This September hundreds of cyclists will take part in the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride.

Andy Tennant (2)

The 52 mile route, kicks off on 26 September and will take riders through the city to Blackpool’s sea front.

With just over a month to go, Team GB cyclist and BHF supporter, Andy Tennant, shares his top tips for preparing for the ride and some key things to remember when cycling at night.

  1. Practice makes perfect

This event is a challenging ride and you’ll need to have a good level of fitness to take part. Make sure you get out on your bike ahead of the ride and start increasing your distance as part of your training. You can plan your training using the BHF’s training zone.

  1. Accidents can happen

To keep injury free while you’re training for a cycling event, you’ll need to be patient and build up your training gradually to avoid injury.

The golden rules of exercise are:

  • Start gently
  • Build up gradually
  • Do it regularly
  • Always get specialist advice as soon as possible if you are at all unsure about any pain
  1. Check your bike is ride-ready

Your bike needs to be just as ready as you are. Make sure you check your tyres and brakes ahead of the ride, and remember to have a repair kit with you for the day in case of any punctures.

  1. Sponsorship

The BHF is the largest funder of independent heart research in the UK. They are fighting to put an end to heart disease. By committing to this ride you will be helping BHF researchers make more discoveries and keep more hearts beating.

Make sure to ask people to sponsor you for this challenge. It really will push you on in those last few miles to reach the finish line knowing that with every pedal you are helping the BHF to continue their life saving research.

  1. Shine bright

Get your lights right. If you are riding on public roads in the dark you’re legally obliged to have lights and reflectors. You’ll need a white light with 110 degree visibility at the front of your bike and a red light and reflector at the back. Amber reflectors are needed on the front and back of your pedals too.

  1. Glow in the dark

Don’t rely on the basic requirements of visibility – go to town. High visibility clothing is a great way to be seen. Reflective clothing on moving body parts work the best; team a reflective vest or backpack cover with trouser bands and wrist bands.

  1. Protect your assets

Padded shorts are a no brainer for me. The Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride is 52 miles going over some bumpy roads – you want to be prepared.

  1. Midnight snack

Throughout the ride, make sure to keep eating to keep your energy levels up. Whilst there will be food and drink at refreshment stops along the route, it’s a good idea to also carry foods with you that you can easily nibble on such as cereal bar, gels, bananas and energy drinks etc.

  1. Keep hydrated

Keeping well hydrated is important when you are on the ride. Make sure you carry some water on you, drinking little and often is the best way.

You should also have fluid that includes some carbohydrate and electrolytes. Commercial isotonic sports drinks include 5 to 7% of carbohydrate, but you can also make your own – mix 200ml concentrated orange squash with 1000ml of water and a pinch of salt (1g).

  1. Have Fun

And last but by no means least, enjoy the ride. By encouraging your friends and family to sponsor you to take on this challenge, you will be funding the BHF’s vital medical research into heart disease.

It is not too late to sign up; entry fees are £30 for adults (18 or over). To register, call the events team on 0845 130 8663 or visit Alternatively, you can email

For more tips try out training page

Check out events page for more events.