seven events. Together, we are raising much-needed funds to build family-style accommodation in Adelaide for country cancer patients as part of project called Under Our Roof.

How much has SuperCycle raised since its inception?

Since a small group of 14 riders departed on the inaugural ride in 2012, Mercer SuperCycle has raised over $2.5M.

These funds have enabled 2 homes to be built in close proximity to a major cancer treatment centre in Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Though with these in high demand, there has been a significant need to build more family-style accommodation. In 2018, 58 families were sadly turned away as the homes were booked out!

Construction has commenced for a third ‘Under Our Roof’ home; a family-style apartment is being built at 354 Bowden’s On the Park East. This is in close proximity to both The Royal Adelaide Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

A fourth home is in the planning stage with the 2020 fundraising contributing to its construction.

What is an Under Our Roof home?

Under Our Roof is a service of The Hospital Research Foundation, providing accommodation for country cancer patients receiving treatment at hospitals in South Australia.

The Under Our Roof homes are designed specifically for families, allowing patients to have the all important support networks around them, which ultimately aids in recovery and comfort when going through cancer treatment.

This style of accommodation for country cancer patients is lacking in Adelaide and is an identified need by doctors who treat rural cancer patients and is echoed by the patients themselves.

You can view more photos of the homes now they are complete, as well as during the build, in our gallery.

What is the association with The Hospital Research Foundation?

The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) is an Adelaide-based charity raising vital funds to support people in hospitals across South Australia through vital health and medical research and improved patient care.

The partnership between SuperCycle and THRF fits perfectly with THRF’s commitment to support families experiencing the heartbreak of cancer in South Australia. Funding for cancer research and patient care represents a large portion of THRF’s commitment to striving towards a healthy South Australia, and helping cancer patients by providing exceptional care and convenient, comfortable accommodation is a significant part of that.

Can I raise funds for another charity?

Riders and Support Crew based outside of South Australia can choose to direct 50% of their fundraising to an alternative charity of choice. To be eligible, alternative charities must be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (check your charity here: https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity) and be an endorsed deductible gift recipient for tax purposes (check DGR status here: http://www.abr.business.gov.au/).