Wirral Sportives take riders through beautiful country lanes and throughout the Wirral Peninsular and across Merseyside

Wirral Sportives and Cycling Events on the Wirral

At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be many Wirral Sportives or organised cycling events but a quick look down this list may surprise you. In fact, there are plenty of sportives, cycling events or charity bike rides on or near the Wirral, which is perhaps a lot more than many cyclists realise. The number increases significantly if you include sportives in Cheshire.

I live on the Wirral and have either completed the sportives listed here or plan to do so this year (with the exception of one or two). So this is a personal view of each event (I’ll add comments to those events yet to ride at a later stage).

If you know of other Wirral sportives, please contact me via this website, add a comment on this page or send me a message via social media with either a link to the event website or as much info as you can. I hope you enjoy the list and happy cycling.

For those of you who are new to cycling events, our guide on How to Prepare for a Charity Bike Ride will help you to get ready for your event.

Wirral Sportives 2017

Wirral & Merseyside Sportives
EventDateDistanceLocation
AprilEureka ExcursionApr 22135mTwo Mills, Wirral
Tea in ProspectApr 2285mTwo Mills, Wirral
MayLancashire LanesMay 775mKnowsley, Merseyside
JuneRoman Road ChallengeJun 482mOrmskirk, Merseyside
Wirral BikeathonJun 1128mArrowe Park, Wirral
Manchester to LiverpoolJun 1155m, 80mSalford Quays, Manchester
JulyWirral Ultra Bike RideJul 235mWallasey, Wirral
Liverpool to ChesterJul 250m, 100mLiverpool, Merseyside
Liverpool NightriderJul 1550km, 100kmLiverpool, Merseyside
SeptRide of the RosesSep 350m, 75m, 100mSouthport, Merseyside
Wirral ArkSep 1760mKnutsford, Cheshire
OctLiverpool RoubaixOct 162mLiverpool, Merseyside

  1. Wirral Eureka Excursion
  2. Name:Eureka ExcursionOrganiser:David Matthews
    Location:Eureka Cafe, WirralEvent Website:link to website
    Date:22nd April 2017Price:£6.50
    Event:Audax 200Start Time:8:00am
    Distance:215km / 135mFeed Stations:Controls x6
    Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to GPS fileMap:link to route map

    The Eureka Excursion takes its name from the Wirral Eureka Cafe, at Two Mills, well-known to Wirral cyclists and the start/finish point for many local cycling groups & clubs.

    This ride is an Audax, which is defined as a long-distance road cycling event in which participants must navigate a route within a specified period of time. The Eureka Excursion sets off at 8:00am on 22nd April 2017 and participants aim to cycle the 215km route within the allotted 14 hours. This sets an average speed for the maximum time permitted at 15 kph or 10 mph, which is not demanding for any cyclist capable of completing 215km.

    The event starts from the Eureka Cafe, Wirral and sees controls at Ellesmere, Bunbury, Astbury and High Legh, plus a further two information controls. The route sees cyclists riding a mostly flat ride through Cheshire and Shropshire lanes.

  3. Wirral Tea in Prospect
  4. Name:Tea in ProspectOrganiser:David Matthews
    Location:Eureka Cafe, WirralEvent Website:link to website
    Date:22nd April 2017Price:£6.50
    Event:Audax 100Start Time:8:30am
    Distance:135km / 85mFeed Stations:Controls x2
    Climbing:500m / 1,650ftRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to GPS fileMap:link to route map

    The Tea in Prospect ride is a lower mileage option to the Eureka Excursion ride and perhaps a good introduction to cyclists who haven’t done an Audax before.

    It’s organised by the same person, starts from the same location and takes place on the same day, just 30 mins later. The primary difference is the distance, the Tea in Prospect event being 135km (85m) compared to the longer (215km) Eureka Excursion event. Both are excellent value at just £6.50.

