OK, it’s stretching it a bit to suggest Barry and I are kids, but I liked the alliteration 🙂
Last night Barry saw my new Facebook profile picture of me resplendent in my (not) Castelli jersey and bib shorts and messaged me to suggest we both wear the same kit for this morning’s ride – I’d got my inspiration for buying it when I saw how good he looked in his.
Now, Barry’s kit is original and mine is a chinese copy, so we had a good look to see if we could spot any differences, of which it turned out there were three. My copy has reflective strips down each side of the rear pockets and a longer back. Also, the original kit is a true black where as mine has a hint of charcoal, which you can probably tell from the photo.
Moving on to the ride, all the regulars were out: Steve, Phil, Les, Barry and myself. And two more guys, Billy and Paul. I had a chat with Billy while we were riding at the back and it turns out he used to ride with Steve and Phil when he rode with Fusion CC some years back. Now most of his riding is done solo because of family commitments. Chatting with Paul I discovered he used to work at JE James Cycles for 8 years, talk about a small world!
The ride itself was quite brisk and first of all heading out to Owler Bar and then down to Baslow there was a bit of a chill factor and with no leg warmers the legs were feeling less than ready for the ride plus my left knee which has been giving me gip lately was feeling it, too. But once down in the valley it warmed up a bit.
From Baslow we headed up through Bubnell and Hassop and on to Ashford-in-the-Water before crossing the A6 and heading off to Youlgrave. This is one of those places where to get to it involves climbing a hill, and round there they are steep!
We ended up heading over to Hartington, but turning off just before to cruise through a valley we normally approach from the other direction, it caught me by surprise. It’s been 4 years since I started riding in The Peak District and I’m slowly piecing together the geography. but I have a long way to go. It’s definitely a good job Steve and Phil have been riding The Peak District for 50 odd years! Most rides end up being a magical mystery tour for me!
After 36 miles we reached the Old Smithy Cafe at Monyash where we refuelled – my choice was a coffee and Red Velvet cake with icecream; it was coloured red but made with cocoa powder. It tasted good but there was a disconnect between the colour and taste. The one downside of the colour was a wasp that probably thought it was a plant and wouldn’t leave it alone until Phil sorted it out.
I lost my bearings a bit on the return leg, but know we came through Eyam, descended to Grindleford where Barry pulled out of a junction not seeing an approaching car on the main road. Fortunately the car wasn’t travelling fast and managed to slow down enough – just had that “there but for the grace of god go I” feeling, phew!
We cut through to Froggatt and climbed to the summit before returning to Owler Bar and Dronfield and back to Chesterfield. What a great ride!