Today I was leading a ride from Trafford Waterpark. My commute there took me along a couple of miles of the Manchester to Blackpool ride, only going in the opposite direction. Now I know people doing this ride and know people who have done it before and enjoyed it. But today I experienced all the things that I've heard people say about this ride. In that two miles I had more near misses than I ever do commuting that way at rush hour. I approached lights and had people coming straight towards me on the wrong side of the road. People were riding five abreast. In fact it was chaos, I actually felt sorry for the drivers stuck in it!
The thing is to me it looked like someone was going to get killed. I've done a few sportives in my time but I've never seen anything like it before. It was a good way to give cyclists a bad name. I have no idea how the organisers can get away with it!