The Manchester 100


Sadly I’m not sure there’s many who’d sponsor me for a distance of 100 miles these days. But when my wife completed her Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge she did so under the guidance of another group who had arranged their charity walk for the same day. This group was the Joining Jack Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (registered charity number 1148156) and their website can be found here.

They are very ambitiously planning to recruit 500 riders to complete the Manchester 100 (a ride organised to raise funds for Christies) and are asking riders to attempt to raise £100 each to bring in a massive £50,000 for the Joining Jacks charity. So my wife turned to me and asked if it was possible to go from very occasional rider to 100 miler before the 1st September. There’s also a 100km ride to fall back on so my answer was yes. Forgetting that we don’t get much time together between both working shifts and even less when the kids aren’t about. Usual parents stuff. So a challenge it’ll be then.

If you are interested this is a very good way to achieve your first cycling century. I never intended to go on about charity when I created the group as each have their own cause but this is the route I’ve gone down as it’s a charity event and I think that being part of a massive group would be fun. It’s a Relatively flat ride and very well supported. Lots of other riders to help keep the pace up. The amount they are asking you to raise is also just a little pestering of family and not going all out on the sponsor hunt. (I got a little disheartened by this when I cycled the Camino de Santiago, fundraising is haaaaard! Also took up so much time away from organising the ride!)

The event for joining jack is being organised via facebook and can be found here.

There’s a cycle shirt also for £33.50 (inc postage)

the description provided on Facebook for the event is here:

Thanks for your interest in the 100 mile bike ride for Joining Jack. We will be completing the Manchester 100 bike ride on 1st September 2013. This is a very well organised event which is marshalled from start to finish and has designated stop points for toilet breaks and food. There were 12 of us last year and was a very enjoyable day.
A few people have enquired about the nature of the route and I can assure you that the course is very flat. It is a cracking route which begins and ends at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester and does a loop around some of the quieter roads around Cheshire. Each turning point has a marshall to point you the right way and there were more than 8000 riders last year. Although the route is flat, a reasonable level of fitness will be required to complete the 100 mile course so get training!
To register for the ride please visit and find the Manchester 100 (link below) and go through the registration process. The cost is £19.50 plus any extras you may wish to add such as parking, tee shirts etc. It is worth checking the rules of the ride also there are a few worth noting (No under 16’s etc).
To register, follow this link
You should be aware that this event is largely associated with Christies Hospital and the registration process will ask how much you intend raise for that charity. That is a decision for you to make but you can tick a box entitled ‘other’ and state any amount you feel appropriate or do as I did, enter amount unknown as free text (I want my funds to go to Joining Jack).
Once you have registered you will be sent a race pack. This will include a race number etc which you will need to produce on the day of the ride.
You will need to start a fundraising page on and then join the justgiving team. Follow this link
Joining Jack are looking to add a cycling jersey to their clothing range. How good would it look to have100+ cyclists all wearing the logo on the day? That will be a matter for yourself but if they do add the jersey to their range, I will certainly get one for this ride.
I will keep updating Twitter @JJack100 with the numbers of riders committed etc. I have already registered with and the fundraising page is ready for you all to join me.
Lets make this something really special for Joining Jack.
Thanks again for your interest, it’s now time to step up to the plate.
Regards – Paul


How about some YouTube of the route (Thanks Andy!)



“The Struggle” descent from Kirkstone pass to Ambleside, The English Lake District.

Turn down the sound! I strapped my old iphone 3GS to the front of the bike with tape, made for a much cheaper version of many of the action cams I was looking at buying!

We’d picked the right day to go to the Lakes. swift 30ish miles and climbed Kirkstone Pass, something I’d been meaning to do for ages. OK we took the easy route of the three (I really wanted to descent to Patterdale and climb back that same way, to then take “The Struggle” to Ambleside but time was against us in that we had no idea how long the first ascent would take. So, this time we played it safe and got to travel a little further beyond Ambleside beyond Great Langdale and enjoyed a Latte at Sticklebarn Tavern before heading back alongside the river Brathay and Lake Windermere back to the van.

My progress in the last three months……

Bike the Camino de Santiago


How many times do you train for an event only to lapse in your fitness afterwards? On my return from the Camino I started to chill a little….. A few days off became a couple of weeks. Ok, I had a few bits of raw flesh needed healing but I also needed another goal. I’m not finished with this new (old) me thing yet! I had already stopped running after the great north run so had to be careful the daily grind didn’t suck up the time I needed to do at least some training….. Being as this was the start of November 2012 I was also thinking about drab, bleak, wet, cold winter……

But aside from all that, I’m not sure if the Olympics and the Tour de France had anything to do with it, but I noticed many people I knew were turning to cycling to get fit…

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A very real threat to all road cyclists and commuters. I think we can all tell a story about a near miss or three. Learning to negotiate lorries on the road is a fundamental must for cycle safety.

Cyclodelic Journal

LCC today released a video which aims to highlight the danger of lorries to cyclists.
According to research 50% of cyclist deaths are caused by lorries even though lorries only account for 5% of the traffic.
Please watch, pass on and stay safe.

