This morning was the start of a fabulous adventure for me as today I rode the furthest i’ve ever ridden in one day. The plan was to meet up with Phill at around 8am at the start, which was at a ‘football stadium’ in Manchester.
To be hones there were that many riders milling around at that time that we didn’t meet up but started at a similar time. Riders started in batches of 200 or so, in 5 minute intervals (dictated by the traffic lights and marshals).
The route was very well sign posted with marshals at every roundabout/junction and a number of rest halts along the route. It headed out through Trafford Park, past the Trafford Centre and off towards Irlam and Swinton.
My first stop was at Standish Golf club, where I had a quick drink of water and had half a ham sandwich. I sent Phill a text to say where I was and he too was at the rest halt. So for all the route to Preston we rode together… I had to push him a little on the climbs and get him to sprint a couple of times to make the traffic lights before they changed.
At the rest halt we met Emma who was riding her 2nd Manc-Blackpool (I think) and we had a quick chat. I was keen to get to the finish as near to 2pm as I could so said my goodbyes and set off.
I have to say the final 1/3 of the route wasn’t bad at all, there was a long climb out of Wharton towards Freckleton, but it was really manageable and I seemed to pass everyone, but I think I only got passed by 3 or 4 riders on that section. They were riding racing bikes and I was not match.. Maybe next year.
By the time I got to Kirkham the rain had arrived, and how! It was a fairly short shower, maybe 10-15 minutes but it certainly dumped plenty of water onto the road and me. Lots of riders were stopping to put on waterproofs, but I decided to carry on regardless.
After Wharton and as I got towards Lytham, the headwinds really sharpened up and it was quite relentless slogging through along to the finish.
After clearing St Anns and heading along past the sand dunes we all rounded the corner and in the distance, the first sight of the Big One and Blackpool tower. All this section to the finish I found quite emotional. (and no I didn’t blub, but it was close).
The finish was amazing with hundreds of people lining the road clapping and cheering on the line.
A wonderful day. Can’t wait until next year.
Approx 5hrs 40 mins
11mph avg (ish)
No logging as battery life not good enough. A good start to the July150 challenge and I’ve gone over the 500 mile mark for the year.
One good thing about the headwind though was that by the time I finished, I was completely dry.