Liverpool Nightrider is an outstanding opportunity to cycle across Merseyside, through the night with other cyclists, on a relatively flat route.

Liverpool Nightrider 2018

Name: Liverpool Nightrider Organiser: Classic Challenge
Location: Liverpool, Merseyside Event Website: N/A
Date: 14th July 2018 Price: £99.00
Event: Charity Sportive Start Time: 10:30pm
Distance: 45km, 55km or 100km Feed Stations: Loop 1: 20m, Loop 2: 11m
Climbing: 1870ft (100km) Ride Profile: Rural
GPS Route: link to route & download file Map: see below

The Nightrider events are pretty unique compared to other sportives in that they take place at night. The Liverpool Nightrider is one of a series of events organised by Classic Challenge, others include London Nightrider and Bristol Nightrider.

The inaugural Liverpool sportive was held in 2016 and given the initial reaction from Merseyside cyclists, it looks like it’s here to stay.

The Liverpool event offers three routes; you can cycle the Wirral loop (55km), the Liverpool loop (45km) or both the Wirral & Liverpool loops, which make up the full 100km route. So, all you have to do is decide to cycle through Wirral, Liverpool or both.

Overall, this is a pretty flat sportive, with less than 1,900ft to climb over the whole of the 100km route, less if you choose to do just one loop. It is of course designed that way, to encourage cyclists who are perhaps aiming to do their first 100km ride.

The only climb worth describing is the one on the Wirral Loop, which climbs out of Caldy and up to Thurstaston. Known locally as Thurstaston Hill, it climbs alongside Caldy Rugby Club and rises 130ft in one mile. The gradient peaks at 7% and unless you’re a seasoned cyclist, expect you’re speed to drop to somewhere near 5-7 mph.

The key to climbing is a steady pace and high cadence. If you’re looking for some hill climbing tips, read our guide.

Liverpool Nightrider is an outstanding opportunity to cycle across Merseyside, through the night with 350 other cyclists, on a relatively flat route.

Liverpool Nightrider Route Overview

Wirral Loop : 36m (58km) Liverpool Loop : 27m (43km)
  • Queensway Tunnel
  • New Brighton
  • Royal Liverpool Golf Club
  • Hoylake
  • West Kirby
  • Caldy Sports Club (feed station)
  • Port Sunlight
  • Albert Docks & Echo Arena
  • Penny Lane
  • Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (feed station)
  • Aintree
  • Goodison Park
  • Anfield
  • Princes Dock

Wirral Loop

Cyclists set off from Pier Head and head towards the entrance to the Queensway Tunnel. The Liverpool Nightrider event is pretty unique in this regard as it’s one of just two sportives that allow cyclists the chance to ride through the tunnel, the other being the Liverpool:Chester event. Having done this before, it’s pretty special and doing it at night is even better. For me, this is one of the highlights of the event and the organisers have missed a trick by not making more of this.

Once through the tunnel, the route meanders through Birkenhead and off to Seacombe via the Dock roads. From here, it’s a straight route to Egremont and New Brighton.

The route then hugs the North Wirral coast, traveling alongside both Wallasey and Leasowe Golf Clubs. From here, cyclists head towards the famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club, after having gone through Moreton, Meols and Hoylake.

As Midnight beckons, you should find yourself in West Kirby, on the west side of the Wirral. The route takes you straight through the town but a slight detour alongside the West Kirby Marina would perhaps have been a more picturesque option at this time of night, especially if there was a full moon.

As you leave West Kirby, you’re faced with the first climb of the night (after the climb out of the tunnel). It’s a small climb that doesn’t look much on paper, but for some cyclists, this will be the first real effort required. Shortly after this climb, you’ll find yourself alongside Caldy Rugby Club and onto the only real challenge of the night, Thurstaston Hill. This is a 130ft climb over one mile, with peak gradients around 7%.

There is a feed station at Caldy Rugby Club, which offers cyclists the opportunity to take a break, re-fuel and fill their water bottles before setting off again.

The Wirral Loop passes two more Golf Clubs (who knew there were so many), before traveling onto Bebington, Port Sunlight and back into Birkenhead. From here, cyclists travel back through the tunnel (closing time is 3:30pm) and complete the first 50km by arriving back at Pier Head.

Liverpool Nightrider

Liverpool Loop

The Liverpool Loop sets off through Albert Dock and travels alongside both Cathedrals and both Universities (plus Liverpool Empire Theatre) before setting off towards Sefton Park. This should be quite a rare opportunity to admire some of Liverpool’s landmarks at their most majestic.

From Sefton Park, it’s just a short journey to the second feed station of the night, at Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital. By this point, you’ll have completed 47 miles so a short break will have been earned and so enjoy the rest.

Similar to the Wirral Loop, the Liverpool route is relatively flat and having left the feed station, it’s an easy ride through West Derby, Croxteth and on to Aintree, passing the World famous home of the Grand National.

A short 3 miles later, you’ll pass the equally famous home of Everton Football Club, circumnavigate Stanley Park and onto the home of Liverpool Football Club, Anfield.

All that remains is the 4 miles ride back into Liverpool City Centre and the adulation from whoever is awake to welcome you back to the finish line.

Liverpool Nightrider Route Map

Liverpool Nightrider Route Map

Liverpool Nightrider FAQs

Where is the start / finish meeting point?

Cyclists should meet at Pier Head, Georges Parade, Liverpool, L3 1DP.

What time does it start?

The organisers are asking that cyclists arrive about an hour prior to your Start Wave time (emailed prior to the event). This will enable you to register, collect your cyclist & bike numbers plus your hi-vis vest. You will also be given a free set of WingLights after you’ve registered.

After registration, there is a safety briefing. Given that this is a night event, it’s important to take note of this. Everyone needs to have left Liverpool by 23:30pm to ensure all cyclists are through the tunnel before it re-opens to traffic. Latecomers are unlikely to be permitted after this time.

What time does the tunnel close?

Cyclists need to have passed through the tunnel by 03:30am. This gives around 4 hours to complete the Wirral Loop, which should be plenty of time for cyclists of all ability.