Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Manchester to Blackpool ride - A rant

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!


  1. "leisure" cycling at it's worst, but it's all for charidee. the manchester-blackpool attract the worst of non cycling bike riders every year though.

  2. I rode the event a few years back and it was just the same.

    I'd stop at red lights and have people streaming by either side of me.

    Riders stopped dead in the middle of groups, without warning.

    Riders in huge groups blocking the road and sticking their fingers up at drivers who were trying to overtake safely and with consideration.

    Riders overtaking me at high speed on the descent at Haigh Hall and crashing into the straw bales put there to slow them to a safe speed.

    And so on and so forth...

    I decided that once was enough!

    I'm not knocking people for having a go, but large numbers of them seem to leave their brains at home!

  3. Saw some riders on the Penwortham flyover about 2pm yesterday, it's a fast and dodgy bit of road at the best of times and not somewhere to be trying to ride three abreast whilst wobbling and trying to use your mobile - at least you would have thought so?

  4. I rode it early in the morning, and then rode it back and was in the same boat as you - I saw at least 8 a breast in some stages and screamed at some tosspot who aimed his bike at me on the wrong side of the road!

    Your right - I felt sorry for the drivers too!

  5. I experienced the same in this years London to Brighton ride and there were 20,000 more people doing that. Riders are told to obey the rules of the road and never ride more than two abreast but there are so many non-cyclists taking part.

  6. I took my son on the Manchester to Blackpool and I won't be doing it again. I don't know who was worst, the "experienced riders" white-lining and jumping red lights, or the novices weaving around and stopping in the middle of the road! Ask anyone who works at Preston Royal Infirmary if they've heard of the Manchester to Blackpool. It's their busiest day of the year in A&E.

  7. It was a bit on the chaotic side. There were a number of cyclists being incredibly stupid and not caring about other road users. I saw one guy jump the traffic lights near Leigh on a downhill section wrong side of the road how they missed the car coming the other way I don't know.

    Apart from that it was a good event, although i'd be tempted to just do the ride next time without being part of an 'organised' event.