After binning the Coast to Coast which we were going to do for Charity this year, we decided to have a pop at the Manchester to Blackpool. We all duly entered and had a team of 8. First up the sponsorship. We did very well and way exceeded our target. Toss and the River both doing outstandingly well. We raised over £2000.00 for the Chirstie.
Early start and John kindly offered to ferry us and the bikes down to old Trafford and Dave took the remaining guys. We arrived and kitted up and were all on the start line for about 7.50. There were fookin thousands of cyclists around, some number plates we saw were over 8000. This could only mean one thing... fookin carnage. Hoards of bikers, most of which with very poor road sense sharing roads with cars, vans and wagons. Pretty scary at times.
The route took us through Trafford Park, Worsley, and through the Badlands of Leigh before heading out to Standish. The Road Bike I had borrowed off Johnnie was behaving itself and I really did find pedalling on the tarmac a piece of piss. Generally we were sailing past most people with very few coming past us. That was until the first puncture. Clarkey, the fat bastard, had blown a tyre. I called Toss to tell them to wait and after much moaning from Pikey they did indeed hold up for us. Took a lot longer as the new tube that Clarkey put in also punctured about 15 mins parked up all in. Good excuse to get the tangfastics and CW's excellent flap jack out too. I'll grudgingly admit to nearly enjoying the next bit pas Haigh Hall and down to Red Rock. Pretty quick, I think Wors's GPS had it at 39 or so. Up the hill to the halfway point and we were all still going strong.
We stopped at the Saddle for a quick regroup and realised that we had lost Pikey... he had continued and we didn't see him till the end of the ride at Star Gate. We were about to set off when a Marshall came over to enquire if we were ready to "Launch". I think this was a very polite way of saying "fuck off your blocking the exit", which we duly did.
Everyone went well all the way to the end in Blackpool, Clarkey doing exceptionally well after only 2 rides all year, however he did admit to having an arse like a "blood orange". The end was quite good, spectators all clapping home the cyclists, we arrived 8 abreast to cross the line together, Pikey having waited 1k from the end.
Gentle spin up the Prom to the Van at Bispham, then back home for our reward in the Tap followed by a Curry.
All in all a great day out with the lads, but if I'm honest, road riding just really doesn't do it for me. Give me an off road ride any day.