Manchester to London Challenge 2014 FAQ


Ride and raise money for autism

Held on the 7th September the Manchester to London Challenge is a unique one-day road cycling event taking riders through the heart of the UK. Setting off at dawn from Manchester Velodrome, the route will traverse the spine of central England over a 220 mile parcours finishing at London’s Olympic Park.

Email archive for riders

If you have just signed up for the challenge, or if you have perhaps missed one of the Manchester to London Challenge emails that Rapha has sent out.

  1. Email June 11 »
  2. Email June 25 »
  3. Email July 28 »


Q1. £750 is quite a lot of money, what if I fail to reach the target?

  • Our goal is to raise £250,000 for Ambitious about Autism and the suggested target of £750 per participant will help us reach it. That said you will not be kicked off the challenge if you fail to reach the target.

Q2. Where is my money going?

  • Your money will go towards securing a brighter future for young people with Autism. For more information about the charity, see here »

Getting to the ride

Q1. What do I need to take with me for the ride?

  • The ride is fully supported, however, if you have a preferred energy brand or any particular food that you enjoy whilst riding long distances, please bring enough with you. It’s also advisable to bring a spare inner tube with a pump and tyre lever for a quick fix. However, this is not essential as we will have mechanics en route.

Q2. Will the Manchester Cycle Club be selling ride bars and other food prior to the ride?

  • The Manchester Cycle Club will be offering a musette bag for all participants, which can be collected the day before, however there will be sufficient food on the route at the four feed stops.

Q3. Will there be any transport to the velodrome on the morning of the ride?

  • There will be no transport to the velodrome due to the scattered nature of riders locations and the fortunate nature of the velodrome being in a central location. There will be plenty of parking at the National Cycling Centre.

Q4. Are there any hotels you recommend in Manchester?

  • Manchester has many accommodation options. Some of the big hotels near the start are listed below.
    • Premier Inn Manchester Piccadilly (2 miles from start)
    • Travelodge ManchesterAncoats(2 miles from start)
    • Ibis Manchester (3 miles from start)
    • Holiday Inn Manchester Central Park (2 miles from start)

Q5. If I am cycling from a hotel, can I leave a bag with the organisers at the start?

  • Yes. Your bag will be shuttled half way along the route to a feed stop in case of bad weather, allowing the option to get into dry clothes, and from there your bag will be taken to the finish in Stratford.

The Ride

Q1. What if I have a mechanical issue between two feed stops and the light is fading?

  • The ride will have plenty of mechanics available, either based at the feed stops or on the route itself. There will be numerous support vehicles dotted along the course and all vehicles will be contactable.

Q2. What happens if I am unable to finish?

  • All riders will finish. We will advise on time checks at each feed stop and if we feel that you need to be ‘bumped’ up the course, we will discuss that with you. You may want to ride past a certain point on the course so can choose where you are bumped up, however, in all circumstances any riders falling short of the time checks will be driven further up the course towards London.

Q3. I’ve never ridden 220 miles in a single day before. Realistically, can I complete the challenge if I have only ever ridden 100 miles in a day?

  • Yes, however it would be advisable to ride around 140 miles in a day prior to the event. The good news is that you do not have to have ridden 220 miles before the event. Normally the first discomfort starts with your saddle and feet and if you can confidently complete 140 to 150 miles in a day, then the additional distance should be manageable.

    See our training guide »

Q4. What type of food will there be at the feed stops?

  • Each feed stop will feature something local to the area but having a bias towards sustenance. There will be water, with or without electrolyte/energy, and do remember that if you have a certain preferred energy brand that you know agrees with you, please bring enough to top-up what the feed stops will offer.

Q5. What time does the ride start?

  • The registration area will open at 06:00hrs and the first riders will set off at 06:30hrs, in groups of 25 every two minutes. All riders will be on the road by 07:30hrs, when registration will close. There will be a caffeine-hit option from our H-van for all those still a little bleary-eyed.

Q6. Can I have my own support car, driven by a friend or my partner?

  • Yes you may. Although it must be stressed that we do want to reduce the amount of traffic in the caravan and all external vehicles following the ride must be extremely courteous to general road users. Riders cannot have personal support once we cross over the M25 heading into London and all external vehicles must be driven directly to the Velo Park in Stratford from there. It is also advisable that your nominated driver be experienced with supporting a cycling event.

Q7. Can I ride around the velodrome in Stratford?

  • We have access to the road track and the ride will finish on it. The indoorvelodrometrack unfortunately will not be open.

Getting home from the ride

Q1. Can I shower after the ride?

  • Yes. There are facilities at the Velo Park. Your bag will also be waiting for you.

Q2. Is there secure bike parking?

  • Yes. There is a designated area at the Velo Park, and this will bemarshalled.

Q3. What happens when I finish the ride at the VeloPark?

  • There will be hot food, a large bottle of beer (or three) and a chance to evaluate the North v. South leaderboards.

Q4. Will there be transport home from the VeloPark?

  • There will be optional coaches for anyone wishing to travel back to Manchester, and which will leave at different times to accommodate rider finishing times. This is an additional extra cost and an email will be sent out to all participants to gauge interest. There is also plenty of parking from 20:00hrs, where friends and family can watch you ride and from where they can chaperone you home.

Q5. What about trains etc?

  • Being a Sunday, availability is very dependent on what time you finish due to trains finishing a little earlier. Once the train timetable is known we will share this information with the most popular routes.

Q6. Are there any hotels you can recommend near the VeloPark?

  • Yes, thanks to the 2012 Olympics, there are lots of options in and around Stratford:
    • Premier Inn Stratford (less than 1 mile fromVeloPark)
    • Holiday Inn Stratford City (1 mile fromVeloPark)
    • Travelodge Stratford (1.5 miles fromVeloPark)
    • The Railway Tavern (1 mile fromVeloPark)

For any other queries please email

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