    Tea in Prospect is marked as an intermediate ride across beautiful Cheshire and Welsh scenery. There is just one noticeable climb, which comes before the first control at the wonderfully situated Prospect Tea Rooms near the Llangollen, North Wales. Thereafter, it’s mostly downhill or flat as riders make their way back to the Eureka Cafe before the 7:00pm cut-off. Controls at Prospect Tea Rooms and Bunbury.

  5. Lancashire Lanes Sportive
  6. Name:Lancashire LanesOrganiser:Aintree Osteopaths
    Location:Knowsley, MerseysideEvent Website:link to website
    Date:7th May 2017Price:£20.00
    Event:Charity SportiveStart Time:9:00am
    Distance:75mFeed Stations:unknown
    Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to GPS fileMap:link to route map

    The Lancashire Lanes Aintree Osteopaths charity sportive is one of those rare organised cycle events where all of the money goes towards the good cause it is set up to support and at £20 it’s one of the more inexpensive sportives.

    I didn’t get the chance to ride this event last year as it clashed with another sportive but I will certainly be doing it this year. It’s one I’ve done in the past and can certainly recommend it.

    Lancashire Lanes starts from the North Mersey Business Centre in Knowsley, Merseyside (Woodward Road, L33 7UY) and as the name suggests, heads East towards the country lanes of Lancashire. This year’s route map and GPS files aren’t available yet but no doubt will be nearer the event. However, the route is well signposted so you’re unlikely to get lost (famous last words eh?).

    Cyclists are supported with mechanical assistance, motorcycle marshals and the capable supervision of Liverpool Mercury CC club members who are co-organisers of the event.

    Organisers are expecting over 500 cyclists to take part so that’s £10,000 for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity before we even set-off, which is a great reason to do this event.

    Refreshments at the start and finish are free, courtesy of Dolan.

    Lancashire Lanes Sportive Route Map

    Lancashire Lanes Route Map

  7. Roman Road Challenge Sportive
  8. Name:Roman Road ChallengeOrganiser:Vital Events
    Location:Ormskirk, MerseysideEvent Website:link to website
    Date:4th June 2017Price:£26
    Event:SportiveStart Time:8.30am
    Distance:82mFeed Stations:Yes
    Climbing:4,500 ftRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to Ride with GPSMap:see below

    For regular cyclists, the Roman Road Challenge is probably the first real challenge on this list so far. In part, this is due to it being over 82 miles and also that it climbs for 4,500 ft. It’s not a difficult ride but it is certainly one that you’ll need to be prepared for.

    In 2015, I rode this event for the first time and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it, the last 30 miles saw us cycling into a headwind, which was pretty brutal. The scenery on this ride is beautiful and it once again highlights how fortunate we are to live in this area.

    The Roman Road Challenge takes cyclists over Hunter’s Hill, Rivington Reservoir, Foxholes, Matchmoor, past Belmont Village and out to Edgworth onto the infamous Roman Road for 6 undulating miles before returning past Tockholes, Brindle, Hillhouse Lane, Walton le Dale, Midge Hall, Croston and Mawdesley. The route has been designed to challenge the most experienced rider and offers over 4,500 ft of climbing and a maximum gradient of 13%. However, don’t be put off by this as I must admit that I didn’t notice the magnitude of this elevation until I came to write this, and I’m not a good climber.

    Roman Road Challenge Sportive Route Map & Elevation

    Map of Roman Road Sportive Route

    Elevation of Roman Road Sportive Route

  9. Wirral Bikeathon Charity Bike Ride
  10. Name:Wirral BikeathonOrganiser:Bloodwise
    Location:Arrowe Park, WirralEvent Website:link to website
    Date:11th June 2017Price:£15
    Event:CharityStart Time:9.00am
    Distance:15m, 28mFeed Stations:7m, 15m, 22m
    Climbing:minimalRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to Ride with GPSMap:link to map & route

    The Wirral Bikeathon can be done as one circuit of 15 miles or a figure-of-eight route which covers approximately 28 miles. The route is across scenic paths, woodland tracks and minor roads.

