The inaugural edition of Heading SouthWest starts in just 3 months! 'Road to SW' goal is to update you on relevant info and to help you organize for the big adventure in May. In this issue we introduce you statistics concerning the roster, share with you important info about Coimbra and ask you about your plan for the bike box/bag storage. If you are a rookie, check the fundamental sources on self-supported ultracycling. Let's keep in touch. We are Heading SouthWest!

the roster

'SouthWest' has 45 adventure-cyclists in the line-up. The Portuguese community dominates the roster: in total 73% of riders are Portuguese or living in Portugal (Portuguese + Brazilian). We will have 12 very special international 'guests' from 8 nationalities: Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom. We are far away from the 50-50 goal. However, 12 non-male riders will be at the starting line in Coimbra.


Internacional participants have an extra challenge concerning logistics. We don't have the possibility to transport your bike box or cycling bag from Coimbra (departure point) to Alte, Algarve (finish point). However, our partners are gently available to help you with the storage of the boxes/bags and to use their tools to mount/dismount your bike. We can help you with three options:

1) Trouxa Bicla bike shop in Coimbra - 800 meters away from Coimbra-B train station. This is the best option if you leave Portugal via Porto Airport. Trouxa Bicla is open from MON to FRI (10-13H & 16-19H) and SAT in the morning (10-13h).

2) Femina and Oficina 35 in Lisbon - You will need to transport your box/bag by bus or subway to the the city center. This is the best option if you leave Portugal via Lisbon Airport. Femina and Oficina 35 owners will ride SouthWest as participants too, so you will need to adjust to their routines.

3) Contacting the local bike shops in Faro (Algarve) and ask for bicycle cardboard boxes. This is the best option if you leave Portugal via Faro Airport (40KM away from the route's finish). We will inform you in advance if there are boxes available.


NOT as QUIET AS in THE Photo

Unfortunately, the night before the event will be probably the most chaotic of the year in Coimbra - the departure city point. Unexpectedly, Queima das Fitas - an academic festivity - will start on May 20th. This basically means a music festival close to the spot of our briefing session, a lot of people drunk across the city and during the night, as well as broken glass in the morning. From an optimist point of view, this is a great opportunity for a deeper sociocultural experience. Check here the areas to avoid concerning accommodation (inside the perimeter).

A few days before, Coimbra will also host the World Rally Championship (an urban super special and basecamp). The cars will leave the city on Friday morning (May 20th). Unless your are a Rally fan, we don't recommend to travel before it.

Considering this issues, we are studying a new and more peripherical point for the departure. Anyway, it will be only 3 quilometres away from the previous point.

How to arrive to Coimbra?

If you don't have support to travel to Coimbra by car, we strongly recommend to do it by train. It's easy, cheap and bike friendly. From 'Lisboa-Oriente' to 'Coimbra-B' takes around 1h50m and from 'Porto-Campanha' takes approximately 1h20m. Attention, you can only travel with your bike in the 'Service IC' trains. If you buy the ticket online in advance, it can be 50% cheaper: CP WEBSITE.


Are you new in self-supported ultracycling? This projects will tell you more about this wonderful sport:

The perfect guide to introduce you to long-distance as a rider

The home of ultra-distance cycling coverage and main ambassador

Gear reviews, bikepacking routes, inspiration and more

QUESTIONS or suggestionS? keep in touch.