After a week off riding to recover from Scotland I was feeling that itch to get out again, so with today being the best of the weather this week I headed to the Peak District. I was determined to get a first ride of the year in comfy jeans and leather jacket, but the forecast said it was only just going to get into double figures, therefore the soft southerner in me opted for the extra precaution of long johns and a fleece jumper, even then, for the first few hours it felt like I’d left my flies open!
I decided to be a bit more adventurous than taking the ‘normal’ routes and headed across country for an hour and a half to near Leek and up the B5053 to enter the Peaks from the south-east.
First stop was at the Tea Junction at Hulme End, which had a groups of bikers also taking refreshments. As the sun shining on my black rollbag had melted the chocolate in it I had to buy some millionaires shortbread to go with a coffee instead.
I programmed satnav with one of my usual routes, but in reverse this time for a change. This had me heading towards Tittesworth reservoir, but due to the vagaries of satnavs on different roads than the other direction and I had a different view of The Roaches.
Continuing on up through Wincle I turned right onto the A54, but as I did so saw a cyclist coming down the road opposite which looked interesting, not something I would have noticed going the normal direction on my route. Deciding to explore I found a place to turn around and explore this new road.
Not that I captured it in this photo, but just to the left is a view down onto a town (Macclesfield?) and on the horizon a larger urban area with high-rise buildings (Stockport?). That juxtaposition felt strange, as until that point I felt I’d been exploring ‘wilderness’.
After getting back on my usual route for a bit I went off-piste again down a track I new from once before led to a quiet spot where I could take a break and enjoy a ‘remote’ feeling. Also, my melted chocolate had solidified again, so a chocolate brake was in order
My route ended at The Old Smithy in Monyash which was busy as it often is on a fine day.
I decided not to push the amount of riding I did just because it was sunny and I was in the Peak District, better to arrive home ‘early’ (4pm) feeling tired and happy, rather than knackered and slightly stressed. So I programmed satnav with the 2 hour scenic route home, via a petrol station for fuel. That turned out to have a selection of beer, so I bought a bottle of Titanic Plum Porter which I though would be a nice refreshing post-ride beverage
I timed getting home well, because just after putting bike away Amazon man arrived with a delivery which required someone to be there and prove they were over 18