    Climbing is minimal, in part because this is solely a Wirral route, and in part as this is aimed at leisure cyclists to raise money for the Bloodwise charity.

    As the route takes in woodland paths, the track can get quite muddy when it rains. However, I’ve seen road race bikes cope / carried, so hybrids, commuter bikes and of course mountain bikes, should manage fine. Personally, I do the circuit on a hardtail mountain bike so the woodland paths are fine, whatever the weather conditions.

    Wirral Bikeathon Route Map

    Map of Wirral Bikeathon

  11. Manchester to Liverpool NSPCC Charity
  12. Name:Manchester to LiverpoolOrganiser:NSPCC
    Location:Salford Quays to LiverpoolEvent Website:link to website
    Date:11th June 2017Price:£19.50
    Event:Sportive Charity RideStart Time:8:00am
    Distance:40m, 55m, 85mFeed Stations:unknown
    Climbing:800ft (40m), 1,500ft (55m)Ride Profile:Rural paths.
    GPS Route:unavailableMap:unavailable

    The Manchester to Liverpool sportive is a charity cycle event in aid of the NSPCC. It is worth noting early on that none of the £19.50 entry fee goes to good causes, it simply covers the cost of the event. However, if you are inclined to ride this event and raise sponsorship, then this will of course benefit the NSPCC.

    In previous years, this event has been a gentle stretch along the canal path but from 2017, the event organisers have included a third route, giving more seasoned cyclists a more challenging distance.

    This gives riders the choice of three routes; 40-miles, 55-miles or 85-miles. The latter adds some coastal cycling into the mix, which may or may not include headwinds. This is as flat as any ride can be, with the shorter distance just 800ft elevation. The mid-distance isn’t much higher at 1,500ft and the new 85m route doesn’t have a published elevation yet.

    There is a considerable amount of the route that travels alongside the Manchester Ship Canal and it’s recommended to have sturdy tyres, with widths at least 1.5-inch. This makes it more suitable for mountain bikes than road bikes but I’ll leave that decision up to you.

    Whilst this sportive ends locally (Croxteth Hall Country Park, Liverpool), riders still have to be in Salford Quays for an 8:00am start. If you’re looking for a lift from Liverpool, you’ll need to be at West Derby Road for 6:30am and have a spare £24.50 to cover the cost.

    I’ve always found linear routes frustrating as whilst I’d like to do some of them, they’re not practical. I think I’ll stick to circular loops.

  13. Wirral Ultra & Bike Ride
  14. Name:Wirral Ultra & Bike RideOrganiser:Gold Events
    Location:Wallasey Promenade, WirralEvent Website:link to website
    Date:2nd July 2017Price:£15.00
    Event:SportiveStart Time:7:30am
    Distance:35mFeed Stations:Yes
    Climbing:unknownRide Profile:90% traffic free
    GPS Route:unavailableMap:unavailable

    The Wirral Ultra & Bike Ride are actually two events, an Ultra Marathon and a Bike Ride. They both take place on the same day and follow a similar route but are not consecutive so it’s one or the other.

    The Ultra-Marathon option follows the Wirral Circular Trail for approximately 35 miles. The course is flat and follows well defined paths along the Wallasey promenade and the Wirral Way. Because of this, the race is ideal for runners looking to move up to ultra distance.

    The Sportive option is a non-competitive bike ride that takes in much of the North Wirral, using the Wirral Circular Trail for approximately 35 miles.

    Due to 90% of the ride being traffic free, it is ideal for families wishing to undertake a challenge together. Feed stations are available along the route, making this an opportunity to incentivise less experienced riders.

