Monday, 1 July 2013

On One in the Peak District

Hi de- Hi Campers

Deb and I spent a night under canvas on Saturday. It's been a couple of years since I slept in a tent and several years for Deb, although I have bivvied a few times, but the way Deb slept like the proverbial log and I tossed and turned you would of thought it was the other way round,  the campsite being near a busy road didn't help but it didn't bother Deb so I shouldn't really complain about that.

home for the night

The tent is only a cheap little two man or a one man & one woman to be precise but it did the job although we very didn't nearly make it only arriving at the campsite at Newhaven in the White peak, Derbyshire at 9 pm and it's only just over an hour drive from where we live in Stoke on Trent. We decided to camp because I wanted to give Deb a flavour of some real offroad riding that you get in the Derbyshire Peak District and because we are pretty crap at organising ourselves, always getting side tracked with kids and all the other stuff you have to deal with day to day, so I thought it would give us more time to spend on the ride.

As I said I didn't get much sleep so we took it easy Sunday morn not putting the coffee pot on till about 9.30 am but that and the bacon butties soon got me going. We weren't in a rush but that didn't stop me from leaving one of my bidon's in the camp toilet block ..Doh

The ride started in Youlgreave and followed some quite technical bridleways along small valley gorges that characterize the area. Most of the climbing was on roads which were long but not too steep, again I was amazed how Debs toughed them out and kept the hammer down trying to keep up with me because as I was on my sscx pompino I have to keep my cadence up. We did a bit of hike a bike & pushing along Gratton Dale which was a bit too technical in places and hemmed in with overgrown Hawthorn bushes making it even more difficult without getting off and pushing. Debs was on her new 14" Inbred which she was glad of or else she would of had to get off and do more even more pushing.

Gratton Dale

By the end of Gratton Dale Debs was beginning to flag but with 2/3rds of the ride done I wasn't too worried but I couldn't say the same for Debs though because after I showed her the map she was convinced we had another 15km to go instead of the 5 there really was. We had a little steep push up out of Long Dale, which was rewarded with a fast 1.5km 80m decent along rutted double track, across some fields, dodging the cows down to Smerril Grange which put a big smile back on Debs face and a Queen of the Mountains award on Strava and 10th place overall out of 34, pretty good for a novice.  She says she was glad that she was following me or she wouldn't have gone that fast. I came 9th overall which I'm pretty pleased with, I would be interested to know if any of those that are higher were riding a ss cross ?
There were a couple of little road climbs left but it was just a short ride left to where we started after that.

Overall it was a great little taster for Deb for the hopefully bigger and better adventures to come, I for one can not wait and I hope Debs can't too

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