Manchester-Blackpool on Sunday

Is anyone else doing it?

I met a guy a couple of weeks ago whilst riding the prom. He was on a bike, I was on the semi-coker. He said he unicycled and some people in his club were doing it. Is that close enough?

Maybe next year, when I’ve built up some mileage on the beast.


There’s a huge group of us doing it!

Chris Dobbie, Alan Chambers, Mark Wiggins, Paul Royle, Phil Himsworth, Roger Davies, Sam Dobbie , Sam Wakeling, Steve Colligan, and Me, obviously…

I think thats the list, its taken from the e-mails that have been sent around since SSMM.


Ah cool!

That’s quite a contingent eh!

Well there’ll be myself and possibly Pete coming too so there’s two more.

But will you be meeting us and riding with us? 12 unicyclists would be awesome!


Manchester to Blackpool ride (UK)

For the ones that don’t know about this - it’s a ride from the centre of Manchester to the seaside town of Blackpool (60 miles away by road).

It’s the North West of England’s largest bike ride and attracts on average 4500 riders. Living in Manchester I feel compelled to do this annual ride each year. Wendy & I first started doing this ride on our tandem, switching to the Coker 4 years ago. This will be my 5th year doing the ride on the one wheel. I was the only unicyclist out of the 5000+ riders that first year. Since then our numbers have been growing steadily to the 10 Cokers we have this year (not counting Kit & Pete). Most of the names above have also done this ride several times before.

Wendy & I are heavily involved in the 24hr race scene (unicycling of course) and each year we invite everyone that’s been involved in Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem (SSMM) to our place for a weekend of partying, followed by the annual charity bike ride to Blackpool on the Sunday. Hence me not posting anything on this forum.

This ride is for everyone of course and we certainly won’t exclude anyone that turn up for it. The riders above will all be riding Coker’s with either 110 or 125 cranks (certainly nothing longer). I certainly wouldn’t recommend riding anything smaller than a Coker, otherwise you’d be getting into Blackpool after everyone had gone home.

Sunday morning (16th July) we’ll be outside G-Mex (400 metres from the start at Albert square) at 7.15am. The usual sorting of ourselves out and that Kodak moment will take place :smiley: :smiley: before we head to the start at 7.30. Yes, this is early, but we don’t go quite as fast as the ‘two wheeled’ ones, unless your name is Roger, Des and Sam W.

Kit & Pete: if you’re definitely coming along then let me know so that I can get Wendy to put some extra food and drinks in the van for you. You’ll have to sort yourselves out with transport back to Manchester though, as we won’t have room in the van. Incidentally, you can register for the ride on the day if you need to. The organisers (Bike Events) run buses from the finish back to Manchester and cost £18.50 for one person and their bike/uni. The last bus leaves at 5pm and will need to be booked in advance.

If you are coming along then I’ll be able to finally return your wrist guards Pete (if I can remember where they are :thinking: )

So it looks like we could be up to 12 Cokers… :sunglasses: , or more. Yes, it would be awesome. Hope you can make it.

Kit: 60 miles will be a stroll in the park for you after your recent exploits… :roll_eyes:

Change of subject for Kit and Pete: Hope you’ll both be at the next hockey tournament in Manchester in September and November??


That’s great! Steve, just double checking, it’s OK to book the bus back to Manchester on the day? Will the registration desk be manned as early as 7.00?

Well, I shall definitely be there, Pete’s still making his mind up. But i’m sure he’d appreciate those wrist guards whether he turns up or nay.

Hockey tournament, yep…Shall be there like bears. I shall try to get to Denton for a bit of a practise before hand too.

How fast do you ride?

Is it something I could realistically build up to riding next year?


Last year I averaged just over 11mph while riding. I wasn’t the fastest (by a fairly long way - see Steve’s post above) but I wasn’t slowest either. The ride took about 8 hours so there was a fair bit of stopping, resting, faffing.

