Yesterday, I knew the group ride was going to be depleted as Phil was at Center Parcs with family and Barry was at a bike jumble in Manchester. But as it happened, neither Les nor Steve turned up either.
No problem, the rest of us rode with the Fusion CC B group. It was also a blessing in disguise as I was wondering if the pain in my hip was coming from an old hip injury, so the thought of being able to “take it easy” was quite appealing.
At 8.30am we headed out from Holmesfield, with a group of 8 riders towards Owler Bar before heading down into the Derwent Valley, Baslow. That descent can be a bit chilly, and today I was glad I’d decided on leg and arm warmers.
Once the other side of Baslow we climbed “13 Bends” towards Bakewell before turning off for Hassop Station and Ashford-in-the-Water. Quite often when I come out this way I’ll turn right at Ashford and take the climb up to Monsal Head, but on this occasion we carried on, turning left, southbound, towards Bakewell and then shortly after turning right for the 2.8 mile Crowhill Lane cat 3 climb skirting Sheldon.
The photo (above) was taken from the top of the climb, with Bole Hill to the right; with Trevor and his friend (sorry, can’t remember his name) waiting for the rest of the group before we all turned right heading for Taddington on a gently undulating road. Somewhere along here we turned right onto “The Jarnett” which took us into the village.
Out the other side of Taddington we did another dog leg to cross the A6 again, before taking Millar Dale which brought us to Tideswell, another well-known and picturesque village in the Peak District.
Once through Tideswell we crossed the busy A623, which links the Peak with Manchester, and headed off towards Foolow and Eyam for our coffee stop. Our regular cafe in Eyam (which offers 10% discount to cyclists along with unlimited coffee top ups) is called the Eyam Tea Rooms, and you won’t find a friendlier welcome for miles!
Here we joined the A group, but sat outside for space reasons – we do like them really. There was still a bit of a nip in the air, so I was glad of my leg and arm warmers. We were served at our tables, and I ordered teacake with jam and ordinary filter coffee – no having to remember names like Americano, Capucinno or Skinny Vanilla Latte 🙂 Although they do those, too.
We were on the return leg now with a descent out of Eyam down to Grindleford, on a road closed to through traffic due to a landslide that occurred a few years ago. The final ascent of the day took us up through Curbar Gap, a cat 3 climb which peaks at a 20% gradient in one place, although we had the good sense to join the climb further up 🙂
From there I made my way through to Barlow and stopped off at my friend Derek’s house. The timing couldn’t have been timed better as I was offered a light lunch 🙂
It was the Barlow Carnival weekend and here is a photo (below) of some light-hearted “street art”.
20 minutes later I was home and in the shower for a well-earned soak.