Sunday 29 June 2014

Manchester's Cycle Groups

Warning, this is work in progress...

I am trying to map out how many cycle groupings there are in Manchester. Looks like well over 50 so far, though most need checking, and some are probably wrongly classified

Some of the groups like UMBUG are very large with over 1,000 members on their email list and Critical Mass with over 800 followers, whilst others like The Spokes are quite small, but very active, and some may be defunct.

The web links are sometimes the group web site or a Facebook page and sometimes a link to evidence of the group's existence as is the case with several BUGS.

Social Rides

Prestwich Pootlers - A group for people in north and central Manchester who like to ride bikes, to meet up for leisurely social rides. Twitter feed


UMBUG - University of Manchester Bicycle User Group
The largest in the area with over 1000 members

Get On Your Bike - Manchester University Students Union BUG

Manmetriders – Manchester Metropolitan University BUG
MMU’s Man Met Riders

University of Salford Bicycle User Group

Coop BUG

Manchester Science Park BUG

CMFT (NHS Trust) Bike User Group

Manchester Airport Bike User Group


NBUG - BBC North Bicycle User Group

MediaCityUK BUG - coming soon...

All Ability

Wythenshawe Wheelers/Simply Cycling – all ability cycling group

Cycle Works - Cycle Training, Guided Rides and All-Ability Wheelers groups

Bury Tandem Club for Visually Impaired People


Bradford BMX Bandits Racing Club

Manchester BMX Club – supporting the BMX Track in Platt Fields, Fallowfield

North Region BMX

Mountain Bikes

Bury Mountain Bike Club

Manchester Cycling – a.k.a. The Blazing Brakes Mountain Bikers

Manchester Mountain Bikers

Tribe Mountain Bike Club - Bolton

Blazing Saddles MTB Club - Pendle

Industrial Fell Biking – offroad in the fells North of Manchester

Twisted Wheels - A Manchester mountain bike collective

Campaign Groups

Colne Cycling Campaign

Congleton Cycling Campaign

Cycle Stockport

Cycle Wilmslow

Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC)

I Bike Manchester - dead page

Love Your Bike - FoE

Macclesfield Bicycle User Group - currently a dead page


ABC Centreville – Rochdale Cycle Club

Abbotsford Park Road Club – Heaton Mersey

All Terrain Racing Club

Altrincham Ravens Cycle Club

Chorlton Velo - cycle club

Duckinfield Cycle Club

Eastlands Velo Cycle Club – based at the Manchester Velodrome

Glossop Kinder Velo Cycle Club

Janus Road Club – Stockport

Leigh Premier Road Club

Northern Quarter Cycle Club - dead

Manchester Modernists Society Cycle Club - Facebook group

Pendle Forest Cycle Club

Rochdale Cycling Club

Stockport Community Cycle Club

Ribble Valley Cycling & Racing Club – Preston

Team Torelli Cycling Club

Warrington Roads Club

Weaver valley Cycle Club

Westmead Team 88 - Stockport Time Trials Club

West Pennine Roads Club – Rochdale

Withington Wheelers Cycling Club


Bolton Clarion

Bury Clarion Cycling Club

North Cheshire Clarion

Stockport Clarion Cycle Club

CTC groups

Bury Cyclists Touring Club (CTC)

Cycling Manchester (CTC)

Oldham and Tameside CTC/Oldham Century Road Club

Seamons/Altrincham & Sale Cyclists Touring Club

South Manchester Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC)

Wanderers & Wheelers

Chorlton Wanderers – South Manchester Sunday cycling group

Macclesfield Wheelers

Manchester Wheelers

Nelson Wheelers

Stretford Wheelers

Wigan Wheelers

Female Specific Groups

Bloomers Bike Project MCR

Manchester and District Ladies Cycling Association

Team Glow - Manchester Women’s Cycling Network


Critical Mass Manchester

Unicycle North West

01FIX1 - Manchester fixed gear

Manchester Hardcourt Bike Polo

Stockport Cycle Speedway

The Spokes - The only all female bicycle dance troupe in the UK

Pedal Power – Bike generated power events

Great Northern Rollers - Roller racing

North West Cyclo Cross Association

Peak Audax

Bike Crèche – Cycle Jumbles

Bury Cycle Speedway

Routes, Infrastructure and More

Cycling Development North West

Cycle Greater Manchester

Cycling Projects – in the North West

University of Manchester Cycle Lab

Friends of the Fallowfield Loop

Trans Pennine Trail

Friday 27 June 2014

Gentle June Critical Mass

The afternoon rain kept this a small ride, along with many regulars having gone to Glastonbury or away on holiday.

However, a reasonable sized crowd formed

with one special guest...

We rode down the hill from Albert Square onto Deansgate

then back up market street and onto Cross Street and back through Albert Square.

Then onto Fountain Street

where the narrow cycle lanes were superfluous

and into the Northern Quarter.

The penny farthing was back this month.

We then dropped down London Road

and onto Grosvenor Street.

and finally into Manchester Science Park

finishing at the Old Abbey Pub which had been warned of our arrival and had put on food for the riders. The ride kept the pace fairly slow and I kept the music quite slow and gentle to fit the mood.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Pothole Party this Monday

Join us for the final event of Bike Month Manchester, a Pothole Party at Sandbar on Monday, 30th June.

It will start with Pothole Cinema from 5pm & Winner Photo Selection and Celebration at 7pm!

Celebrate good potholes, bad potholes and even hazards! Take the chance to win gift vouchers or other prizes, invite friends, family & strangers and let’s make it a memorable event in the history of potholes!

