I decided to organise a BDCC weekend away in the Peaks and get out to some of my old stomping ground back in the day when I lived in Buxton.
My weekend started early as I decided to take the Friday off work and cycle up to Edale from Brigg on my Jack Jones! I headed out via Messingham, Gunness Bridge and then through Belton towards Thorne. I then headed through Doncaster which wasn’t too bad, however going through Rotherham and Sheffield was murder and I got slightly lost and ended up going round the houses literally!!
Once I got my bearings I began to climb out of Sheffield passing the University before topping out at over 1,600 feet! This also meant I was now in the clouds and darkness was falling, a little unnerving with just your lights for company! I dropped down into Hathersage and decided to pop and see my Dad before heading to the YHA in Edale where we would be staying. This also meant taking in the extra 3 mile climb out of Bradwell which was part of the old ‘Tour of the Peaks’!
At my Dads I took advantage of the fire and tried to dry as much out as possible, not sure why as I was heading back out in the rain soon anyway! The rain was even heavier leaving my Dads and the descent down into Bradwell was no fun at all!
I finally made it to the bottom of the drive at the youth hostel and my joy was short lived as the long steep drive is a challenge in itself, especially after 85 miles and even has its own segment! Once there I was soon stripped off, showered and because my bag was still yet to arrive with Sheehan I was stuck in just a towel and base layer! The positive was the YHA served bottles of Moretti of which I indulged in, just a couple honest!
When Sheehan did arrive we headed for the local (a couple of mile walk, ask Veitchy!) in Edale and awaited the arrival of Andy Veitch, Steve Johnson and Toby Bartlett! I am still not sure who’s idea the red wine night cap was though!!! Ouch!!
Day 1 – Foggy! (Myself, Sheehan Quirke, Andy Veitch, Steve Johnson and Toby Bartlett)
The route I had planned for the day wasn’t massive but we had some killer climbs to contend with, the first of which was Mam Nick being only a couple of miles into the ride from Barber Booth! This would sweat the beer and red wine out!! The climb itself is about 1.5 miles long and averages 9.7% hitting over 15% in places! I think the fog helped blind us from the true magnitude of the ascent itself, and once at the top the view was just……err all white!!
We then made our way across Rushup Edge towards Chapel-en-le-Frith and down the old A6 to Whaley Bridge where we turned right onto the appropriately named Long Hill (A5004) which was used for the National Hill Climb Championship in 2011 won by Gunnar Gronlund in a time of12.49.
- Distance – 4.44 miles
- Average gradient – 3%
- Height gain – 195m – 425m (approx 230m)
Once at the top we headed down into the picturesque Goyt Valley and again the view was…. err all white!! Then headed out of the Goyt and over towards Flash (highest village in Great Britain) and then over to Longnor and for the much needed cafe stop at Beresford Tea Rooms in Hartington a frequent haunt of local cyclists.
Then it was on our way again after a good nosh up in the cafe, heading for Monyash, Taddington and on towards Tideswell for a quick pint in the George before taking on the Bradwell descent.
Then it was on to the climb everyone had been waiting for, Winnats Pass! The banter had built the climb up to be a monster and there was a deafening silence as we made our way through Castleton and up to the left turn that sees the start of the climb! The climb builds steadily up to the entrance for Speedwell Cavern and once over the cattle grid the gradient steadily increases to over 20% nearing the top!!! This really is a tough climb and the straightness of the final section gives you no respite. Check out the Winnats Pass Strava segment here!
Then it was simply the descent down Mam Nick and back to Edale YHA for some beer!
Day 2 – Sunshine! (Myself, Sheehan Quirke, Andy Veitch, Steve Johnson, Toby Bartlett, Tony Sheppard, Royce Goulby, Jamie Griffin, Ali Hindle, John Collingwood and Ian Creek)
Another night and a few more beers, the next morning didn’t take long to come around. This time the weather was fantastic and the sun was already pushing through! We had breakfast while we waited for more BDCC members to join us.
We decided on doing the same route again as this time we would be able to appreciate the views. Mam Nick definatly looks worse when you can see where you have to go, but everyone made it up in reasonable fettle.
Taking the same route again with scenery made the route seem a totally different ride and we was suprising greeted by my brother Nick taking photos at the end of Goyt Valley!
Again we stopped of at the Beresford Tea Rooms, however this time we were relegated to outside by my old cycling club and friends Wills Wheels!
Once leaving the tea rooms we were soon on our way and what didn’t seem like five minutes ago we was back heading towards Winnats Pass, however this time I decided to take a short cut with Andy Veitch back to the YHA, leaving the rest to have a go on Winnats 🙂
Fantastic weekend and something we should look to organise again next year!
Check out some fantastic photos by James Grant of the infamous Winnats Pass, Castleton.