Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride
Sunday 13th July 2008
16th July 2008
We successfully completed the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride fir a 2nd time. Sadly Dunc had to drop out due to a bad knee, work takes priority when these things happen. However myself, Ric, Chris, Paul and Shorty set off on Sunday in the sun at 7:45am.
On arrival at Albert Sq in Manchester there were already 1000s of other bikers waiting to start, we got to the back of the queue, and eventually got going at just after 9am. It was great to see so many bikers out, in different costumes, on unusual bikes (the double framed bike made us wonder!! - especially when he had to stop! - It was about 8ft high!).
The route was slightly different from last year, the main change was the finish line, which was now at South promenade, and the fact that the route now didn't include Haigh hall. Still there were well organised stopping points along the way, with good facilities, food and drink available.
We stopped outside of Wigan for a quick break, then at Preston Docks, and I managed a 3rd pit stop around 10 miles outside of Blackpool. With this years earlier start we were among the bike traffic virtually all the way, it did thin out a little after Wigan, where you could see legs and bikes getting a little tired. - mine included!
It was a great day - we did split up along the route, but came back together to cross the line as a group, 6 hours was the final time, which wasn't so bad, I was the slowest out of the group, the lack of training and prep this year did show. On the finish line was my wife, my parents, the in laws and my wife's grannie - they gave us a massive cheer and clap and they made me feel very proud to have completed the run for a 2nd time.
We are already thinking of next year - we have some early interest so its looking good. I am looking at around the £300 mark for sponsorship - that's a great result for Christies.
Thanks for all your support during the run up to the run, I must thank:
Rachael - My wife for putting up with the bike riding and fully supporting me.
My family and in laws for their support.
Dunc - even though he couldn't make the actual run, he helped with bike prep and transport.
The team - Especially Chris and Ric for arranging entry and paperwork.
Old Blackpool 2008 News
Not much happening at the moment on the training front - scary really as the ride is only 3 weeks away!! Help!! I have undertaken some exercise bike work, nothing like the real thing though! My actual bike is up at Bury - so thats me ruled out for a bike ride this weekend. Back on the exercise bike then!
We got a nice 21 mile run in last Friday evening (before the weather turned bad!). Running from Bury we headed out towards Kersley and took the old Kersley loop line to Walkden. We covered part of this route here.
We then headed from Walken towards Bolton on the old railway line (which ran to Bolton Grt Moor street). This took us through Little Hulton, where a lot of improvements have been made to the pathway - this includes brilliant signage from local schools, a paved pathway and new access steps / ramps. We will try and take some pictures next time we do the run. Some pictures of the this route here.
From Bolton (it was getting dark) we took the old line from Bolton to Bury, via Radcliffe to home. We rolled in around 10pm - we need some lights!!!
Finally - here are the trusty bikes we have been using for the past couple of years.
Mine (Jons) is on the left and is a very old Townsend frame (thanks to my dad for this bike!) I have lost count of the number of new wheels and tyres it has had. Presently I am running slick road tyres (ive not changed them since the last Blackpool run). Its a great bike - getting a bit long in the tooth, but it gets me around.
Duns bike (to the right) is a little more uptodate - I will get him to put the spec down soon.
The preparation continues.
Old Blackpool 2008 News
Finally we have got back in the swing of the bikes - we have recently undertaken 2 bike rides around Bury, the first a local run over Affetside and back round via Tottington and Bury centre. We both felt the effects of the run, especially the run up Affetside.
The 2nd run was a little longer - again over Affetside, but this time heading towards Darwin, but then back via Harwood - A great ride that, one that we promise to document with pictures and a map.
Here we go again!! Thanks to David for the guestbook entry today and reminding us that we need to get in some training for this years event. Just looked back on last years dairy to fine we had done 5 rides compared to this years 1, 20 mile back in January (Where's the time gone). We are hopefully to get out on the bikes this Sunday (13th April) before Belle Vue. We will keep you updated.
JON and DUNC