The great outdoors

Whilst much of the cycling world is online, the off-road section of the Club is very active. It is much easier to adhere to the current government and British Cycling guidelines with small groups off-road. One thing we’ve been promising to do for a while is an epic ride somewhere. So it was that three of us met in Buxton in the Peak District at 10am, 11 July 2020.

Weather was a bit overcast as we headed up the old Roman Road to the Cat and Fiddle pub. Then the sun peeked out a bit and we were making good speed over the moors. Next part of the ride took us to Three Shires’ Head – where Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Lancashire meet. More climbing up some rocky tracks to Flash Bar – the highest village in England. We rode past an open cafe as we’d only been going an hour. Another hour later, after a very rocky descent to Hollinsclough, and a climb up Axe Edge, we stopped at the cafe. Lots of motorbikers had turned up, so social distancing was a bit tricky, but everyone was trying hard and was being very courteous.

Down the Cumberland Brook this time, and back to Three Shires’ Head which had become like a beach in Bournemouth. Quite incredible how many people had made their way to the middle of nowhere.

We took another track upwards and arrived on a minor road which took us up a very sharp climb to Macclesfield Forest. This is an absolutely fantastic hidden gem. Wonderfully wide tracks, swooping descents and superb views. A real highlight.

Probably worth mentioning at this point that David was riding an eMTB. David said that the motor just “took the edge off” the uphill efforts. As I was seeing stars through trying to keep up as we rode up a mile-long gravel track, and Stuart was audibly losing the will to live, David was whistling a tune and enjoying the view!!! Stuart and I both race cyclocross in National Championships, so it was really pleasing that David, a very muscular, former cage-fighter, was easily able to keep up and enjoy the whole ride.

Another gravelly descent and you guessed it – another climb, this time on the road to Cat and Fiddle again. Back over the Roman road, bathed in glorious sunshine. An absolutely fantastic way to spend 5 hours in the saddle. 5000ft of climbing and the same descending of course!

More epics are planned over the Summer and into the Autumn, so please do email Scott, for details of those, and to join the monthly social rides, or any of the many smaller rides in between.

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