  15. Liverpool to Chester LCL Sportive
  16. Name:Liverpool to Chester LCLOrganiser:Pennine Events
    Location:Liverpool, MerseysideEvent Website:link to website
    Date:2nd July 2017Price:£30
    Event:SportiveStart Time:7.30am
    Distance:25m, 50m, 100mFeed Stations:25m, 75m
    Climbing:4,300ft (100m route)Ride Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to website & GPS filesMap:link to map of 100m route

    One of the features of the LCL Liverpool-Chester sportive is that you get to ride through the tunnel under the Mersey. It’s quite a surreal feeling, especially if you are used to driving through either of the tunnels. The tunnel roads are perfectly smooth, not a pothole in sight. The first time you go through the tunnels you may be surprised at the length of both the downhill and uphill, at least one mile in length for both aspects.

    This is a well organised event and one that is well attended (approx 3,000 riders). There are three primary distances; 25m, 50m, 100m. The mid distance is one that I have done for the past few years and it is basically a straight ride from Liverpool to Chester, riding through the minor roads of the Wirral.

    The halfway point is a stop off at the Countess of Chester, before returning to Liverpool, using similar secondary roads across the Wirral Peninsular.

    This year, I’ve decided to do the longer 100m route, which shares the 50m route through the Wirral but then extends a further 50m out to Delamere Forest. This is a great day out and a ride that I book as soon as entry opens.

    Liverpool to Chester LCL Sportive Route Map : 100m

    Map of Liverpool to Chester Sportive Route

  17. Liverpool Nightrider
  18. Name:Liverpool NightriderOrganiser:Nightrider
    Location:Liverpool, MerseysideEvent Website:link to website
    Date:15th July 2017Price:£99.00
    Event:Charity SportiveStart Time:10:00pm
    Distance:50km or 100kmFeed Stations:unknown
    Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:unavailableMap:see below

    The Liverpool Nightrider cycle event is pretty unique compared to most other sportives as it takes place overnight rather than during the day.

    There are two options, a 50km route or a 100km route made up of two 50km loops. Cyclists have the option to do the Liverpool route or the Wirral route, or you could do both.

    This event has back-up and support from the organisers, along with feed station on the route.

    The route map below is a draft route and is subject to change but will give you an idea of the possible route.

    About a month prior to the event organisers will release the GPS of the route and the final route map.

    Liverpool Nightrider Route Map

    Liverpool Nightrider Route Map

  19. Ride of the Roses Charity Bike Ride
  20. Name:Ride of the RosesOrganiser:Clatterbridge Cancer Charity
    Location:SouthportEvent Website:link to website
    Date:3rd Sept 2017Price:£20
    Event:CharityStart Times:7:45am, 8:45am, 9:45am
    Distance:50m, 75m, 100mFeed Stations:Yes
    Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:links to 50m, 75m, 100m GPS routesMap:use links to GPS routes

    The Ride of the Roses is another of my favourite rides and one that I’d wholeheartedly recommend. I’ve done the 50m and 75m routes so this year I will probably try to 100m route. It’s a late ride so if you are aiming to do your first Century cycle event, this is one that I’d suggest as you’ll have all summer to prepare and the 100m route is pretty flat, with just a couple of lumps in the middle.

    Starting from Banks Leisure Centre in Southport (Greaves Hall Avenue, Banks, Southport, PR9 8BL), each of the three routes will take you along stunning Merseyside and Lancashire country lanes, with the 75 mile and 100 mile routes taking you around the Trough of Bowland. All three routes are designed to be challenging but the 50 mile route has fewer challenging hills but is equally as scenic.

    This is another well organised event with clear signs along the route and maps available on the day. The status of the feed stations is unknown. In the welcome pack, they describe them as water stops and make no reference to food being available so it’s advisable to take plenty of nutrition on this ride.

    The water stops are located at the 23-mile marker (all routes), after 50 miles on the 75m route and after 60 & 75 miles on the 100m route. If you want to plan ahead, the specific locations are as follows.