Photo competition (starting now!):

From now on, take a picture for 1 of the 3 categories and post it here into the Facebook group, via Twitter using #PotholeParty or via email to latest by 30th June 6.30pm!

A) Creative Pothole – Funny shapes or creative decorations!

B) Bad Pothole – You don’t want to cycle over it again!

C) Hazard – Anything else that you like to wave goodbye to on the road?

!!! Bonus points !!! Please report the worst pothole in Manchester via a smartphone app (“FillThatHole” by CTC or “My Council” with the Street Reports function) and give us feedback (Which app? What do you like? What could be improved?) via email to

- See more at:

Monday 23 June 2014

Manchester Day Parade 2014

This year's big bike entry in the Manchester Day Parade nearly didn't happen. I've been ill for many months now so when, back in January, the call for entries in the parade came out I knew I couldn't do it myself this year. So I went to GMCC's January meeting and asked for someone else to take on the organisation of this year's entry and was met with a stunned silence. Nobody was willing to help or even discuss how they might help.

Thankfully, Love Your Bike stepped in and Pete Abel took on the paperwork and the liaison with Walk the Plank. We came up with the idea of taking the theme Manchester, Going Global and shaped it into an entry along the lines of Manchester, Going Dutch, Going Global. This gave us the idea of putting a new puppet on last year's bike representing a Dutch woman and then bringing together distinctive bikes from around the world. Finally after some discussion with our artist Julian we also agreed that we should get all the people in our group to wear green to give the group some visual cohesion and the idea became Manchester, Going Dutch, Going Global, Going Green.

The new puppet was finished just in time, and in the morning I walked out to find the Love Your Bike Ad-bike already parked up in place.

I caught up with Pete in the workshop just as they had had a problem with the wheels ceasing up. After Julian had tracked down some grease Pete got the machine moving and rode it up to the start.

However, in the process one of the pedals sheared off, so more running repairs were required from Julian.

With the repairs sorted others started to arrive

and we arranged the bloc with The big bike out front, followed by the sound system and the two remaining members of the Spokes, one couldn't make it following an injury, and then the Ad-bike taking up the rear.

There were a total of 55 people in our section, thanks to the Love Your Bike recruitment campaign and Pavol's team on the hire bikes and cargo cycles. The riders all had flags on their bikes representing a country of their choice (limited to what was available).

Then all of a sudden we were told it was time to move off, and out onto Deansgate in front of the huge crowds.

Then going up St Peters Street yet more running repairs were needed to the big bike and in the attempt to be heard above the drummers in front, my sound system failed on one side. According to those behind it emitted a loud bang and one of the speakers sent out smoke signals. Thankful it didn't catch fire...

We then entered Albert Square

and between running repairs Julian was taking lots of photos of his work which he will hopefully put on his Flickr page soon.

Finally we rolled into Exchange Square to be met with another huge crowd

Our entry seemed to get much more attention this year. I think it was because the puppet was much more colourful and striking.

This MEN web page has several photos.

We even got into the BBC local evening news with a few seconds of the big bike and sound system rolling into shot which was then repeated every half hour during BBC Breakfast on Monday morning.

Image from BBC North West Tonight

I am really grateful for Pete taking on the hard work of organising this year's parade. I only came out of hospital two weeks before, so I could never have done it myself this time. Pete and the rest of the Love Your Bike team brought their great organisational and networking skills to this year's entry which helped enormously.

The remaining question now is what about next year....

Saturday 21 June 2014

An ACE Cycling Event

Last Wednesday was the Corridor Manchester Annual Cycle Event on Oxford Road.

I arrived as the stalls were setting up.

Get Cycling were just getting their machines out and the people running the stalls had a quick play.

There were various stalls with information and products

including TfGM with maps and the plans for Oxford Road,

a pre-owned bikes stall,

the Trans-Pennine Trail and Sustrans

and Love Your Bike sharing a stall with Manchester Cycling lab.

Gabi had lots of information about the lab's work on hand.

The fun part of the day was the cycle tryout track...

All in all a good day and I spent the morning catching up on the gossip about cycle campaigners and learning from the highly successful UMBUG team about how to run a BUG.

Friday 20 June 2014

The Big Commute Result

This morning was the Love Your Bike/Bike Month Manchester Big Commuter Challenge.

Five people set off from the car park of Crumpsall Green Methodist Church at 8am to show how different forms of transport compare.

Manchester City Council's leader, Sir Richard Leese rode his bike, Pavol Gajdos of Manchester Cycle Deliveries pedaled his cargo bike, Helen Rimmer from Friends of the Earth caught the bus, Charlotte Cox Transport reporter for Manchester Evening News took the tram, and Rob Raikes went by car.

Photograph from Love Your Bike

There was, however, a bit of a problem with navigation at the start, and Richard ended up giving the other participants directions...

Meantime, in Albert Square we were making preparations for the arrival of the participants.

We got somewhat caught out by the sudden arrival of Richard and Pavol only 14 minutes later.

Then the waiting began...

Meantime Pavol delivered his package to Cllr Chris Paul

and Richard took the opportunity to try out Pavol's cargo bike.

It was another 23 minutes before Charlotte appeared,

followed one minute later by Helen,

and Rob finally arrived a further 5 minutes later.

The final result.

There then followed lots of photos for the press

and one last chance to try out Pavol's cargo bike.

Sir Richard Leese has already written about his experience of taking part on The Leader's Blog, Love your Bike have a report on their web site and Charlotte Cox has covered the event in the Manchester Evening News.

There more information about Pavol and his cargo bike on his web site