Manchester is home to British Cycling, with Chris Boardman as its Cycling Commissioner, and it prides itself as a cycling-friendly city. Here is a safe and interesting bike ride taking in some of the history and culture of this great city.
It's only 60km, so for a longer version, see the
Manchester Sightseer 100
It is also place of amazing achievements, as Tony Walsh's poem
This is the Place
reminded us but it also has a dark side, with abject poverty and poor health. This ride takes in some, but by no means all, of the sights.
Canals, railways and cyclists meet
on the site of Manchester's Roman fort
The ride can be started from Sale Water Park where there is free parking, or at Heaton Park (Pay & Display). Alternatively, you could arrive by train and start from one of several stations on the ride (although non-folding bikes are not allowed on the trams). It's probably best to avoid match day at City or United. You wouldn't want to be on the isolated sections at night.
The ride has all been ridden on a road bike with 23mm tyres but, if you have one, a gravel bike might be the preferred choice, as the route includes some canal towpaths and some unsurfaced cycle-paths. Manchester is very much 'work in progress' and you may well find the route is a hard hat and Hi-Viz area, so take a map.
Don't forget to carry a good lock with you in case you decide to stop along the way at a café.
The ride is best done by e-Brevet but can still be ridden the traditional way with a Brevet Card and collecting till receipts.
Headquarters of British Cycling at SportCity
Manchester skyscrapers in the haze
from Salford Quays
Willow trees (salix) alongside the River
Irwell gave Salford its name
Some Useful Café Suggestions:
Stables Cafe near the Hall, also Garden Centre Cafe
many cafes along the route
cafe at the Velodrome, and Starbucks
Sale Water Park,
Tree Tops Cafe