    Feed Station by Route:Distance Marker:Location:
    50m (80km)23mThe Nab’s Head, Nab’s Head Lane, Preston, PR5 0UQ
    75m (120km)23mThe Nab’s Head, Nab’s Head Lane, Preston, PR5 0UQ
    75m (120km)50mThe Plough, 187 Preston Road, Grimsargh, Preston, PR2 5JR
    100m (160km)23mThe Nab’s Head, Nab’s Head Lane, Preston, PR5 0UQ
    100m (160km)60mThe Plough, 187 Preston Road, Grimsargh, Preston, PR2 5JR
    100m (160km)75mSlaidburn Village Green, Chapel Street, Slaidburn, Clitheroe, BB7 3ES

    Ride of the Roses Route Map : 100m Route

    Ride of the Roses Sportive Route Map

    Elevation of the Ride of the Roses Route : 100m Route

    Ride of the Roses Sportive Elevation

  21. Wirral Ark Mow Cop Challenge
  22. Wirral Ark Sportive

    Name:Wirral Ark Mow Cop ChallengeOrganiser:Ray Hellon
    Location:Knutsford, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
    Date:17th Sept 2017Price:£35
    Event:Charity SportiveStart Time:8.30am
    Distance:60mFeed Stations:yes
    Climbing:2,000 ftRide Profile:Rural
    GPS Route:link to routeMap:link to map

    Known as ‘The Friendly Sportive’ the Wirral Ark Mow Cop Challenge comes towards the end of the sportive season and whilst I’d like to say that I’ve saved the best to last, I haven’t actually ridden this event before so I’ll have to wait and see. However, I do know the route, including the epic Mow Cop challenge, so I’d say this is definitely a great way to end the sportive season.

    It’s an Autumn ride so it’s simply pot luck as to what the weather might be. As for the route, 60 miles and just 2,000 ft of climbing, so even if the weather is bad, it’s not a difficult ride. This makes it a good sportive for beginners or those wanting to step up from smaller distances to something a little more challenging. Remember, whilst Mow Cop is quite daunting, you can do what I do, get off and push!

    The event looks to be well planned and includes plenty of comforts, including; hot drinks at the start and finish, route signage, marshalls at Mow Cop and key junctions, feed station, support vehicle and friendly people to help if you need it!

    Riders can register from 8.00am and set off in small groups from 8.30am. Riders meet at The Hall at Marthall, Sandlebridge Lane, Marthall, Knutsford, WA16 7SB and can have a hot drink before setting off.

    The Wirral Ark sportive is named after, and is in support of, the Wirral Ark Project which aims to help people who are homeless. One of their core activities is helping people to help themselves, starting with a positive mental attitude, which cycling is an integral part. Wirral Ark has established a small cycling club to help people do what so many of us cycling enthusiasts do – go for a ride. I had the pleasure of riding alongside the event organiser, Ray Hellon, on an earlier Wirral sportive and I’m delighted that he has decided to organise this cycling sportive.

    Wirral Ark Mow Cop Challenge Route

    It’s fair to say that this is likely to be a fast route. Mow Cop to one side, there’s no climbing to talk about, with just 2,040 ft elevation gain across the whole 60 mile route.

    From the start at The Hall at MartHall, the route heads north for 4 miles towards Mobberly then south-west to Lach Dennis and on to Holmes Chapel. From here, the route heads SE to Mow Cop, which starts after the 33 mile marker.

    The feed station is situated in the Mow Cop Community Hall, just a short distance from the highest point of the route. Clearly chosen for it’s strategic advantage, as there is then a 4 mile downhill section before the route flattens out for the ride home.

    Having done these country lanes earlier this year, whilst they are genuinely beautiful, they are narrow and at this time of year, they are likely to be wet, damp and possibly slippy. Being country lanes, the usual country mud etc, coupled with the awful East Cheshire potholes, may see an accident for the unwary cyclist, so please be careful.

