Author Topic: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.  (Read 1505 times)

I'll also post some of this on Cycle Chat.

We missed the 2020 ride (for reasons........) but we're running it again this year.
The previous thread on yACF is here:-

The travel info from the thread is still relevant:-
"You'll need to get to either of Manchester's main stations (Piccadilly or Victoria) in time to ride to Victoria Station for a midnight departure to Blackpool.
Most trains back to home depart from Blackpool North station. There is a direct Avanti service to London Euston and Northern Rail run direct to Manchester. Other destinations are (probably) best served by travelling to Preston and changing there.
You must have bike reservations for Avanti and Trans Pennine Express. Northern don't care as long as you're not creating too much of an obstruction. If you're going to use another train co. please check their bike policy."

As is the route info:-
"It's hilly but most of the hills are long and not too steep although there are exceptions to this. It also means that the descents are the type where you can just let the bike go.
This year I'm going to cut out some of last year's gravel section as we exit Manchester; we'll use the best surfaced section of last year's route before we climb to Prestwich. It'll mean we have an extra climb but it'll keep us off potentially busy main roads and we do all the initial ascending in one go. The main road goes up and down several times.
The mid-way stop is at a 24 hour BP Garage on the outskirts of Blackburn. It has a shop (sandwiches, chocolate bars, fruit etc) and a coffee machine.
The final part of the ride takes us down Blackpool Prom to the Tower and drinks*. Taking the line of least resistance, it may well be a Wetherspoon's but I'm going to try very hard to find an alternative.
Whatever I come up with, it'll be a few minutes ride from Blackpool North.

A few final things to consider about the route; it's in the North and it goes up high on to the moors so there is the possibility of weather and not the good kind. We've had most things on previous rides including, briefly, snow. It's also been glorious all night......
We go through some remote areas so a bike failure could mean a long walk and/or an expensive taxi ride.
There tends to be a small group on this ride so everyone gets to know everyone else; we suffer and enjoy together.

Finally, we'll have a brief stop in Bury to remember jogler/Alan S.
I'll bring flowers."

What has changed is that I'll need to find another place for breakfast in Fleetwood since Frankie's and Bonnie's cafe has closed. IIRC, we got to Fleetwood just before 08.00. If anyone with local knowledge has any recommendations then please let me know.
I also need to check that the restaurant at Blackburn McDonald's is 24 hour and not just the drive through. Update: only the drive through is 24hr so we're going to a 24hr BP garage just around the corner (see above).
As for drinks in Blackpool after the ride I'll try to find somewhere with outdoor seating since I still don't fancy sitting indoors with loads of piss-heads slightly inebriated people. Again IIRC, we got to Blackpool at just before 10.00.

Read this:-  It contains the registration form.
If this is your 1st Friday's ride, you don't need to be a member of The Fridays (there's a "try before you buy" option) but you'll need to pay £2 in advance for the insurance.

Other stuff:-
As I've mentioned above, we often get weather on the ride as evidenced by this video (courtesy of Josh, one of the Chorlton(CH) massive):-

Surprisingly, Josh is still talking to me. Whether he shows up for this year's ride is another matter...........

Also, as I've said in the past, depending on numbers and if the tides are favourable, we'll take the ferry across from Knott End to Fleetwood. If it's not running or we're too big a group, we'll follow the "standard" route into Fleetwood.

Finally, the Strava for 2020:- and the Cycle Chat thread for 2019:-

If you've got any questions please just ask.

ETA: I've just realised that Avanti have taken over the WCML franchise from Virgin. I've corrected it above.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #1 on: 11 August, 2021, 08:56:50 pm »
Hmmm. tempting.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #2 on: 11 August, 2021, 09:23:24 pm »
I certainly hope you can make it yoav, it would be good to see you again.
Can you persuade Mrs yoav* as well ?  ;D

*I can remember her name, I don't want to advertise it to the interwebs.

In other news, I'll be making some announcements tomorrow about slight changes to the ride.
A recce of the Manchester-Blackburn part of the route highlighted some issues.
I'll be checking out the Manchester end tomorrow because I think it'll be best if I change the start point.



  • Timelord
Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #3 on: 11 August, 2021, 11:20:00 pm »
Alas not, even if I wasn't wary of trains, as I'll be in don't-get-covid-before-barakta's-hip-surgery mode.  Again.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #4 on: 13 August, 2021, 02:23:41 pm »
I've modified the original post to include new information (based on a recent recce ride).

We're going to depart from Manchester Victoria Station: the town hall is having a lot of work done on it and Albert Square is fenced off plus Deansgate is an absolute mess and very difficult to cycle down.
The station is under cover, has a pub open until midnight and easy access to the route out of the city centre.
I suggest meeting inside near the tram tracks in front of Java Coffee Bar.

When you're cycling to the start, please be aware of the tram tracks on the roads.

