10 riders turned out to ride to Wirksworth on a cold and icey morning. With the icey conditions, we decided to stick to the main roads so that we could keep warm and reduce the risk of coming a cropper on the icey lanes. We set out up the Ashbourne Road and passed Bottom House and Winkhill, as we dropped into Waterhouses we were met with the worse conditions of the whole ride driving sleet. After the long climb out of Water-houses we had all warmed up and the weather had cleared and then we all enjoyed the fast descent into Ashbourne down Swinscoe Bank. After Ashbounre we were then onto the rolling roads heading towards Wirksworth as we rode through Kniveton and then past Carsington Water which is always a nice as we catch the odd glimpse of the Reservoir as we ride by. Once we had dropped into Wirksworth, we saw a couple of cyclists who were just leaving a French Bistro in the main square and they commented on how good the place is, so we decided to break from the norm and give it a try. Once everybody had sat down we noticed the exotic french menu of squid and mussels and wondered if they would dish up the,usual Leek CC stable diet of bacon baps and beans on toast. After receiving our hot drinks from the waitress we asked about food and cakes, which we then found out that there’s no possibility of warm food at all, and that there’s only 5 Croissants left to buy between us. So after finishing our warm drinks we decided to head across the road to fuel up on Mars and Snicker Bars from a newsagents instead, this then left a number of our riders fantasizing and commenting over their beans on toast for most of the ride home and im sure after this experience we will be sticking with our tried and tested cafe’s from now on. The ride home took us over to Cromford, and then onto the winedy main road which climbs gradually for 9 miles which is known as Via Gellia and passes through Grangemill and Pikehall. After regrouping in Newhaven, we then dropped into Hartington and into a freezing headwind. Which made us all the more ready to warm up, with the start of the long and steady climb up from Hulme End through Warslow and then climbing as you pass the rugged moorland hills with everyone finishing at the old Mermaid Pub as we all regrouped out of the wind in a little windbreak, we then dropped into Leek down Thorncliffe Bank and finished with the usual stop opposite the old Moss Rose Pub as we said our goodbye’s, a decent winter ride finishing with just over 50 miles in the bank.
written by Club Rider Rob Howson