Sunday, 5 September 2010

Manchester 100 2010

"Bloody hell, my Garmin's just died". These were my opening words at the start line of this years Manchester 100, where I was aiming to beat my previous time of 6hrs and 36 mins. No Garmin, meant no ride stats, so not the start I wanted.

We went off at 7.00am sharp, which meant up out of bed at 05.30am to get there on time and it was a good day in the saddle, with my time ending up at 5hrs 58mins (knocking 38 minutes off my previous time). Number of observations about today, bulleted for ease of reading and in no particular order.

  1. Ade, Ant and Martin (fellow North Cheshire Clarion cycling club members) went off at a blistering pace of around 23mph! Those boys were up for it today.
  2. Bike felt great. New straight post and set-up is absolutely spot-on.
  3. Bit of a tale of two halves today, wind really picked up on the back fifty which meant the going was hard at times.
  4. No group hand signals from the large number of participants meant that dodging potholes at a seconds notice was order of the day.
  5. Rode the event with fellow North Cheshire Clarion club member Sarah, who was great company. I opted to ride the wind for the bulk of the back fifty in order to get under the six hour limit. Sarah was very patient with me constantly asking for ride stats due to my goosed Garmin 705 (which is still poorly)!
  6. Had plenty to eat and drink on the bike today, so didn't "bonk " albeit the legs started to feel a little heavy on the back twenty.
  7. Traffic got busy when the 100KM route merged with the 100 mile route. Lot's of people on mountain bikes riding at a much slower pace, so quite a bit of traffic dodging to do.
  8. Sarah and I really put the hammer down in the last ten miles to come under the six hour target, we were dropping everyone!
  9. Enjoyed a post-ride massage (see pic).
  10. Enjoyed a post-ride Roast dinner at the pub this evening!
I've only one complaint about this ride really and that's to do with timekeeping. On most other decent sportives, timing is done electronically. Riding the Cheshire Cat recently, you're issued with electronic tags and you have to ride over tagging mats, which means you get your time properly logged (by doing this means the ride qualifies towards club standards awards). At this event, you have to keep your own time, which I think is pretty poor given the £17 entry fee.

All in all, I think I could have gone faster today and this gives me encouragement for next year where I'll aim to go under 5hrs 30mins. Coming up later this month is the Tour of Britain stage that I've entered in Stoke, that should be a humdinger with a lot more hills in. That will be a big challenge for me but I'm up for it.

You can see the route for the Manchester 100 below.


  1. I can remember my first M100. The group I was in set off at like you did at 22-25mph. By the time we got to the stop at the half way point my legs were shot. The return 50 with dead legs was aggonisingly hard work.

    Sub 6hrs sounds blisteringly quick to me.

  2. Great times there Phil, I'm impressed.
    I never really thought about pointing out potholes to people on an organised ride. I will do so in future!
    I feel sad for missing the Manchester 100 this year, but there's no way I could have done it after just completing the 600 miles earlier in the week. Well, I could have, but I don't think my body would have thanked me.
    The tour of Britain stage rides looks superbly well organised, with proper maps and gpx to download. Even annotated profiles. I think I'll probably sign up, but I'm not sure if I'll go for the 100 or not...

  3. I did my first 100 last summer (the York100) and came in at 6-06. I was gutted that I hadn't made it under my target 6hrs but I think we'd fooled ourselves in the first 50 with a strong tailwind that it would be easy going. The second half, after a couple of hours at 20-25mph and now riding into a strong headwind were tough going.

    What I really regret is not fighting through that in the last ten or so miles to get in under that 6hrs. I knew when I stopped at the final feed station that if I got straight out again I'd make it but I rested for too long and lost momentum. Gutting.

    I need to do more sportives (and training) and really have a crack at some quick 100s.

  4. No timing Phil because this wasn't a Sportive it was a CHARITY RIDE !!!