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Isle of Man: An Island Made For Cycling

19th May, 2023

The island’s quiet roads, dramatic scenery, rugged terrain and twisty trails make it the perfect cycling destination. Combine this with the Island’s dynamic cycling community and you have a hotspot for some spectacular and unique events!

If you’re a cycling enthusiast there’s definitely something for you on the Isle of Man this July.

3 cyclists riding down a road through the forest

Isle of Man Lighthouses Challenge: 2nd July

The Lighthouses Challenge is a friendly cycling sportive which sees cyclists of all abilities experiencing the Isle of Man’s stunning scenery as they take on their choice of course; Quarter Circle (17miles), Half Circle (51miles), Full Circle (100 mile), or Full Circle Team.

The Full circle route is a classic coastal ride which follow’s the perimeter of the Isle of Man, taking in its lighthouses (where possible) and on a clear day you will be rewarded with views of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. The 17 mile, quarter circle route, is suitable for families with children who enjoy leisure cycling.

4 cyclists riding in a line with a lighthouse in the distance


Entries start at £25 for the Quarter Circle and go up to £150 for four people cycling the Full Circle Team course. The event will raise funds for Isle Listen, a Manx charity providing important mental health support for those on the Isle of Man, as well as tackling the stigma surrounding mental health. The money raised will be match funded (up to a maximum of £50,000) by the Z Zurich Foundation.

If you visit with your family, youngster can give the inaugural ‘Pedal Party’ a go on Saturday 1st July. On traffic-free closed roads, they can develop their skills and boost their confidence as they cycle around the magnificent Castle Rushen. It is free to enter and the whole family can ride together.

Manx MTB 2-Day Enduro: 8th / 9th July

The Cycle 360 Manx MTB 2-Day Enduro features two 40km loops that are spread across 10 unique stages (with the most incredible scenery), over two days. This race comprises some of the best maintained natural and man-made trails the Isle of Man has to offer. The event is ideal for experienced mountain bikers who are looking for a fun challenge!

For a £45 entry fee, the race sees riders complete five stages each day, being set off in small groups at one minute intervals. All stages are marked out two days prior to the event beginning, so riders have the opportunity to practice beforehand. Both days finish at the finish field in St Johns, where there’ll be live result timing, music, beer and burgers.

Isle of Man Cycling, Isle of Man: An Island Made For Cycling

Don’t just take our word for how epic this event is: take a look at a 2022 video review from Joe Barnes

Gran Fondo: 22nd / 23rd July

Grand Fondo Isle of Man, sponsored by Santander International, sees five different events held across two days and features extensive closed-road riding experiences for all ages and abilities…

July 22nd hosts the UCI Individual Time Trial takes in the climb of the island’s only mountain, Snaefell. The parcours covers just 10.5 km but should not be underestimated, with a total of 400 meters of climbing to overcome. Riders can use this event to qualify for the Time Trial at the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Final in Italy.

Isle of Man Cycling, Isle of Man: An Island Made For Cycling

On this day the Minisculo Fondo also takes place. This family friendly event is held over a 1km circuit in Ramsey’s Mooragh Park, is open to children, families and beginners, allowing participants to complete as many laps as they want in an hour.

July 23rd sees three different Fondos taking place; UCI Gran Fondo (137km), Medio Fondo (72km) and Piccolo Fondo (32km). Each event is aimed at different abilities, has different age restrictions and different entry fees. More information can be found here.  One of only two true competitive Gran Fondo events staged in the British Isles, it boasts 2,300m of spectacular climbing around and largely closed road course. Whether racing to win, or riding to finish, the Isle of Man Gran Fondo is sure to test each and every rider – but a test that will be met with a huge sense of awe and achievement!

For more information on cycling in the Isle of Man, click here.