Each Santa must commit to raising a minimum of £200, the suggested composition of this is
- £100 corporate Sponsorship (non-gift aid)
- £100 Personal Sponsorship (Gift-Aid) via the online charity website
Each Santa will carry a corporate sponsor, through the Adopt-a-Santa scheme, the individual Santa is responsible to secure a sponsor and to provide the logo in digital format of the sponsor at least 2 weeks prior to the Santa Cruise for logo printing to the suit.
There are a limited number of long-standing corporate sponsors, if available, it may be possible to use one of these, however you would be expected to raise the additional £100 through other means.
Please also check with your employer, if applicable, in case there exists a ‘fund-match scheme – this can increase your sponsorship many-fold
The Route varies year to year, and this year may split into two depending on the number of Santas. Typically the route will cover 8 miles on bike from Burghfield to Mortimer, then to Theale and back to Burghfield, the last leg is normally by Taxi.
Entry and Awards
Santa Entry fee is £10, this is payable in advance, and includes the provision of a suit, printed logo and pays for the prizes of
- Most money raised
- Best Dressed Reindeer
- Best Santa
Calculations for these are as follows:
- Most Money raised – Decided from the total raised and declared at 00:00 on the day of the Santa Cruise
- Best Dressed Reindeer – Selected by a chosen ‘dignitary’ from the community at the event start
- Best Santa – Entirely subjective and selected by someone in the know over a beer on the day
Santas are responsible for their own bicycle, and ensuring it is well maintained and equipped with functioning lights, this is essential as the Santa Cruise does use the public highway after dark, it is recommended that Santas carry a good puncture repair kit.
Bikes should be decorated in a festive manner, in a way befitting your ‘reindeer’ for the day.
A token ‘award’ is available for the best dressed reindeer, to be presented at the ceremony at the conclusion of the ‘Cruise.
Public Highways and Road Use
The Santa Cruise will take place on the public Highway, all rules associated with this are expected to be observed. Please consult the Highway Code if you are unsure of them.
Lunch and Meals
A Buffet lunch will be arranged at a suitable venue en-route, to be ready for our arrival to keep waiting time to a minimum. This will be mass catered warming food – likely to be a Chili Con Carne. If you are vegetarian, fussy or awkward in anyway; you are more then welcome to bring a packed lunch or sort your own food. Please bear in mind that your lunch will need to be finished at the same time as the other Santas to ensure you are not left behind – you may want to pre-book the food directly with the venue to ensure it is ready for your arrival. This is not a service that will be provided for you, and also be aware that group dynamics dictate that eating like a ponce on the day will likely see you ex-communicated from the rest of the Santas.
The Evening Meal will be a Curry at the Bahgecha in Burghfield Common, please ensure that you have arranged transport home from there if required. In line with the usual Santa Cruise food policy, if you don’t like Curry arrange something else in advance with them.
Santa Funding on the day
The Santa Cruise operates on a ‘Kitty’ You will be expected to pay into the kitty at various times during the day in £20 instalments.
The Santas meet all costs for participation. Expect to budget £100 to cover the food and beverage kitty on the day.
The Santa suit is cheap and disposable, it is unlikely to survive in the groin area when riding your bike to the first stop, do not be alarmed, this is usual. The belts that some with the suits are as much use as tits on a fish – don’t expect it to help – bring your own belt to wear round the suit. The legs of the suit will get caught in the chain, so bicycle clips are of benefit.
The suit consists of Hat, beard & spit-thin fabric trousers and jacket – one size fits all (allegedly) the beard looks more like a merkin – feel free to provide your own if you prefer – but don’t spend too much on it, as it will be covered in food and detritus of the day. Some Santas chose to wear a wig, feel free to do so, keep in mind the Santa hat should fit over this, so if too large you may want to provide your own hat that you know will fit.
Your logo is expected to be seen so please don’t cover the jacket, if you need to remain waterproof, then wear a tight fitting waterproof under the jacket – but keep in mind the colour of the suit will run when wet.
Beards may only be removed for eating and drinking, at all other times must be worn.
Suits can be collected the evening before, or on the morning of the Santa Cruise.
General Conduct and advice
Santa is not, and never has been, in the service of the US Marine Corps. The Santa Cruise will strictly observe ‘Top Gear Rules’ Any Santa falling behind and unable to keep up will be left behind. Please ensure you have a suitable emergency pick up plan in place should you be unable to maintain the required pace due to mechanical or physical failure.
You should ensure you have a hearty Breakfast fit for a Santa – you will need it.
If possible please ensure you have not been out for a Christmas party the night before, nor that you are borderline drunk the next morning, this is not safe and will not bode well for yours, and others’ enjoyment of the day.
The Santa Cruise provides no medical, legal or emotional support for the day, please ensure you have a can of ‘man-up’ available to drink if required and expect no sympathy if you fall off through others’, or your own, stupidity, negligence or sheer bad luck. In a similar manner you are responsible for the care of your own Reindeer, including when put to pasture at a watering stop.
The Santa Cruise stops at ‘places of local gathering’ These include shops and public houses. The Santa group are likely have some refreshment at each stop, it is the individual Santa’s own judgement to select a drink and ensure he does not breach any rules of the highway, and remains able to cycle responsibly.
Given the close camaraderie of the Santa Cruise, no Santa should be of a ‘sensitive nature’ If you do not appreciate the humour, high-jinks and pranks of BBC’s Top Gear, it is very likely you would not enjoy the Santa Cruise, feel free to join another event more suitable to you, perhaps a charity jam-making event with the WI.
This event is not actually an event, nor are there any official organizers of it. The Santa Cruise happens purely by chance every year with Santas gathering at a time and a place that may, or may not, have been agreed. Santas are over the age of 18 and therefore responsible for their own conduct, decisions and actions on the day.
Someone might arrange to collect the Reindeer from Theale in a lorry to ensure that no Santa is obliged to use the public Highway after the consumption of alcohol.
This document was provided by someone who has been on the cruise in the past as part of a social group of individuals, and therefore has insight into the conduct expected by this social group. There is no organizing committee for the Santa Cruise, nor any group that could be considered liable in anyway for anything you do, but group dynamics generally dictate people not following the patterns of behaviour expected will be made to feel less than welcome. Social groups being what they are, the rules of behaviours can change at anytime given external forces and public opinion.