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The Way of the Roses, Morecambe to Bridlington. May 2013.

 Way of the Roses cycle ride, 17th/19th May 2013

Distance: 274 km / 170 miles Passing through: E Yorks, Lancs, N Yorks, York


This ride is intended as a personal challenge. It’s a chance to push your fitness boundaries and take advantage of safety in numbers, due to the fact we are travelling as two groups ending on the same evening you’ll have the advantage of booking return transport for you and your bike if you need it. The two rides being organised by the group are as follows:

Ride 1: The three-day will set off from Morecambe on Friday the 17th May 2013 and arrive at Bridlington on the Sunday evening. (please follow the link for ride information. The password is the same as for this post.)

Ride 2: The one day will set off from Morecambe on the Sunday the 19th May 2013 and arrive at Bridlington on the Sunday evening. (all information for this ride will be kept on this page)

You can ride for charity, you can ride for yourself. Ride for a holiday or ride for fitness. Book alongside us now to avoid sleeping on the beach and having to ride back again!

Plan your Travel, the beginning and the end.

Throughout I will make only suggestions for accommodation. In the interests of keeping the group together so that transferring to the guest houses and meeting for a meal will be as fuss free as possible. Please feel free to ignore me. This is your journey, stay where you’d like and make this adventure your own, all I ask is that you are fit enough and willing to ride as part of the group and ride with a team attitude to help and support the others.

Morecambe. The Start.


For those looking to stop a night at Morecambe, The Berkeley Guest house is ideally situated for the start point. They make a point of advertising the fact, selling water bottles, maps and providing bike storage for guests. The parking in this area is free on-street. The guest houses in this area are also ideal as a short wheel spin from the train station.

Getting back to the start.

I’ve had to remove the return travel. The company I’d arranged has taken on other bookings now, this meant that although they could still do the trip for us, they’ve pushed back any departure time to 1pm. It’s also doubtful tge correct size vehicle would be available.

So, myself and Glen are going to cycle back the next day. Anyone fancy this? You’re welcome to join us! Alternatively I’m told the train links are quite good from Bridlington. I’m returning to Morecambe because I’ll need to pick up my van!

Bridlington. The Finish.


I know very little about Bridlington but I’ve gone for a Guest House on the more quiet south shore. It’s just over a mile from the finish but knowing me I’ll probably want to cycle along the sea front when I get there no matter what the time or weather. The guest house is the South Lodge and its 300 yards from the sea front. Secure storage for the bikes and they have doubles and twins available. the cost is £62.50 for a room (quote the Cyclists Emporium) The South Lodge have rated highly on tripadvisor.

If you need to “BUDDY UP” for any accommodation but are currently riding alone, email me on I will add your details to this post and shout about it until you get a suitable offer!

The evening meal, Sunday. On arrival in Bridlington.

Will we be there in time to get booked in and out for a meal? I’m not sure but it’s a goal to aim for! Either way I’m looking for restaurants able to take a group. How about Yip’s Chinese Restaurant Near the Spa Theatre? they have an upstairs room suitable for a group.


  • For an event like The Way of the Roses, you’ll have at least some experience of road cycling and be of general good fitness.
  • This is a tough, road cycling challenge and it’s recommended that you only undertake the event on a well-maintained and serviced cycle with slick tyres. Learn to maintain and repair!
  • Use the Facebook group to ask for help and post your training statuses. You’ll find a lot of support if you only ask!
  • Train with the kit you will be using on the challenge – now is the time to find equipment that works or discover if it will fail.


If you’re intending on raising some money for your chosen charity, then a lot of time will be spent on the lead up to the ride raising awareness and leaning on your nearest and dearest for donations. If you need help with this try the how2fundraise website  also obtain the details of your local charity fundraising manager and arrange to meet. Some are definitely better than others. my advice is to get as much organising done now as closer to the ride you’ll be spending more time training! Setting up a training blog is a great way for people to follow your progress and reward your determination. It’s always a good way to look back and see the differences as you get fitter and faster!

Your charity will provide fundraising packs and T-shirts. If you want something “Emporium” specific then how about these? Email me your charity’s logo and I’ll incorporate it into a design.

The Route.

For route information also see this site. There is also some good information about rail links.

The way of the Roses is a new cycle route going coast to coast from Morecambe to Bridlington which is also available for walkers. It is split into three major sections.

1. Morecambe – Cracoe 47 Miles (76 km)
This western section which is largely level and traffic-free, runs from Morecambe’s promenade (and the Irish Sea) to Lancaster’s riverside before heading up the Lune Valley to the Crook O’Lune viewpoint. Country lanes then traverse the hilly Forest of Bowland and southern Dales terrain to Cracoe. The climb out of Settle is the toughest of the whole route.

2. Cracoe – York 62 miles (99 km)
From Cracoe, the route is undulating before reaching the River Wharfe at Burnsall, where the road climbs onto Nidderdale moorland and the highest point of the route (402m/1312’) at Greenhow. Heed the warning signs for the descent into Pateley Bridge. After a final steep climb to Brimham Rocks, gradients start to ease to Ripon. The Vale of York and the riverside path into the city are generally flat.

3. York – Bridlington 61 miles (98 km)
Leaving York, cycle lanes and traffic-free paths lead to Pocklington at the Wolds edge. The road then winds up a dry valley, before sloping gently down to Driffield and onto Burton Agnes. The route then rises up onto Woldgate Roman Road with the views of the North Sea, before descending through Bridlington’s Old Town for a spin along the promenade where you can see the white cliffs of Flamborough Head.

Training blogs.

Alison is riding on the three-day Way of the Roses event. Her blog is brilliant and so far you can clearly see how much effort she’s putting in. overcoming everything winter can throw at her!

Please send me your training blog links and I’ll add them to here!


Item 1, We need volunteers for support vehicles! If you know anyone who would like to get involved, if your partners would like to be there but aren’t up to pedalling the distance then let me know. Some riders may wish to have equipment taken along for them, change of clothes for the end of the day etc.

Item 2, For the self-sufficient amongst us we are looking into the postage of a change of clothing to the final stop over to allow fresh non cycling clothing to travel home in. More about this shortly.

Please use the form below to register that you are going on this ride, ask any questions, request\answer an item in the announcements, etc.

British Cycling. How cycling proficiency should be.

Since starting to commute I’ve noticed the massive change in the roads in only the few years I’ve been out of the game, so when my daily journey took me through both Salford and Manchester city centres I had to “up” my game instantly to be accounted for amongst traffic. I’ve always ridden quite confidently (and some would say aggressively) so my style has always been to own the road and force other road users to treat me as a vehicle, not an object they need to avoid clipping with their wing mirrors without the inconvenience of having to slow down and shave seconds off their own precious arrival times.

So, the days are gone when we lined up with the other children on our ill fitting bikes, day-glo (high-vis) belts on all waiting to wobble from the kerb into the danger zone of the “actual” road to effect a right turn, arm outstretched whilst the trainer/tutor is stood in the road of the silent housing estate they’ve taken you to. The old cycling proficiency and the highway code’s references to cycling is out of date and in many cases dangerous in its advice. We should be asking what do we need to be teaching the cycling youth of today so that they take this knowledge and patience into their driving days?

I find that because today’s cycle riding on roads takes much more skill than it used to, for self preservation’s sake, cyclist who learn properly are considerably better off for it and those who don’t start to justify shooting red lights and riding pavements to keep themselves away from traffic. A move which only gets cyclists a bad name and promotes less patience from drivers.

I remember finding the British Cycling website and it’s effective riding pages. It’s good practice many of us have been using for years, I think it should be thrust under the eyes of anyone picking up a bike or driving a vehicle amongst cyclists.

Here are some quotes and links to the pages:

Cycling Proficiency served the cycling community well for many years. It was based on the concept of safety for cyclists being afforded by separation from motorized traffic. The constant refrain from former instructors and ‘seasoned’ riders was “get over to the left – keep out of the way of the traffic”. This was all very well in the halcyon days of quiet country roads, not so many motor vehicles and greater numbers of people riding bikes.
On today’s roads with much higher volumes of traffic, being driven by seemingly less patient drivers, cyclists need a whole new set of skills, in fact a completely different way of thinking, in order to ride effectively, and thereby safely, in and with the motoring fraternity. To put it simply, they need to think and behave like advanced drivers. They need to take their rightful place on the road – integrated with the rest of the traffic.

In Effective Traffic Riding, we look at the fundamental principles of road positioning, filtering in traffic and dealing with roundabouts
Part 1 – Primary and Secondary Positions
Part 2 – Filtering in Traffic
Part 3 – Roundabouts

Snow ride, Rivington, Lancashire. The stepping stones.

The 13 mile circuit we took. When you climb with downhillers, sometimes using a footpath is appropriate!

The 13 mile circuit we took. When you climb with downhillers, sometimes using a footpath is appropriate!

My own description for this ride. The Stepping Stones. Half way between the Great Hill and the carpark which serves Rivington Road at it’s highest point start great stone slabs which “float” on the boggy ground on the moors. They stretch for a couple of miles and are fun to ride on in all weathers, slab bridges and steps. rewarded eventually by the very technical downhill stretch into White Coppice. Our version of this route lasted 13 miles and we rode downhill Orange Patriot bikes equipped with full gears to enable the slow steady plug up the hills. Great coffee stop at Rivington lower barn. Couldn’t have asked for better weather.

































Welcome, Stay a while…..

biketreeSo you found me, right at the beginning. On the top there will be names, as someone contributes by sharing a little of their own world I want to fill those tabs with profiles, links to peoples blogs and pictures of members of this little group just putting a cycle in their lives. It’ll be fun. It better be or I’m not playing anymore. But it’ll also be something to look at and inspire on those days you just can’t get out and turn the pedals….

So are you willing? you can blog an article or I’ll reblog one of yours, just write a little profile like I’ve done, so that the group can grow. Oh and photos, we all like photos…..