I'm planning to recce Blackburn-Fleetwood-Blackpool next week so I'll post further updates then.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #5 on: 13 August, 2021, 10:18:46 pm »
I’ve barely been on a bike in the last 18 months, you’d have to drag me up the hills, so I won’t be there.  :(
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #6 on: 30 August, 2021, 03:43:46 pm »
From CycleChat:-


In other news (I'll expand on this after tomorrow when I'm doing a further recce), we're on for the ferry from Knott End to Fleetwood. Finally the tides are working in the ride's favour.
From their FB page and a message to me:-
"This weeks sailing times: 30th August- 5th September 2021 Monday 7.45- 8.45 STOP 1.15-17.45 Tuesday 0745 - 0945 STOP 1345 - 1745 Wednesday 0745 - 1115 STOP 1445 - 1745. Thursday 0745 - 1245 STOP 1615 - 1745. Friday 0745 - 1315 Saturday 0745 - 1345 Sunday 0745 - 1445 The Ferry will set sail quarter past and quarter to the hour from Fleetwood. Due to low tides the ferry will be suspended on some days (see timetable) Passenger Fares (each way): Passengers(including OAPs, Adults and children): £2 Babies: £1 Bikes: £0.50p Dogs: £0.50p We do not offer return tickets. Launch Fares: Boat: £8.50 Jet Ski: £6.50 Cash Only. We do not accept card payments"

I've put the relevant bits in Bold. Please note the cash only requirement. to knott end ferry

So far 13 have signed up with two more of the Chorlton(CH) Massive to do so.

The ferry have also told me that they can accommodate 15 riders and bikes. If we exceed that number they'll come straight back after dropping the 1st lot off."

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #7 on: 31 August, 2021, 09:08:00 pm »
Andrew, due to various things going on in my life right now, I won't be coming this year. Sorry.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #8 on: 01 September, 2021, 04:16:55 pm »
I'm sorry too yoav, it would have been good to see you.
I hope you manage to sort out your "things" succesfully and that you can make it next year  :).

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #9 on: 01 September, 2021, 08:17:00 pm »
Latest and last major update (I hope):-

Start Victoria Station at midnight (earlier if everyone's there). Please arrive by 23.45 for the safety briefing. I'm planning to get there by 23.30. We'll meet inside, across from Java coffee bar.
The initial route out of Manchester is different to previous rides and there's a further difference where we go across Salford Wetlands.
We're using the 24hr Euro Garages BP station on Frontier Park services in Whitebirk, Blackburn for the mid-ride refreshment stop. It's just behind the McD's we've previously used. Getting there will involve some pavement cycling but that's safer and faster than going around the multi-lane roundabouts on the roads.
The garage has toilets and a well stocked shop: a coffee machine, sandwiches, pies(!), sweets, chocolate, fruit, soft drinks etc. There is no indoor seating unless they allow us to use  one of the (closed) franchises. I'd like to keep our stay there to 45 minutes. I visited at 02.30 this morning (you're welcome) and everything was available.
After the stop, we'll follow the previous route until just after Inglewhite where we'll cross the M6 to head through Bilsborrow, St. Michael's on Wyre and Pilling.
From Pilling we'll ride towards Fluke Hall and onto the “sea wall” towards Knott End and the ferry to Fleetwood.
From Inglewhite the route is very flat but is difficult in a headwind. Ask me how I know......
The ferry costs £2.50 for rider and bike (cash only, no card payments, please have the correct change).
From Fleetwood, we'll ride down the Prom to Blackpool for breakfast in the Layton Rakes:-
I'm sorry* it's a Wetherspoons but trying to deal with local cafes was eroding what is left of my soul.
On the plus side, it has outdoor seating and is very close to Blackpool North station.
It would be useful if some of you could make a note of the Layton Rakes' location. Once we get to Fleetwood I may send a faster group ahead to claim tables and bike parking space.

I'm hoping to get to the garage at 03.00.
Knott End at 07.45 (for the 1st ferry).
Layton Rakes at 09.00.

Some general HS&E announcements:-
There are tram tracks at both ends of the ride. Please cross them at as near to 90 deg. as possible or get off and walk.
Be careful of sand going down the Prom. If in doubt, get off and walk.
Some of the descents are fast; please ride within the limitations of your lights and talents. I'll issue a specific speed warning at one point. Please heed it.
We'll be regrouping for catch-ups or further, specific** H&S announcements. Many of these will be near houses so please keep the noise to a minimum.

Any questions, please ask.

Most importantly (after safety), we'll be stopping in Bury to remember alans/jogler. I'll bring flowers.

Please check your bike over paying particular attention to the tyres. The Friday's web site has useful information:-

Any volunteers for TECs ? Competence with mechanicals an asset !
Also, volunteers for way marking (not that there's much need; it's a very linear route and most of the turns are at natural re-grouping points).

tl:dr ?
No; get a drink, sit down and start at the very beginning. I'm told it's a very good place to start. Please pay particular attention to HS&E and bike prep stuff.

