The starting point for this ride is JE James Cycles, Progress House, Brimington Road North, Chesterfield, S41 9AP and is beside the Whttington Moor roundabout on the A61. There is plenty of free public parking on the quiet cul-de-sac outside the cycle shop. Leaving via the underpass the route takes you under the A61 roundabout and onto the Dunston Road, turning left shortly afterwards to pass through Newbold, an area of Chesterfield.
Within 2 0r 3 miles you’ll be in the countryside and passing through the first village, Barlow, and commencing your first climb of the day up to the main road in Holmesfield – this is a cat 4 climb. There are three short steep sections and the rest is nice and steady.
At the top, you’ll turn left, continue climbing steadily for a few hundred yards before turning left at a mini roundabout. This takes you back to the valley floor where you’ll turn right and follow the road. At the next left turn on the route is the start of the Unthank climb, a 1.4 mile cat 3 climb. Again fairly steady, with the odd steepish section.
Next is a left turn after which you’ll follow your nose for a few miles until the route turns right and you’ll be heading towards Beeley Moor. Another left turn puts you on Beeley Lane. A short slightly downhill section brings you to a strange-looking junction where you’ll turn right, almost back on yourself, and be heading towards Rowsley, but before then the route makes a left turn onto Flash Lane which becomes Jaggers Lane, then a right brings you onto Wirestone Lane heading in a south-easterly direction; this is all easy cycling.
At the end of Wirestone Lane it’s a right turn, a bit of a climb, then a left turn onto Lant Lane, which descends steadily. You’ll have to single out if you come across oncoming vehicles. After a while you’ll bear right onto White Leaf Lane before turning left onto Knabhall Lane. These are all very quiet country lanes and you should meet little or no traffic.
Next comes a dog-leg left/right continue on and cross the A615 continuing on Cunnery Lane which becomes Carr Lane. And just before Riber Castle you turn left onto Littlemoor Lane and head down the “Dethick” descent. Be careful as the surface is quite rough and there’s gravel on some of the bends.
You’re nearly there now. You just have a fork left onto Long Lane which climbs up to Lea Gardens. Turn right into the centre and you’ll find the bike rack. Go grab yourself a coffee. This morning they were serving coffee in paper disposable cups and everyone seemed to be observing the 2 metre rule. BTW, you’ve covered about 26 miles.
Jump back on the bike, turn right out of the centre, go to the end of the road and turn left onto High Lane. At a T junction the route will make a right turn. Follow Dewy Lane until you get to the A615 and turn right. After a short while the route will fork left off the Alfreton Road and you’ll end up on White Carr Lane, with the Ogston resevoir to your right in the valley below.
The route will take you through Ashover Hay at the 30 mile marker, Ashover, Kestledge and at the 35 mile marker you’ll nearly be back at Beeley Moor and retracing the steps of your outbound journey. You’ll come back on to Beeley Lane go up a short rise, then turn right onto Longside Road. The next left you make will be Syda Lane. Keep following the route and after about 6 miles you’ll turn right onto Far Lane, which is one of my favourite fast descents in the Peak District – two miles of pure joy back into the village of Barlow.
At the bottom of Far Lane you’ll turn right and be on the road back to Newbold and the Whittington Moor roundabout and the end of the route.
I hope you enjoy the ride – download it here.