Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride

Sunday 8th July 2007

We hope you enjoyed our Blog for our preparation for the Manchester to Blackpool run.

We successfully completed the ride in just over 6 hours. A great day. See our slant on the day and the MEN newpaper report below.

Thanks to all our sponsors. Much appreciated!

Maybe same again in 2008??? We will see!!

Updated 27th July 2007

Here is the scanned image from the Manchester Evening News dated the 9th July.

Left to right: Richard, Dan, Chris, Jon, Duncan, Paul

Update 9th July 2007

After all of the preparation is was time to complete the ride from Manchester to Blackpool. In total our team consisted of 6 riders. Myself, Duncan, Richard, Ben, Chris and Paul. We met up at Richards around 8:30am, we had a few pics taken (hopefully we will post on here soon). We were ready for the off. A quick 5 mile run in to Manchester for the official Start at Castlefield.

As we got closer to the start we started to see more and more cyclists gathering. We made our way to the start line, however just before we set off we got asked for a few thoughts from the MEN newspaper. Richard and Chris got a mention here -

Sadly our pics didn’t make it – well on line anyway. I will check out today’s MEN when I get to work. After the interview and pics were ready to go – we were slightly late. However we made the start. Just outside of the Museum of Science of Industry we had our first stop! Bens water pack burst – the seam had gone – Ben was totally soaked even before we had left Manchester. We headed out towards Salford – at this stage Chris had discovered that his bike gears were not working 100% - he was struggling selecting certain gears. This was later diagnosed as a terminal problem – however Chris soldiered on with the bike.

From Salford we headed up to Worlsey, Astley and then Leigh. The traffic got busy at Leigh – as well as the weather. So far it had been dry, however running through Leigh it started to drizzle. We had fun running through the town – dicing with the busy traffic – who didn’t know what had hit them – thousands of bikes!!

We had a quick stop near Hindley – then we headed up the big hill towards Haigh Hall. The views across the valley from Haigh Hall were fantastic. However the weather looked very heavy up ahead. We took another food stop and then headed through the park back towards the main road towards Chorley. At this point the heavens opened!! And I mean opened!! We were all subjected to a good 30 minutes of the heaviest rain in the world – well it seemed like that to me!!
By this time we were all soaked to the skin – but still in good spirits. The rain was with us for another hour or so – however it did slowly stop. I lost my bearings a bit at this stage – I was concentrating on keeping the bike on the road and staying with the group. We were now heading towards Preston – some rather boring (but flat) roads were taken in – and the sun had started to shine. We took a quick stop at a pub (sadly no beer for us). Preston was full of 100s of cyclists, in fact the whole route had seen some great banter with cyclists along the route – 1 guy really didn’t like the cars and took the opportunity to have a go a 1 driver at some lights outside of Preston – a slightly angry and wet cyclist shouting at a motorist at some lights – class!!!! Made me smile anyway!

Paul was doing well – his dad had bought his bike a week ago from a car boot for £15!! He was doing well and so was his bike!!!

Preston came and went – we were no on the last 15-20 miles. Just outside of Preston I had arranged to meet up with a friend from stock cars to grab a cup of tea and biscuits. Chris and his folks had set up goodies and drinks for us in their back garden. What a treat!!! This was just the boost we needed for the last 15 miles to Blackpool.

The last miles were steady hills and mainly country roads – we passed quite a lot of tired cyclists, we also passed quite a few busy pubs – plenty of cyclists taking liquid refreshments!

Suddenly we could see Blackpool Tower – relief, we were nearly there!!!

The last 2-3 miles were painful – but we had done it. We waited for each other so we could cross the finish as a team. We crossed the line to clapping and cheering!!! What a feeling!!! We had done it!!!!! 68 miles in total from Reddish!!!! What a day!!!!!!

Special Thanks to the following for their help and support.

Rachael – my partner and supporter. She has put up with me preparing for the event for the last 6 months. Also with me jetting off to Coventry to watch racing a few hours before the ride!! Thanks Babe, for putting up with me.
Duncan – a great friend who has motivated me to do the ride and had helped me fix the bike, buying tyres etc etc. He managed the ride with a heavy cold – good lad!
My folks – They picked me up and brought me home – very nice!
Donald – Duncs dad – he brought my bike home – a star!
Richard – Thanks for organising the event – getting forms, signing up – also for roping me in to it!
Ben, Paul and Chris – the rest of my team. We rode well and got plenty of money raised for Christies – a great cause close to many of our hearts.
Chris – and his folks – A great brew and biscuits – much needed support!!
All our sponsors – We are aiming for around £1000 across our team – what a job!!!

