3.30am- My alarm went off, I’m not a morning person, I usually ignore every alarm that goes off if I have work, but when I’m going out on my bike, my selective hearing works a treat. I’d been mega organised the night before and packed up my kit and snacks ready to just head out the door.
4am- I set off on my journey to Ladybower. The drive over is one of my favourites, quiet winding country roads. The view over Chesterfield looked lovely all lit up, filled with excitement I made my first stop to take a quick photo, it was the first time I’d seen the view at this time in the morning.
After talking to Jenny at Boundless Betty about writing a blogpost about my ‘5 favourite rides’ I thought I’d put a twist on it and try and achieve my 5 favourite (local) rides in one day. My two very keen friends Darren and Daniela were well up for joining me on the challenge.
For the first ride I chose Ladybower purely for the delightful views and awesome trails. I was also introduced to Peaks riding here back in the summer and fell in love with the place.
I arrived at the carpark at 5am, alone and panicking slightly that the others had forgot to put an alarm on and I’d be heading out on a solo mission! Soon enough they arrived and then the ‘faffing’ began. With an hour till sunrise minimal faff was all that was on offer. Snack packing (PB&J sandwich) and then my usual bike check consisting of the only things I know how to do..
- Chain lube (if I touch the chain, will stuff come off on my fingers?).
- Tyre pressure (are the tyres flat?)
It was freezing! Daniela and I couldn’t feel our fingers so ended up pressing them up against my car fans on full whack whilst we waited for Darren to faff a bit longer. 5.30-And we were off! Trying to climb at fast pace up a very rocky bridleway that climbed up onto the moor is not ideal when you’re in a rush.
I was desperate to get to the highest view point before the sunrise. Darren was like a mountain goat, way ahead, Daniela far more relaxed told me to go on without her and I was stuck somewhere in the middle overwhelmed by the ever changing views around me taking selfies whilst trying to climb (Im getting quite good at that).
6.00am- Here comes the sun dun nuh nuh nuh. Probably one of the coolest moments in my life. Absolute stillness of our surroundings, not another soul to be seen and we were greeted with this beautiful sunrise. One of them ‘face hurts from smiling moments’. Away went the phone and out came my lovely Sony camera.
And it just got cooler
And then we did some yoga..
After admiring the view and taking countless amounts of photos we decided to mission it further up the moors so we’d have a nice long decent back to the cars. All of us in high spirits!
We made our way up to the trig point and discussed where we were going to have breakfast! Cafe Adventure was a no brainer, it’s in Hope, they make the best coffee, and the cake is to die for! Stomachs rumbling we made our way back to the cars. The single track down is so much fun, one of my favourite descents and the view down the valley is amazing. However the biggest drawback when descending in the peaks is simply that you don’t get to appreciate the view on the way back down. Luckily, for me, Daniela got a flat! (Hooray). So whilst waiting for her I took another photo opportunity!
Back to the carpark and off for breakfast, the first ride was completed.
DESTINATION- FROGGATT EDGE
A couple weeks earlier Darren and I had visited Froggatt edge for a photoshoot with some friends. It was a really fun morning and we found some great trials and views, and with it being not too far from lady bower, I thought it would be ideal for our second ride of the day.
12.00pm- Maybe our breakfast stop took a bit longer than planned, and because when in Hope, it’s become tradition to visit 18bikes. It’s a sweet local bike shop that makes you want to spend all of your money.
Due to yet another flat, sadly Daniela abandoned the mission which left just me and Darren. We arrived at Calver, and with a little bit more faffing we were then off up the horrible road climb to Froggatt edge. I don’t mind climbing, if I know how long it is, but with my lack of knowledge this climb seemed to be endless.
We finally came off the road and cut through some fields on a bridleway that lead us to the far end of Curbar . Following a wide open track to our desired view point at Froggatt edge we were met with lots of friendly walkers that held the gates open for us!
Froggatt Edge is a gritstone escarpment in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park (Googled that). But on a another serious note, it’s pretty cool with tonnes of nice flowy trails and some techy rock sections in between. And you get sweet views like the one above. And sweet spots if you fancy a little lie down like the one below.
After cruising along Froggatt edge we headed back down. We may have taken a few wrong turns and doubled back on ourselves. But we eventually seemed to be on the right track after some directions from more friendly walkers. We stopped for lunch and then practiced our handstands before heading back to Calver.
Ride 2 complete!
15.30pm- Darren and I arrived in Crich. Here we met our pal Seb. In a race against the sunset now, we took the shortest route I know up into the woods. It’s a gradual steep climb, pedalling away we chatted about the awesome day we’d had so far and what we were trying to achieve. Crich woods are full of fun flowy techy descents. So we were in for a treat.
It’s a lovely view at the top of the climb on Chadwick Nick Lane. Over a couple of fields and a wall, we were ready for the first descent.
4 descents later we were down on the tow path pedalling like mad, it was rapidly dawning on us that we were running out of light (And I was pretty sleepy).
16.30pm-We arrived at the bottom of Ambergate woods, I’m not going to lie, I was knackered! I stopped to do some yoga (excuse to lie down) and then we were off again, against the sun clock. We passed the factories and rushed into the woods where it was already getting dark .
I had my first ride in Shining Cliff woods the summer before and since it has become one of my favourite local spots. It’s covered in great ever growing variety of trails. You’re spoilt for choice at the top of the woods as to which one you want to dive into. Two descents later and a slow climb back to the top Darren broke the news to me that by the time we were out of the woods we wouldn’t be able to complete the final spin at Black Rocks (booo) but to be quite honest after 43.4k with 1104m of climbing I was ready for some food and a nap!
So all in all a marvellous day with some great people and trails. 10/10 would do again (but maybe with a bit of a lie in). Check out the video Darren made with all his GoPro footage below of the day.