Sunday was The Christie Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride 2017. It is a famous charity cycle ride but not one that I have done before. Andy and I cycled to the start, which was at the Imperial War Museum North (IWMN), an extra 10.5 miles.
We met up with a cycling friend called Debbie who had also signed up for the ride. Our selected start time was 08:30, although we started a little later than that by the time we actually departed from the IWMN.
We set off through Trafford Park towards the Trafford Centre.
We had only gone about 3.5 miles when Debbie had a horrible crash. She managed to cycle into the back of a stationary cyclist at some speed. She was fairly sure that she had broken something straight away and having watched it happen, I would have been surprised if she hadn’t. She didn’t want an ambulance and wanted to wait for hr partner to come and pick her up. We stayed with her until we were told that they would be starting to take the signs down very soon. Reluctantly we set off but did soon spot her partner who was lost and were able to direct her to where Debbie was.
Conscious that we might struggle to make the cut off time, we set off at a fairly fast pace.
It was quite a long way before we saw any other cyclists!
We stopped off at Haigh Hall, which was one of the official rest stops. There were lots of people there. Andy even managed to see a work colleague (Chris), who was also doing the ride and had stopped there.
After a cuppa and something to eat, we set off again. Although we weren’t now in danger of missing the cut off time, we kept up our earlier pace as we were both feeling OK with it (which surprised both of us!).
We continued through Standish.
The route went through Charnock Richard, where there was another rest stop but we decided to continue on to the next one.
We stopped at Lea Primary School in Preston, another official rest point. We had our lunch there and filled up our water bottle.
Feeling better after our lunch and lots more sun cream, we set off again for Blackpool.
Having completed the ride, we had to sample some of the wares from the beer tent. We also found a stall who were giving away paella – which was almost gone but tasted very good to us! A big thank you to Kelly’s Kitchen.
We had cycled about 61 miles on the official route, meaning about 72 miles in total. The route was not the best, just because it went down many busy roads but it was really well organised. We had enjoyed our ride, although it was tinged with sadness about what had happened to Debbie – we found out after we had finished that she had broken both wrists and needed to have a plate put in one of them. I remember well when I came off my bike and had to have a plate put in my wrist too.
We had decided in advance that we would stay overnight in Blackpool and so made our way along the promenade from the South Shore to the North Shore, where we were staying.
We did have to stop off for an ice cream – you can’t go to the seaside on a hot day and not have ice cream, can you?
We were staying at the Ibis Styles, near to Blackpool Tower. Our room was very nice and had a lovely view of the sea.
Having cleaned up and changed, we went to Nando’s for tea.
After we had eaten, we took a walk down the promenade (where we bumped into another old cyclist friend, Lucy) and then had a walk on the beach.
It was then time to head off to the pub for a few drinks, we went to the Leyton Rakes (a JD Wetherspoon pub). Then it was time to get some sleep ready for cycling home the next day!
You can see our Manchester to Blackpool route below: