2024 Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride

July 9, 2024
It is that time of the year again, and it seems to have come around remarkably quickly. The ride is on Sunday the 14th of July, and once again covers around 60 miles from Manchester to Blackpool.


My entry number this year is 1171 and probably indicates my position in the overall finishing times too! As many readers will know, I have never claimed to be either super fit or super speedy, and therefore I save myself the angst of worrying about what time I cross the finish line or whether I've  beaten anyone. Given that the event isn't a race, this is probably a good thing, and leaves me to simply concentrate on completing the ride in one piece, with no serious injuries to myself or my faithful steed (still going strong) and hopefully up to the task. As always, I'm more concerned with my performance than the bike's because one can only prepare the bike so much, and take necessary precautions against failure so far. Anything else is inviting a nervous breakdown and risks spoiling the day!


This year, due to my friend Les being indisposed, I will not have lift back from Blackpool, and will be getting the coach back to Manchester, while my bike travels with several hundred others, in the back of a large lorry. It's been a while since I had to do this so I suppose I've been a bit spoiled, and will have to remember the number one rule about loading bikes up for the return journey, which is Never put your bike in first and always try to get loaded near the back of the vehicle! The other consequence being that I have to ride the additional miles home from Manchester to Bury, which can be a bit daunting when one is already tired.


The reason is simply that at the other end, if your machine went in at the front, it's going to be last to be unloaded, and you're going to have to wait for it! You only make this mistake once-unless you're a glutton for punishment that is.


As always, I enter the ride for two reasons, to prove that I can still do it and to raise funds for Three Owls. For the record, in all the years I have been doing this, and this will be the 35th time, I have never made a penny from my efforts, and in fact it costs a fair bit to enter and pay for return transport.


I am always grateful for the backing of Three Owls supporters, and to those who choose not to support my efforts for personal reasons, I  can only say it is Three Owls which suffers the loss, not me. I will put the effort in regardless, and if you feel this worthy of your support, we will appreciate it.


I will of course furnish a follow up piece after the event (assuming I'm in fit shape to do so!) and thank those of you who still support my efforts in advance.


John Thorpe




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