Manchester to London

Manchester to London

Ride through the heart of England in one of the most demanding and rewarding events of the year, raising money for Ambitious about Autism.

17 January 2018

Since 2014, we have traversed the rolling roads and quiet lanes of England on a ride as demanding as it is rewarding. In doing so, we’ve raised more than a million pounds for Ambitious about Autism, a charity dedicated to improving opportunities for children and young people with autism. Together, we’ll keeping riding and raise even more.

For the first time we’ll be offering a shorter route option, starting at Castle Ashby and finishing at the velodrome. If you’ve wanted to do your bit and raise funds for a great cause but the full distance was too much, now there’s a route for you.

On Sunday, 2nd September 2018, up to 300 riders will set off from the Manchester Velodrome at dawn. Riders on the short route will join them in the afternoon in rural Northamptonshire, with everyone arriving at Lee Valley VeloPark in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London throughout the evening.

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The ride

"It was an epic experience, with remarkable views, perfectly supported and a real sense of accomplishment in finishing."

In the lead up to the event, riders will be supported in their fundraising and training. The ride itself is fully signposted, with feed stops serving locally sourced food and a fleet of support vehicles and a broom wagon to ensure no rider is left on the road or falls too far behind.

Riders on the long route must choose to represent the North or the South in a friendly competition to discover which region will record the lowest average ride time. For the past three years the South have triumphed. Will the North come back stronger this year?

Entry on the long route costs £150 and places are limited to 300. We’re asking each rider to raise £750 for Ambitious about Autism.

The short route entry is free, but each rider is asked to raise at least £300.


  • The choice of 220 or 80 miles of captivating country riding
  • Support with fundraising and training
  • Fully signed and mapped route
  • Four feed stations serving British food
  • Mechanical and medical support vehicles and a broom wagon
  • Limited edition North and South caps and musettes
  • Party at Rapha Manchester the evening before the event

Please note: These are not the final routes and are subject to change.

The routes

“Fantastic route, well sign-posted. Hard to fault anything really.”

Our fully signposted routes offer varied terrain, quiet country lanes, and stunning views. Feed stations are positioned every 50 miles or so, allowing for regular refreshments of locally-sourced food and drink.


On the long route, we split all riders into two teams – North and South. Choose your side and ride. The total time of all riders is collated to see which region earns bragging rights as fastest overall. For the last four years, the South have won by a small margin – will this be the year for the North?


“Far better than any other charity event I have taken part in. I felt engaged with the charity and those who will hopefully benefit from the funds raised.”

Our aim is to raise money for Ambitious about Autism, who celebrate their 20th Anniversary this year. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects 1 in 100 people and the charity is one close to Rapha CEO and founder Simon Mottram, whose son Oscar has autism. The best place to start is with an online fundraising page. It will allow friends, family and colleagues to see what you are raising money for and why, and they will be able to give a donation on the spot. If you have any questions about fundraising, or just need a spot of inspiration, visit the Fundraising sub-page, or contact Imogen Wade.

Find out how the money raised for Ambitious about Autism is used in our blog piece ‘Ambitious for good reason’.


How much money do I have to raise for Ambitious about Autism and how much is it to enter? The long route is £150 to enter and we ask each rider to raise £750 for the charity, and the short route has no entry cost but we ask each rider to raise £300. There are many ways this can be achieved and it’s much easier than you think.

Does the registration fee go towards the sponsorship target? No, the registration only contributes towards the running costs of the event so your fundraising really counts towards helping Ambitious about Autism. Every penny you raise goes direct to their charitable work.

When do I need to have hit my fundraising target by? We ask that you raise the majority by September 3rd, but you can continue fundraising until November 1st if you wish to raise more to hit or exceed your target.

Will there be a bag drop at the start or access to luggage during the ride? You will leave your main luggage with us at the start of the ride, which will be transported straight to the finish. You can also give us a smaller ‘wet bag’ with spare kit and other items to be waiting for you at the third feed stop.

Where does North start? North starts from Birmingham up. If you live or hail from Birmingham or the Midlands, you must pick an allegiance.

How should I train for this ride? We will be providing training tips to all participants in the build-up to the ride. Our Clubhouses will also become hubs for advice and inside knowledge of the route.

How will I hit my target? There are lots of ways to raise money and some great suggestions can be found on our fundraising sub-page. Ambitious about Autism can also support you and give you one-to-one advice to increase your chances of reaching the target.

What if I can’t complete the ride? Will there be a broom wagon? No rider will be left on the road. There will be roadside support to help with any mechanicals and a broom wagon to pick up any riders not able to complete the whole route.