Header image header image 2  
Cycling Club
  || HOME ||
Christmas Dinner

Sunday January 23th 2011

The Good Mud Guide
At the usual meeting place of the Arden Arms, the soon to be muddy party set off with 5 riders (Dave, Martin, Jason, Mark and Maggie), dropped down to 4, got back up to 5, added another, lost one, then one more, by-passed the Arden and got back home after nearly 7 hours of riding. Everyone came back muddier, of course, but also with great big smiles on their faces.

Maggie goes home
A fairly straightforward and relatively flat route took us out towards Charlesworth passing through familiar “Wednesday Night” territory. However, before we got that far Maggie had to head for home for a replacement bike as her seat post kept slipping down making her bike unrideable.

In Charlesworth a short road section up a steep climb (they were all steep from this point on!) and then off road up to Coombes Edge providing arguably the most spectacular views of the day: a steep drop to the valley floor and a wide open vista looking back towards Stockport and beyond.

Hairy Cow

Just after the descent we came across a field of brown Highland Cattle although they are probably better known as “Woolly Cows.” Mark glanced up. “Look at those hairy sheep!” Mark, they’re cows. To be fair, there was a black and white one in the group, but come on.

Mark tries to impress Emmy
After meeting up with Emmy on the far side of the A624 (Hayfield to Glossop road) the terrain got decidedly “Dark Peak” with grit, mud, heather, rocks, frozen pools and that long thin spiky grass like stuff, not to mention the steepness of the trails.

Almost as soon as we started there was a steep (surely the word steep is superfluous now!) uphill muddy bit. Emmy flew up with Mark just behind. Only Mark really knows what happened next but he claims that “Emmy took a bad line and mine was even worse” resulting in an “off.” Never mind. After lunch, I got more than my comeuppance for laughing.

How do you ride a bike uphill over thick, peaty and rocky mud in a 3 inch wide ditch with sides that are so high you can’t pedal? No idea. I was too far behind everybody else to see how they were doing it as they rode into the distance, so I walked most of that bit.

From the top the route heads steeply (that word again) down towards Kinder Reservoir along a smooth but very narrow heather lined track before hitting a super fast cobbled stretch that had our brakes smoking. Mark and Jason reckoned it was because they were “a pair of fat gits.” Speak for yourselves; the rest of us aren’t fat so that must make us…? Well, anyway. Let’s move on.

A bit of road, over the Kinder Stream by the campsite in Hayfield and then up a ridiculously long climb. It was quite manageable on the lower slopes being a tarmac surface but it soon turned into a sandy, rocky, ever steeper drag. I changed onto the granny ring but reckoned that walking would be faster so gave the pedalling a miss for a while. A quick downhill track followed by the main road got us to the pub for our lunch.

Maggie Re-joins the ride
About 10 minutes after we arrived at the Lamb Inn for lunch (a gorgeous Minestrone Soup followed by a wonderful Lamb Hot Pot) the roadies arrived and Maggie rejoined us on her Kona full suss making a fine turn out of 18.

Martin and the Gorse
Looking out accross the valley from the car park of the Inn is Chinley Churn and Cracken Edge-our post meal destination.

After quite a tough climb there is a steady narrow descent across a very steep slope followed by a flatter wider section of small slopes. Most were about 3 or 4 feet in height on a very steep angle. They were all lined by thick gorse bushes just to add to the drama. This was great fun until I came across a horrible looking slope with a height drop of about 7 or 8 feet that I had very little chance of riding down. There was another slope to the right so that’s where I headed. It turned out that I couldn’t ride that one either.

Going over the top the wheel rode up against the lip of a rock. The front end twisted round and the back end started to come up. I got my feet down and ran a few paces but then it all went skywards as my legs came up against the frame and thebike flipped over and I went flying through the gorse to land in the mud at the bottom.

First thoughts were “What have I broken?”  Second thoughts “I’m alright!” Although it did take about 10 minutes to pull all the thorns out of my lycra (and gloves and coat and wrists..).

I now seemed to have some sort of affimity for rhe gorse and after another quick trip through another bush (just the left leg this time) it was time to say “Goodbye” to Emmy but not before everybody suggested I go on her MTB skill school to pick up some hints.

Birch Vale, New Mills and Home
Riding around the end of Chinley Churn and climbing back up on the far side led us to a superb fast and long downhill that had the legs acting as suspension and the arms aching just trying to keep hold of the bars.

Through Birch Vale to New Mills on the Sett Valley Trail, up another (I hardly need to say but yes it was) climb back to familiar Wednesday Night tracks around Strines, up to the canal, through Marple and back to Stockport on the farm track up to Bredbury Hall and back home.

Report by Martin