Update 17th June 2007

A nice run this week, from Bury up to Haslingdon via Ramsbottom. We took the old railway line just outside of Ramsbottom, which has now been converted in to path/cycle way. We headed through Haslindon (via a killer hill) and then down to Rawtenstall. From there we headed back to Bury town centre on Walmersley road which hugs the side of the Rossendale valley giving fantastic views. The weather broke for us, offering warm sunshine.

We took a small de-tour around Bury town centre, to add a few miles to the journey. In total 24 miles. A nice run.

In addition - Dunc has purchased me a new back wheel - I managed to break my last one - must be my weight!!! We are also awaiting some road tyres to be sent ready for the Blackpool run. We may have to scrap the order and go a buy a pair. Dunc will be bobbing down to Pilkingtons Bike Shop on Bolton road - which is well recommended from us!

3rd June 2007

A very quick 18 mile sprint around the Fallowfield Loop. We kept the speed up to compensate for the lack of milage involved in the ride.

Update 29th April 2007

The preperation continues for the Manchester to Blackpool run - its coming quicker that we expected, its May next week, then it will soon be June! Help!

Sorry for the lack of updates to our mini blog - mainly my fault, just seems as though there isnt enough hours in the day.

Anyway we have 3 routes that we have completed, over the past month and a bit.

Today - Sunny warm day - if a little windy. From Denton, we took the Ashton canal to Portland basin - here we took the Peak Forest canal up through Woodley
and Romiley and on to Marple. At Marple we headed towards Poynton and the Macclesfield Canal, until we got to the A6 raod bridge. A quick sprint down the A6 to the old railwayline (Middlewood Way). This has been converted in to a cycle and pathway. We saw a lot of other bikers out on the route. Great to see.
The Middlewood way took us back to Rose Hill (Marple), and from here we took the Peak Forest canal back. Slight detour on the way home - we came off the canal at Haugton Green woods and cut through the Tame Valley to Stockport road. From here we cut across to Hyde Hall and home. A nice 27 mile ride - plenty to see along the route. Infact we did cover the ride a few years ago Please link here.

22nd April
From Bury - we headed out up the large hill to Affetside - A lovely village a top of a big hill!!!! Well its a big hill when your on a bike! This was a semi wet ride, but it was warm. I managed to come off the bike at the top - skidding while in a straight line - dont ask!!! From here there is only one way - down!!! A run down via Hawkshaw and then Holcombe Brook. From Holcombe Brook on the old railway line to Bury centre. Across Bury and we had a quick look at the ELR station, a nice steamer was in. From here we headed off to Radcliffe - and then home via the Bury Bolton canal. I think this was around 18 miles.

8th April
A Denton run - via Hyde Hall through Reddish Vale. From here we took the deadline to just outside Tesco on Portwood roundabout. We went through
Stockport following the MErsey past the Cooperative Bank Pyramid building - Junction one the M60.
Here we kept on a pathway running by the Mersey - various railway lines crissed crossed - as well as passing the site of Heaton Mersey railway
sheds. Through Heaton Mersey - Burnage and Disbury on the ld railwayline to Central station.
Through Chrolton and the back end of Withington. Until we hit the start of the Fallowfield Loop at Chorlton Cum Hardy.
Back on thr Loop - all the way to the start (Debdale Park) and then back home via Audenshaw.
A nice run - around 20 miles. Again memory fading on milage.

11th March 2007

Apologies the slow update, anyway here is the latest update from the last ride we undertook. This time the ride started in Bury, and was the longest ride we have completed so far in our preperation.

We headed from Bury up to Rawtenstall via Helmshaw on the railway line. From Ramsbottom we took the road up to Stubbins and then again on the old railway line to Irwell Vale. From here we were back on the road up to Rawtenstall and through the town centre.

From Rawtenstall we headed up to Bacup, we have covered this route before and know its a consistant climb through Waterfoot and Stacksteads. We took a break outside of Bacup and fuelled up.

From Bacup we took New Line road which heads down to Rochdale. We have wanted to do this route for a while as there is an old railway line running on the route. We have a batch of pictures here. This was a great route to follow and involved some great views.

Working our way down the valley the route of the railway eventually comes out in Milnrow which is on the outskirts of Rochdale. We eventually worked our away around the busy ring road and headed out towards Heywood on Rochdale road. We ran right through Heywood (which was a consistent climb) and then (luckily) back down the hill to Heap Bridge. From here we headed up to Bury town centre and then back to Duncs via the Bury to Bolton railway line.

35 miles in total - our longest run so far. A great route and one of my favorites so far.

25th February 2007

The preparation continues - this week it was Duncs idea to head up to the site of Woodhead tunnel, up on the Longdendale Trail. This was an inspired choice as this ride was a cracker and well worth a look if your in the area.

