As they say ‘into the frying pan’. Having never organised a National before it was a huge and satisfyingly good challenge.
Firstly get the venue up to scratch, over the years it had become smaller with overgrowth, with the help of Lancs EGB we paid for the car park to be scrapped and wow what a difference. But more needed to be done. With the help of Lancs members we completed the final tidy up, 1st job complete
Next find routes that would take what was our 23km ride to 32km … lots of winter walks and a lot of dead ends, non-opening gates, and united utilities working all over the place I finalised the route, or so I thought
Then onwards with step 3 – Permissions, Bury Council – easy, Outwood secured, Forestry Commission – Not too bad – Drinkwater, Waterdale, Forest Bank and Livia secured. . Canal and River Trust – good, and helped me a great deal with pointing out who may own the land/route. Salford Council – some what totureous as this was to be the extension to our 23km ride. Firstly work with the rangers from Clifton Country Park, really helpful and managed to secure the bridlepath through the park. I also had plan B up my sleeve, and managed to secure a route down the Irwell passing the cemetery, which then lead me to work with the Environment agency. I thought this would be easy, back up the other side but no, there is a little known fact that the flood defences on the Irwell are only designed to carry the weight of sheep .. as I pointed out, you dont get many of them in town lol. However working with Manchester United Football Club and Environment agency I secured plan B. Highways agency next, thought this would be all red tape, but all my routes that crossed roads where approved. Phew all routes approved 3 weeks before the ride, thats was cutting it close.
In between time I went holiday and with the help of Sarah Bamber and Sue Taylor-Green ordered all the packs and rosettes. I also secured Simon Constable Vets to perform the vetting for the ride and Trevor McGlynn – Farrier
Learnt a huge lesson don’t mark 32km on foot … Thanks Jamie helping me mark, and chauffeuring me around
Well as you are all aware rides were being cancelled left, right and centre due to the constant rain. I had a decision to make, did I cancel the ride for 100m of mud or soldier on. It was going ahead, hard standing venue and fine weather forecast.
I have a huge thanks to all the Lancs volunteers who helped on the day, out on the course, in the venue the support was fantastic
59 riders set off and returned. Had some really good feedback from riders about the route.
Lots of lessons learnt for next time which by the way is 14th April 2019 …. all help welcome 🙂