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 actually 114km but you should think of those extra kilometres as 14% Value Added Travel.
For a shorter version, see the
mini-Manchester Sightseer 60
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.
Lowry's matchstick men at Daisy Nook Fair
The ride can be started from Sale Water Park or Daisy Nook, 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, even across Chat Moss 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.
Alan Turing takes a break with Darryl and Gary
Railway viaducts at Castlefield may have
destroyed the roman fort, but note the
The pillar box that survived an IRA bomb
Some Useful Café Suggestions:
Stables Cafe near the Hall, also Garden Centre Cafe
many cafes along the route
several cafes, including Costa
cafe at the Velodrome, and Starbucks
cafe at the visitor centre
plenty of choice
Sale Water Park,
Tree Tops Cafe