Day One…

…was not long, but was hard enough work for me after not riding for a couple of weeks!
Jonny and I set off from home a bit later than planned, in the rain. It had been raining all morning and showed no sign of stopping.

We stopped by the Eisner’s to say Happy Birthday to Mark, but they weren’t in. We found out later that they too were cycling and we almost crossed paths.

Then we headed North. Our final destination is actually SWW of home, but we have five days so thought we would use them by following a Northern arc.

The ride to Ashbourne was quite familiar, although I have never done it in this direction before. A steady ‘up’ most of the way, with a few steep ups and downs, like the one under the A52. I also realise, now, that this section didn’t seen too uphill because I wasn’t yet tired!

The rain had not relented and so we entered the Tissington Trail wet and with no obvious chance of drying out in the near future. I had planned a scenic route, knowing it would be hilly, but always worth it for the views up here in the Peak District. Thorpe Cloud was looking as spectacular ever, even in the gloom.

Had it been a warmer day we would have stopped in Ilam, a place I haven’t been to since coming on a school trip. Instead we had a quick game of Pooh Sticks, are a bit if flapjack and carried on, in the rain.

Then the climbing started, or at least I started to feel it more! As predicted, though, the scenery was well worth it. Just before Grindon there was a massive decent into the Manifold River valley, with a couple of switch backs and everything! The inevitable climb out of the valley was tough, and the wind at the top didn’t help, but great scenery!

The last 8 miles were a slog, but after the long incline out of Onecote the decent into Leek was fantastic. Straight roads with good visibility, so fast!

We were staying in a camping barn, which is very much as it sounds. An old barn, with the original stalls in place, and sleeping platforms between. Basic but lovely. Also very ‘eco’ which Jonny was less keen on, especially the compost toilet and milk churn urinal!!

It was still raining, so the walk to the pub meant getting wet again, but after a hard day it was necessary, if only for warmth!!

We only traveled 31.7 miles, but climbed nearly 1000m, so a good day.

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Sent from my HTC

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