*I really am sorry but see above.
**See above again.

John Stonebridge

  • Has never ridden Ower the Edge
Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #10 on: 01 September, 2021, 09:47:43 pm »

Most importantly (after safety), we'll be stopping in Bury to remember alans/jogler. I'll bring flowers.

That's a very touching gesture.  Alan was a great friend to many of us in Audax Ecosse.   

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #11 on: 04 September, 2021, 09:41:49 pm »
Thanks John, it's something we always do on the ride. Last year, we rode out specially to leave flowers because the FNRttC didn't take place.
When I get chance, I'll get hold of the pictures from last night and post them.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #12 on: 05 September, 2021, 09:55:35 pm »
Sorry to have to link to CycleChat but I struggle to post pictures on here.

Scroll down:-

Flowers for Alan.

Re: Friday Night Ride to the Coast Manchester-Blackpool 3rd September 2021.
« Reply #13 on: 06 September, 2021, 08:40:20 pm »
Also posted on CycleChat:-

Since there was only one visit to A&E, I regard this as one of the less eventful Manchester FNRttC.
I'll report that first and then get onto the rest of the ride.

We got to the garage stop a little behind schedule and one of the group managed to bang his leg on a pedal causing a varicose vein to leak a lot of blood, mainly into his shoe. I didn't know anything was going on until I went back outside to get my Garmin and I found Zee applying pressure to the wound to try to slow down the bleeding. I took over applying the pressure while Zee got the first aid kit from the shop and attempted to stop the bleeding with more suitable dressings. We were only able to slow not stop the blood loss and every time his foot was put on the floor, the pressure caused the bleeding to start again. We decided that that he couldn't carry on and he needed to go to A&E to get the wound dressed properly. I managed to get a lift for him to Blackburn Royal from a visiting police officer and arranged for his bike to be left in the garage's stock room while Zee and the other medic on the ride tried to persuade him to go to A&E. Eventually he accepted the lift and we were able to continue with the ride.

Back to the beginning........
My evening didn't get off to the best start when wanda rang me to say she'd missed her train but had re-booked on a later one. I managed to get hold of CharlieB, McWobble and rob and asked them to wait longer at Piccadilly to meet wanda and ride over to Victoria together.

I met Helenb as arranged in Chorlton(CH) and we rode in together to meet the others and to wait for the wanda group. They arrived about 0.15 and we set off into the shambles that is Manchester city centre. I then managed to lose the back of the group after only a few minutes so there was a further delay while we tracked each other down.

After that it was plain sailing through Prestwich Forest Park and in to Bury where we stopped to remember alans/jogler and to leave flowers.
The climb up through Tottington was negotiated without incident as was the nasty dip before Edgworth. Climbing onto the moors, the wind increased a little and the temperature dropped but it was neither misty nor raining. Unfortunately the clouds meant that we couldn't see the stars. We had a short regrouping stop near the top of the climb and then another one when we hit the Grane Road.The descent to Guide and then Shadsworth pays back all the effort taken to get to the top and we arrived at the garage only about 15 minutes later than I'd anticipated.

As I'd hoped, we were able to sit in the empty Greggs with hot drinks and sandwiches. I preferred using the garage rather than the McDonald's that we've gone to previously and I'm tempted to continue going there even if McD's open the restaurant 24 hours again.
For reasons that should be clear from the “incident”, we spent about about 45 minutes longer at the stop that I'd intended so I was a little worried about what time we'd get to Knott End and hence Blackpool.

As it turned out, I needn't have worried too much. We made good progress even up the climb from Ribchester and through the lanes after Longridge. The “new” part of the route was also covered very quickly and I managed to realise that my Garmin was trying to lead me astray so consulting the OS map was required albeit only once. It's not a complicated route !

I particularly enjoyed the bit along the seawall where we saw black rabbits as well as alpacas and emus. Sadly there were no herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain but we had a sea view: it was between the land and the sky.

The Knott End ferry set off across from Fleetwood not long after we arrived but it only came part way across before it turned around. Cue much head scratching........ A phone call later and we were told that it would be coming across in a little while which it duly did. The group was only 9 strong by this stage so we fitted on easily and everyone appeared to have brought the correct change !On the other side, our trip down the Prom was interupted by the Park Run so we detoured for a short spell on the road before a triumphant arrival at the Wetherspoons. Sadly, because of the delays en route, Charlie had to go straight to the station to get his train but the rest of us were able to find outdoor seats and order breakfast and then beer. Alternatively, you could look at it all as “breakfast”.

After a multi-course “breakfast”, Helenb and I left to get a train leaving wanda to find her hotel and McWobble to plan his ride home.

Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come along and thanks for your excellent company.
Particular thanks to Zee and John for dealing with the “patient” at the garage and for persuading him to go to the hospital.

Fingers crossed that next year's ride is completely incident free.

I've e-mailed Euro Garages to praise the guy working in the shop and to thank him for looking after the bike.cyleChat:-