Manchester to Blackpool Review 2010

Last year's Manchester to Blackpool wasn't the best; poor cycling etiquete and the organisers cramming in 5000+ riders through town centre routes dampened what is the North West's biggest sportive.

I'd like to say that this year was better, and in some respects it was as it seemed quieter, but cycling etiquete was once again appalling. Why can't people cycle to the left, not in the middle of the road on their own and why can't people look behind them before pulling out?!! It isn't hard. The number of times someone pulled into me without looking was just incredible. Another thing, when cycling through a busy town center road why do people cycle more than 2 a breast. Cars can't overtake and causes chaos everywhere.

All this put together makes life much harder, having to slow down and accelerate to overtake and mentally keep on your toes rather than focus on your ride.

The route was similar to last year, due to an event on at Haigh Hall, we were directed up through Standish and into Charnock Green. Personally I thought this made the route a lot better, nice twisting country roads to keep the legs rolling before getting to my favourite part of putting the hammer down along the bypass at Leyland into Preston.

The ride start well, unfortunately I lost a bottle going through Leigh early on. That knocked my concentration for a couple of miles as I worried about loosing it, should I go back and get it? I decided to continue on and stop at two stops rather than the one to top up the bottle.

Although a flattish route there are quite a few drags, I don't know if it was me but I thought the first half had quite a few lumpy bits compared to last year. Nothing to get you out of the big ring but enough to get you into a climbing rhythm for a couple of miles.

I battled through the miles, the legs felt good with no cramping and even the energy sapping drag from Lytham into Blackpool felt ok, the headwind was always just crackers.

I finished in 3 hours 45 minutes, knocking 45 minutes off my 2009 time. I'm happy about that but really, really disappointed not to get 3 hours 30. I finished exhausted and it has taken a few hours for me to sort myself out. I think I obviously I need more speed and that will be down to loosing weight.

Will I be back next year? Despite it's problems, I'm sure I will.


Woody said...

Sorry mate?

Mark's cycling blog said...

Nice write up. This is what puts me off these type of rides - the varied skill levels of cyclists. Can be nasty unless as you say you're on the ball

Woody said...

Cheers Mark, sorry for the beef about it but it is just frustrating. I appreciate people have to start somewhere but some of the riding was dangerous to other riders and traffic.

Unknown said...

Well done on finishing it Andy, good time too! Phil

Woody said...

Cheers Phil, how did your ride go?