There is plenty of info about the Trail here: 4all-sites/longvalley.htm This route is also part of the Transpennine trail.

We set off from Denton and headed up the A57 through Denton and then Hyde. From Hyde we started to climb up towards Mottram on the old road (used to be busy before the M67 was built). At the Mottram roundabout we headed uphill (again) until Mottram junction where the road takes a steep hill down towards Hollingworth. (we had to get back up this hill!) Once at the bottom of the hill we took the road towards Glossop. At Wooley bridge we turned left towards Hadfield. Here we were climbing once again. Once we hit Hadfield we headed towards the train station and the start of the Longdendon Trail.

The Trail is well signed and there is good facilities for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The Trail was a bit muddy in places, but the weather had been bad this week. It follows the line of the old Woodhead railway - long closed.

The route hugs the side of the valley and goes through some wonderful and spectacular scenery. It does climb quite a bit and its a total of 7 miles from Hadfield to the tunnel entrance (the end).

We got to the old tunnel entrance and location of the old station -we took a few pics and headed back.

A great ride, brill scenery and a challenging ride. We completed just under 30 miles. A little under our previous week mileage, but the hills and path made up for it.

Well worth a look.


18th February 2007

Preparation for the Manchester to Blackpool run are in full swing. We have my friend, Richard, who completed the event last year, completing our registration. Hopefully we will get sponsorship forms soon so we start getting some money in for Christies. We have now both got padded cycle shorts - these work a treat. As I write this now, my rear doesn't feel as bad as it has done after a long ride. They are comfy to ride in, not the best for walking mind!! Still I got used to my pair. Nice early birthday present!!!!

Right today's bike ride. Weather was excellent, a medium to light wind, but bright sun shine. A little cold, but near perfect for a bike ride. Today we started in Bury.

We headed out to Tottington where we took the old railway to Holcombe Brook. From here we took the road through Ramsbottom and headed up to Stubbins. Here we jumped on the old railway line that ran up to Haslingdon. (we saw a cracking steam engine here - it was making good progress up the line to Rawtenstall) However we came off the railway and before Haslingdon and took the main road in to Rawtenstall. We had been climbing all the way from Bury, and by this stage we had completed around 10 miles.

From Rawtenstall we headed up to Bacup, through Stacksteads and Waterfoot. Again climbing all the way. We have covered this route before. However we started in Rawtenstall. At this stage the climb was starting to cut in. Its not steep but a consistent climb. Near to the outskirts of Bacup my legs had started to go, luckily a break was in order - at 15 miles we had a nice drink and site down.

Homeward bound - back down the same road back to Rawtenstall. However this time we went on the other side of the valley - through Edenfield (some great views across the valley) and through Limefield. This is quite a downhill route, with the odd up hill sections. A nice ride.

To add some miles Dunc took us around the outskirts of Bury, in a round about way we were back on Bolton road, and back towards Duncs house. A nice 31.5 miles in total. A great ride - the weather was brill. Plenty to see.

The preparation continues,



11th Feb 2007

We heard about the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride, which is a charity event, last year, and fancied a go. A friend of mine completed the run in 2006 and was keen to do it again in 2007. Both myself and Duncan were keen too, and its also for charity, Christies, so its even more worth it.

We thought we had better start training for the event and getting some miles under our belt. Considering our longest bike ride has been around the 35
mile mark, we knew that we have to train to be able to complete the 60 - 65 mile run to Blackpool.

We got a bit of advice from the very helpful members of the Cycling Plus forum (see our links) and they advised building up the distance over a number of weeks. They recommended adding 10% extra mileage each week.

So today (Feb 11th) we planned a nice trip up to Diggle (on the Ashton canal). However heavy overnight rain put pay to that, so we quickly opted for a tarmac run on the Fallowfield Loop.

We took the Fallowfield loop right from the start in Abbey Hey, round to Chrolton Cum Hardy. Here we headed towards Talbot road and rode past Old Trafford - the cricket Old Trafford that is. We quickly stopped off at White City (to get a pic of the white arch - the last surviving part of the stockcar track that used to be there). From here we jumped on the Bridgewater canal and headed in to the city centre. We headed in to Castlefield and from there through the city centre past Gmex and up towards Piccadilly gardens. Back out to Victoria and then up Cheetham Hill. At the Manchester Fort retail park we took a right towards a path way which takes you over the old railway sidings at Redbank. From here we climbed up the other side of the valley and out towards Sports City. (Manchester Citys Ground) Here we picked up the Ashton canal and headed back to Denton via Audenshaw.

A nice 24 mile run. Next week we plan to add our 10% and aim for top 20s in mileage. We will keep you updated.

Thanks Jon and Duncan

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