I spent three years exploring Manchester by bike and have many memorable rides with many great people. These Manchester cycle routes are a curation of just some of my favourites that I’m sure you’ll love too. From tough climbs to a real tour around Manchester, there will be a ride here for you.
Route 1: The Brickworks Manchester Cycle Route
The first route takes you into the peaks from Didsbury. At 36 miles it’s a good ride to get going with towards the start of your training. Aside from taking you into the stunning landscapes of the Peak District and onto the 1.6 mile climb at a 151 meter elevation change, you’ll venture through Poynton, Bollington and Wilmslow where you’ll be sure to find some nice stops for lunch, coffee and cake.
The route is also easy to extend and acts as a basis for getting to the infamous climb. You can easily detour round to Marple en-route as well as exploring the vast treasures and pain thresholds the Peaks have to offer.
Route 2: The Peak District Tour
Looking for something with a bit more northern grit and to stoke the fire in your legs? The Peak District Tour route is 66 miles and 2184 meters of climbing. A fierce challenge that was shared to me by a friend who is far more competent than me on two wheels.
The route starts in the north east of Manchester and will have you navigating around the edges of the north Peak region and through the center too. It’s a tough old ride that is only for the brave. Approach it if you dare!
Route 3: Tour de Manc 100
The Tour de Manc is Manchester’s premiere annual sportive. The 100 mile Manchester cycle route takes in nine boroughs throughout Manchester and provides riders with a real gritty Northern experience.
Whilst we recommend signing up to the sportive to take on the challenge amongst 100s of others, you can ride it out in your free time. The ride’s ascent is 7,000 ft with some of the tough climbs between the 40-60 mile point.
This version of the Tour de Manc 100 is from 2018. The route has some slight changes each year but no matter when you chose to experience it, you’ll always get a proper Manchester ride.
Route 4: The Fallowfield Loop
The Fallowfield Loop is a useful stretch of traffic-free tarmac to know as a way of getting around South to East Manchester or vice versa. It follows the once was Fallowfield rail line which has since been concreted over for cyclists, runners and walkers alike. As you approach East Manchester, you’ll get connected to Manchester’s canal system and can eventually link round to our favourite bakery stop in Ancoats, Pollen.
The loop itself spans 5.4 miles and takes about 30 minutes to cycle fully. To find out more about the route, head over to Sustrans who support and maintain it.
Route 5: Dunham Massey
Starting in Didsbury, this short 21 mile Manchester cycle route takes you to Dunham Massey, a small village with a National Trust property that offers a good outdoor coffee stop. The ride is mostly built up around Altrincham with various quiet roads and lanes. You’ll ride past extravagant houses towards Hale Barns, tucked away and hidden from the main roads of getting around.