BHF - Manchester to Blackpool Overnight 5/6th Oct 2019

NickWi

Über Member
Hi All,
Anyone else doing the above ride? Plus, a few questions to those that have done it before as I can see there have been a couple of post about previous events.

i. BHF offer a coach service & bike transportation service. The BHF blurb says your bike will be transported on a separate lorry and they'll provide protective wrapping for your bike and it's up to you to ensure it's protected. That kind of sounds to me they're just stacked one against the next rather than secured in proper bike racks. Anyone used it and if so any comments?

ii. What facilities are there at either end? By the sounds of it there might be some hanging around involved and it's both the middle of the night and October.

iii. Similarly, what about food & drink and the quality of the pit stops?

iv. Actually riding through the night. I've never done an overnight ride before and whilst the actual ride, distance and riding in the dark bit doesn't bother me, I've never ridden a 2 o'clock in the morning. I presume caffine will become my newest friend! Any tips from seasoned Dunwich Dynamo pros?

Any other tips, comments or experiences from those that have done this in the past would be gratefully appreciated.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
1. Yes, they will be stacked against each other - this is a BHF ride !

2. You may be able to buy food from traders who are likely to be at the finish.

3. Take your own or cash - only get water supplied on the BHF Manchester 100.
 

Bazzer

Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
I haven't done this ride, but the route looks far easier that the Fridays ride from Manchester to Blackpool. A handful of tips from me;
Make sure your bike is ready. Although the route seems to be on more major roads, having to fix a bike at 2am is a bummer. Have a look at the Fridays web site https://www.fnrttc.org.uk/how-to-prepare about preparing your bike.
Try to get some sleep beforehand, even if for only a couple of hours. Adrenaline can only get you so far.
Fuel just as you would for any other ride. The first rest stop is Bamber Bridge FC, but so far as I can see, whilst the pictures show food, water, toilets and first aid available, the FAQs don't say what is being provided. It may be that it is little more than a rest stop rather than a refuelling point. Personally I would plan on being self sufficient for both food and water, but for a 54 miler, over 7 hours, with 350 metres of climbing, I would have thought a couple of sandwiches and/or snacks along with a couple of bottles of fluid would be more than adequate, but obviously you will know you own body better.
It's in October, so expect it to be cold and possibly wet, so clothe accordingly. Even if your normal riding speed keeps you warm, you will be with many others and likely to be riding more slowly than normal. - The plan suggests around 8mph for the first 30 miles and depending upon how how the ride is organised and the capabilities of the participants, you may be making frequent stops while back markers catch up.
 
There is normally a stop at Blackrod (A school iirc) that will have water and a few bits and bobs, the next one is at Bamber bridge. They have hot drinks and food available to buy.
At the finish there is hot food and drink available to buy and they have had a couple of marquee tents with heaters inside to shelter from the weather. A couple of years ago they made the blackpool tower ballroom available as long as you took of your shoes!
The route is pretty flat. A steady climb from Manchester to Chorley and then a long down hill to Bamber bridge and then flat to Blackpool. Just be aware that you normally get a head wind from Preston to Lytham and then Blackpool that can be quite severe.e ridiii
The ride is not as popular as the day ride, so it is not as congested, but it can be a little busy on the A6 for the first 15 miles or so and overtaking can be difficult as there is still a bit of traffic at that time of night that cannot overtake all the cyclists (Some drivers can be a little short on patience but this is normally sorted by the time you reach Chorley)
There is a lot of waiting at the start as they send people of every few minutes in waves of about 20., so for the last few years I have not bothered with the official start and just meet up with a few friends clse to the start and make our way out onto the ride half a ile from the start. I normally ride back to make it a round 100mile ride.
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
If you don't get there early you'll end up behind a load of slower, and often wobbly, riders who've been set off in earlier waves.

but ....

If you go to fast ( :becool: ) you end up arriving before the stalls have been set up.

Not sure about the food/drink/rest stops as I've never actually stopped. When I've ridden it, but not recently, it's become an 'out and back' 100-miler.

I'm not riding this year as it's my club hillclimb the next day. For those who are - enjoy the ride.
 

Twinks

Senior Member
Hoping to do this ride but wonder if a small donation is acceptable instead of fundraising as have done a few fundraisers and feel I can't keep on asking folk for money. Does anybody else do that?
 
OP
NickWi

NickWi

Über Member
Well, to say that didn't go well is a bit of an understatment!

I'd decided to go to Blackpool first, use thier coach service to the start them ride back, and then to the hotel my better half was staying at. So far so good, apart from the weather forecast for heavy rain, but hey, I've got waterproofs I thought to myself.

We got to my hotel in Blackpool and as predicted for the last 48hrs it was raining. Come 9.00pm I rode the two miles to the meeting point to catch the coach to the start in Manchester, loaded the bike on to the trailer, found a seat on the coach and their we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. All the time it was well and truely pi**ing down.

The guy booking us into the coach was constantly on his phone 'awaiting instructions to release us' he kept saying, then at about 10.20pm he came back to the bus to tell us the event had been cancelled. The reason he said was that the Emergency Services had told them the weather was too bad, (and although he didn't say as such I suspect the H&S brigade and Insurance Company had a say in it was well).

I was lucky, I was inside a coach with the heater on, air blowing while we waited and for me it was only a couple of miles ride back to a warm & dry hotel room. I gather the people in Manchester didn't fair so well. Heavy rain, little shelter and not a lot of communication from the organisers is what Facebook says. This left a lot of people stranded in Manchester as thier partners had dropped them off in Manchester, but then driven to a B&B or Hotel in Blackpool in anticipation of meeting them in the morning. I gather quite a few rode the route anyway as they didn't have much choice in the matter only to find all the signage had been taken down, the pit stops packed up & gone. As you can imagine Facebook is full of rather disapointed, negative and in some case dammed right angry comments.

So, to answer my own questions, unfortunately I can't, well only one. The bike are loaded onto a curtain sided lorry. You're given a couple of metres of bubble wrap to 'protect' your bike, but they're just stacked against each other with a tie down strap over the lot.
 
Everyone I was going to ride with bailed out before the event. I was still going to do the ride when I was informed it was cancelled. Fortunately, I was still at home and warm and dry!
 
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