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Cycling from Scotland to Manchester - Would like some advice

richard36richard36 Posts: 346
edited April 2008 in Road beginners

I've just joined this forum and would appreciate some advice.

I'm from Manchester and live in South West Scotland. I would like to cycle from SW Scotland to Mcr - about 200 miles.

I do a fair bit of Mountain biking and have done very little road biking.

I'm looking to do the ride possibly this autumn but that will depend on what advice I'm given and how often I can get out in between now and then.

I have a number of questions like - Can I reasonably do it in 2 days?(perhaps cycling for 10 hours each day), do I need to use a road bike or will my hardtail mountain bike with slicks be ok? What kind of training should I be doing? etc etc

Any advice would be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Can I ask why Manchester?
    I like bikes...

  • richard36richard36 Posts: 346
    Because I come from Manchester (would like to cycle from where I live now to where I was brought up), and the idea is a family member would then drive me back home to Scotland!

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    richard36 wrote:
    Can I reasonably do it in 2 days?
    With the right build up training, of course it's quite possible - 10 hours should be more than comfortable including food stops etc
    richard36 wrote:
    do I need to use a road bike or will my hardtail mountain bike with slicks be ok?
    Use whatever you like! A road bike may be a little more comfortable, but in terms of speed there's probably little in it. If you are carrying overnight clothing, you'll want panniers I think so you'll need a bike capable of fitting a rear rack.
    richard36 wrote:
    What kind of training should I be doing?
    Long steady miles building up from whatever you are comfortable doing now to your target daily distance - either in miles or hours in the saddle - increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% a week to allow your body to adapt.[/quote]
  • richard36richard36 Posts: 346
    Thanks Bronzie

    Was surprised by your comment that a road bike may only be a little faster than the mountain bike with slicks. I've never ridden a road bike before and just assumed it would be a lot faster.

  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Maybe +1-2mph on your average speed, but unless you are planning to break records on your trip, I wouldn't go to the expense of buying a road bike specifically for this one trip.

    See this thread for more opinions: ... t=12563557

    A road bike (or at least drop bars) does give you more hand positions, which will be more comfortable on a long trip. I converted my ancient Marin Pine Mountain into a heavy duty tourer by sticking road bars and bar end shifters on it, plus narrow 26" slicks. It's no racer, but without the panniers it's not so much slower, and a bit more comfortable especially on rough roads.
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,234
    I agree with Bronzie.

    A mountain bike on slicks would be fine and perhaps more comfortable for you as you'd be familiar with it. Bar ends will give you alternative hand positions (I ride a flat bar road bike) It would be a reasonable 2 day ride depending on the route. I know the A6 in the Shap area is more like a country lane these days (well 3 or 4 years ago it was) but what the rest is like I don't know. For me, finding an attractive, relatively quiet route would be more important than what bike to ride.

    IIRC Andy Wilkinson won the national 24hr TT on a mountain bike frame for reasons of comfort.

    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • richard36richard36 Posts: 346

    Thanks for your reply.

    I've been watching on the tv the cycling in Manchester and I was wondering whether the things I think are called 'ski' on the handlebars can be fitted to standard mountain bike handlebars and if so would it be worth fitting them when cycling on long journeys?


  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Clip on aero bars should be able to fit an MTB handlebar - certainly in a headwind (highly likely the direction you are heading) they will be a big bonus. Take a bit of getting used to mind you - you end up riding twice as far when you fit them as you weave all over the shop!
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