The late February weekends in Manchester England bring temps in the 40°Fs (ideal for a brisk bike ride) and Noel Healey's annual "North-West Passage" 200km—a classic route taking in a loop of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria with "Free pie and peas for finishers."
England is hardly a mountainous country—few peaks climb to 3000 feet, but those that approach that height are found in this region. The Pennines, often called the "Backbone of England," separate greater Manchester from Yorkshire and extend into southern Scotland. All in all making for a great opportunity for an Englishman to stretch his legs while scaling the lumpy bits of the North, where they say, "Audax: It's NOT a race—It's meat & drink."
Press coverage of the 2009 event in the Rochdale Observer article, "The long and winding road," from which the snap, at right, was appreciatively lifted.
Frank Kinlan rides the 120km mini to keep trim and provides a sat-nav track ( [ Bikely ] )