14.09.14 — Journal

Ride The Lights

A few weeks ago now (post delayed due to work commitments) me and Danni grabbed our bikes and headed off on the train to Blackpool for their annual Ride The Lights event!

Our first obstacle came as we tried to work out how to secure our bikes on the train. Being lazy as we are, neither of us had ever had to take a bicycle on a train – and so we stood at the bike rack for a good few minutes trying to work out how prevent our bikes from rolling away and seriously maiming an unsuspecting train passenger.

But we eventually managed it, and so took the opportunity to take some terrible selfies…

Me and Danni on the train, out bikes make a cameo in the background

Me and Danni on the train, with our make a cameo in the background.

Anyway, we eventually arrived in Blackpool and found our way down to the front. During the event, they close the whole eight mile straight of the front off to cars and other traffic, leaving the main road and the front for us cyclists to power on down.

Me and Danni pepare to cycle down the front

We wasted no time in getting going – the train times back to Burnley late on were super sporadic so we had to be sure not to miss our planned 10pm train!

Action shot of me and Danni cycling

Danni snapped the above photo, which is one of my favourites! Unfortunately I am notoriously terrible at cycling, a point proven during the evening as I began to veer perilously to one side with even the smallest distraction, narrowly avoiding collisions on multiple occasions…

Needless to say I had to take the following photo whilst we had to stop for a red light.

Another shot of us actually exercising

My panicked expression is due to the fact that the light was turning green and people had begun to move, and so I was stuck in the centre holding everyone up! If I’m bad whilst in motion on a bike, I’m a thousand times worse at trying to get going from stationary. It takes me forever – throughout the evening I lost Danni multiple times as I was preoccupied trying not to face plant the floor whilst mounting my bike…

Anyway, we soon arrived at the infamous Blackpool Tower, an excuse for another Ollie & Danni selfie. I’m not sure if you can tell, but we decided to wear in our new Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts that I brought back from Florida! True OD style.

Ollie & Danni at Blackpool Tower

There were other things going on during the evening, such as a bunch of artists performing on the promenade, such as a band on the Comedy Carpet.

On we continued, through the iconic Blackpool Illuminations which had been switched on just for the one evening before the official switch-on sometime soon. It began to get dark and Danni managed to break down twice, but we soldiered onwards (and at one point upwards, which really did our legs in…)

Danni after fixing her bike

We eventually came to the end of the lights, where we had the opportunity to take a break before turning back and cycling back down the entire of the front to the train station where we had begun. But wait – we couldn’t take the time to relax, we were running short on time!

A lovely sunset over Blackpool

We stopped briefly for a can of Fanta and a bit of a boogie to some classic Dirty Dancing tracks outside one of the promenade hotels, and then again to pick up some food at a (very busy) McDonalds, but we pushed on to get to the train on time!

Two Big Macs, two apple pies, two breakdowns, two Fantas and sixteen miles later, we rolled back up at the train station – in good time for our train, too!

Even though I paid the price for all that exercise, during which I probably did a year’s worth in less than four hours, I would certainly recommend that everyone goes and gives it a go in the future. The weather held out, the flat promenade was easy to navigate, and it was lovely to cycle down below all the lights as the sun went down. It almost reminded me of Florida – I was even humming the tune to Disney’s Electrical Parade at one point!