If you can average between 9 and 11 mph and you can build up to riding 6 hours in a day (it’s a saddle soreness issue as much as anything) then it’s a realistic prospect. If you’re prepared, and able, to put in lots of hours of training (or riding as some people call it) then I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do it.

Read up on endurance training, check out the unitours website, make a plan to build up your mileage gradually, eat well and find a riding buddy (slow cyclists are good), find some good long rides on minor roads and cycle paths with scope for tea shop and pub stops - keep morale high :slight_smile:

You’ll need to get experience of long rides (4 or more hours) and how to get enough fuel into your muscles. You’ll have to eat pretty constantly on the longer rides to keep going and you need to find food that works for you - soreen and jelly babies are a good starting point!

Possibly speak to your GP and get a check up to be safe - “always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program”

It’s worth switching to cranks shorter than 150mm if you’re riding long distances because it makes it easier to maintain a high average speed. Most people use 125mm (or shorter), but 140mm will help a bit. It takes time to get confident on 125s on a Coker, and they’re not great on BIG hills, but for general riding I love them.


Just a starting point? With a decent supply of soreen and jelly babies you could ride forever!


i might come, but I’ll probably kill myself, pushing around 20miles atm. And it is saddle soreness.

I even go completely numb at some points.

Let me check my diary, anyone got spare 125’s for coker as i’m on 175’s :frowning:

Hi Zippy,

You’re more than welcome to come and join us and give it a go, but if you don’t ride long distances already, then riding 60 miles on cranks 2" shorter than you’re use to might not be such a good idea. There’s also a good chance that you’ll be riding alone after a while, as all the riders coming along ride long distances already, or do 24hr races and are competent on the shorter cranks (ie will be going a little faster).


i had plenty to give after it and i didn’t eat once on the trip. As for shorter cranks, that’s not a issue, as i ride 3 diff unis with 3 diff cranks. Would only take me 5min to get orientated.

Only prob is i don’t have pullers or 125’s :frowning:

I phoned them today and you can book the bus back when you register first thing Sunday morning. I did forget to ask from what time, but will certainly be open by the time we get there. Incidentally, the last bus back will be 5.30pm now and not 5pm.

If it’s just yourself coming along, then we can squeeze one more (and Coker)in the van back to Manchester. If Pete’s also coming along, then you’ll both have to take the bus I’m afraid.

Must let you know that the DUC closes in-line with school Summer hols and will be shutting in two weeks time.

Let me know if Pete’s coming or not won’t you?


Hi Zippy,

It’d be great if you could join us. I’ve got a crank extractor and possibly another set of 125 cranks. Just in case I don’t (I need to look in the garage) does anyone else have a spare set Zippy could use?

One certain way is to phone Roger and get him to bring a pair with him. It’ll only take us a couple of mins to swap your cranks.

Hope to see you there. As mentioned above, we’ll be outside G-Mex at 7.15 Sunday morning. I think you’ll recognise us! Let us know if you’re definitely coming and I’ll give you my mobile number.

yeah I’m up for it as long as if i crash and burn i can hitch a lift in the van to Blackpool if that’s ok. I’ll talk to roger see if he’s got some 127’s in ano black.

Ther’s no problem having a lift to Blackpool in the van if needed - just don’t eat all the goodies in there:p . You’ll need to register and book the bus back to Manchester once at the start in Albert Square, as Kit/Pete will also be doing. I’ll PM you my mobile number.

Sorry if my first post seemed a little negative. I didn’t want you (or anyone else) thinking the ride was going to be a stroll in the park.

See you there.

i didn’t think it’s be a stroll in the park, but i wont need a lift bk to manc, i’ll get picked up in blackpool :slight_smile:

Just gotta check with roger if he got them cranks i want in.

Steve: Shall know for sure on the morrow whether or not Pete’ll be in attendance. Regards lifts etc whether I end up coming alone and hitching back with you guys or whether it’s myself and Pedro heading back macc-ward dans le bus it’ll be an entertaining journey.

See you Sunday! :slight_smile:

time to feel the pain baby, coz i’m deff coming :smiley: