Four riders set out to Hartington, myself, Alison Held, Andy Bain, new rider, Adrian and Phil “two Sauces” Simcock. We rode out to Leekbrook and through Basford and Ipstones where we turned for Foxt and Cauldon Lowe. We were riding at a good relaxed pace but Phil set off on a sprint that we could not match. We pulled over for a quick snack at Bloore before dropping in to Ilam. A little note from the archives as the club visited Ilam back in nineteen thirty five when Ilam hall had partly been demolished before opening as a Youth Hostel so nice to think we still ride the same routes. We rode up the climb where Adrian proved himself a good climber before passing through Alstonfield. Here we turned right and on to the Hartington road before arriving at the Farm cafe which was a first for the group. Here we had a pleasant stop for Coffee and cakes. The cafe had an electric selection of paintings for sale and the Highland cattle ones were colourful. The club celebrities sat on their own table apart from us lesser mortals where they chatted about who was going to be involved in reality TV shows and the like. A little unknown fact about the cafe is just around the corner is a Royal Observer Corps nuclear bunker provided during the Cold War in case of Derby or Sheffield being attacked. Three people could shelter there for two weeks. Useful to know just in case you get caught out while stopping for a coffee.
We set off to return via Longdale and Crowdecote before passing through Longnor. Here we rode to Newtown but turned left to head towards Warslow instead of straight on to Fawfield Head and on to Morridge. We then turned right and rode the long climb to the Mermaid BB where we waited for the rest of the group. Once all had recovered we continued to Leek. There was a sprint for Leek which was won by Phil after a fast effort. We stopped for a chat on Buxton road where to our amazement, a passing car driver peeped and gave us the finger! No idea what we had done to deserve this? Still, it was nice to have a young girl knock and wave to us at the Mermaid proving that there are some nice people out there. A great forty two mile ride and thanks to Andy Bain for leading it and for Alison keeping us on our best behaviour.
Written by Club Rider Nick Avins