  23. Liverpool Roubaix Sportive
  24. Name:Liverpool RoubaixOrganiser:Cycle Classics
    Location:LiverpoolEvent Website:link to website
    Date:1st Oct 2017Price:£30
    Event:SportiveStart Time:10.00am
    Distance:62m / 100kmFeed Stations:unknown
    Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural. Cobbles.
    GPS Route:unknownMap:unknown

    Few details are currently available for the Liverpool Roubaix but there is of course, a clue in the name. This is a tough 62-mile cobbled classic in the style of the famous Paris-Roubaix. The route includes nine unpaved cobbled surfaces and a finish at the new Knowsley velodrome, just outside Liverpool.


Previous Wirral Sportives


Wirral Wheelers Early Season Sportive

Name:Wirral Wheelers Early SeasonOrganiser:Wirral Wheelers
Location:Waverton, CheshireEvent Website:link to website
Date:3rd April 2016Price:£12.50
Event:SportiveStart Time:unknown
Distance:60mFeed Stations:30m (entry inc lunch)
Climbing:unknownRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:not availableMap:not available

This early season challenge is organised by Wirral Wheelers and is a loop that starts and finishes at Waverton, Cheshire. The route is generally flat and stays predominantly on the Cheshire lanes and minor roads. I haven’t ridden this ride before but it looks to be a friendly event, with refreshments on offer at each control point. Full route details are available on the Wirral Wheelers website (see above).

Wirral Wanderer Charity Bike Ride

Name:Wirral WandererOrganiser:Wirral YMCA
Location:Birkenhead, WirralEvent Website:not available
Date:16th April 2016Price:£30
Event:CharityStart Time:9.00am
Distance:68mFeed Stations:YMCA barge at 34m
Climbing:2,800ftRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:link to Garmin ConnectMap:see below

The Wirral Wanderer is an early spring ride across the Wirral and into the Cheshire countryside. This is a charity ride in aid of Wirral YMCA and all proceeds from the entry fee go to support the Wirral YMCA so just by entering, you are supporting the charity.

It’s a flat ride with just a small handful of low-level climbs across the 68m route. The ride sets off from Birkenhead, North Wirral, and travels south towards Thornton Hough, Willaston and on to Mickle Trafford. The route continues on past Chester before passing through Tarporley and heading back to the Wirral via Ellesmere Port. There is a feed station at the halfway point, which is provided courtesy of the YMCA barge, just after Beeston Castle.

Post Ride Comments: I enjoyed this ride, in part because of the route and in part due to the predicted bad weather not making an appearance. Like many Wirral Sportives, the roads are okay-to-good but there are also too many bumps and lumps in the road surfaces. Road conditions apart, this was a lovely route and one that took in several national cycle network routes, cycle paths, lanes and plenty of B-Roads, which allowed time for sightseeing. The event was well organised and in general, well sign-posted (one or two signs were missing which could well have been locals removing them for fun).

Disappointingly, there were just 51 participants, which meant that I cycled alone for 99% of the route. It would be good to see more cyclists next year as this was a good sportive. However, as of July 2016, the organisers website is no longer available so I suspect that this may have been the last time this sportive is available.

Wirral Wanderer Sportive Route Map & Elevation

Wirral Wanderer

Wirral Wanderer Elevation

Winter Warmer Sportive

Name:Winter WarmerOrganiser:Ultra Events
Location:Ormskirk, MerseysideEvent Website:link to website
Date:16th October 2016Price:£20
Event:SportiveStart Time:8.00am
Distance:43m, 74mFeed Stations:23m
Climbing:1,600ft, 3,700ftRide Profile:Rural
GPS Route:link to Ride with GPSMap:see below

The name clearly defines this sportive, it is a Winter Warmer over one of two distances. The 43m route is for juniors and beginners and is fairly flat with small climbs at Beacon Lane and Appley Bridge but the total elevation gain is just 1,618 feet of climbing. There is a feed station after 23 miles at Ulnes Walton Village Hall, near Mawdesley.

The 74 mile route is a little more challenging with just over 3,715 feet of climbing at Sheep House Lane and Belmont. This longer route travels through Abbey Village, Brindle and Leyland before it joins the shorter route going through Eccleston and Mawdesley then back to the finish.