Manchester to Blackpool Bike Race
Organised by Bike Events each year in July approximately three thousand cyclists sign up for the Manchester to Blackpool charity race on behalf of The Christie Charity. The ride starts from Old Trafford Manchester, and finishes on the New South Promenade in Blackpool. A carnival and party atmosphere awaits cyclists after the finish line, alongside a barbeque, much needed massage, a beer in the beer tent and – being right by the sea-side – a quick dip!
Founded in 1901, The Christie Centre in Manchester treats over 40,000 patients a year, providing additional services for cancer patients that fall outside the NHS provision. The charity has been the official charity for the ride since 2003 and the bike ride itself first began in 1990.
There are some pretty country lanes along this route and some wonderful outdoor scenery. The ride goes from Manchester through the towns of Leigh, Standish (and the golf club), Preston and Inskip, before arriving at the Blackpool South Promenade. The entrance fee covers the cost of the ride and administration, and participants are encouraged to get sponsors and donate the funds to The Christie Charity.
People are free to ride on behalf of other charities, but what does stand out is that everyone is taking the challenging ride for a good cause. Some people enhance this by riding in fancy dress. Race for Life participants both male and female have been seen to wear big wigs, fake chest – ahem – attire, and bright pink dresses.
Frivolity aside, the event attracts serious racers, as it is 60 miles long. Entrants can be as young as 14, but must be accompanied by an adult. That is, an adult on a bicycle, not an adult cheering them on from the luxury of a car!
Although Blackpool public transport will not take bikes on the routes back to Manchester, the Blackpool Council allow Bike Events to put on private coaches and trucks to ferry the cyclists back to Manchester, if that is from whence they came.
So if you want to see what it is like to have a lot of fit and slightly puffed out Mancunians enjoying the Sea Front of Blackpool, get yourself along to the annual Manchester to Blackpool bike ride and after party! It’s all for a good cause.