I was supposed to be running the Kinder Downfall fell race, but with one thing & another I wasn’t fit for it. Like any sane person though I do love the peak district & some friends where going & running, so I thought I’d tag along have a nights drinking (umm camping, I mean camping) and then go for a ride (at a lower height than the downfall or summit).
My trusty OL1 suggested that a ride round the resevoir would be a nice idea, 8km of challenging terrain, a max elevation of 380m, should be really really pleasant.
Having dropped the runners in hayfield village, I parked the car back at the campsite and geared up. Quick mount & away. Someone was filming something documentry looking in the car park I’ll be in shot riding by, this could be funny if it doesn’t get cut, look for me on a clips show anytime soon.
The first Km is rural road & footpath, nothing too challenging (though a bit of steep in places and a couple of tree roots for fun). The next part was the footpath to the Dam. This is cobbled with large cobbles & very steep, it was steep but I thought doable, until I met the first rain run off. That pinged me off in a commedy UPD, fortunately I was away before most of the walkers :). Discretion kicked in (little did I know that there woulld be a fair amount of that following) and I walked for a while to find a nice mounting spot, the wind was now picking up (gusts would be recorded at around 72kph) but it was a nice spot for a photo
The ride from here was pretty rough as there were some fairly Jagged rocks littering the path, amusment was provided by the first of several fords, I made it halfway before the mud grabbed the tyre & provided me with a rather damp UPD. At the bottom of wiliam clough I stopped for a breather (and to work out if I could ride over the bridge or not) and a couple of walkers came by. They were chatting about a guy running, to which I added knowledgably that there was a race on “oh yes, we are marshalling it, which is why we thought he’s a bit late to get to the start”, oops.
About 500m on my phone rang ! It turns out a friend of mine was attempting to play an april fool joke, it would have worked better if I could hear. A quick down hill ride scattering sheep as I went and I came to another ford, which I crossed sucessfully (Hurrah). I thought it was a good time to have a snack. A word of warning here I bought a nice looking organic/fair trade krispie bar. Don’t you’d have more fun eating plasterboard, thank camel back for helping get that monster down.
There was technical uphill, leading to some wild exposed moor. Trying to mount up there with the wind was a dispiriting experience leading to a lot more walking.
However I got up with the assitance of a drystone wall and then was faced with the downhill (approx 80m of descent in around 300m of along). I was gathering pace and proceeding from nice to uh-oh when I hit a tussock & got me some air, on landing I hit a second tussock and got me more air on landing again the discretion filter kicked in & I bailed, failing to grab the uni. Which recorded a new max speed of 25km/h and clipped the rear of a sheep without me (both sheep & cycle were unharmed). At the bottom I found another lovely ford (yes I do have a thingabout them) and made it half way across that.
I was now crossing the back of the wood halfway up broken clough when the ground turned marshy and led to more walking. The marshal came buy on her way back down to the village, I guess she must of thought it pretty odd this guy dragging a unicycle round the hills.After the marsh I found a spot I could get some momentum & get going from there it was a sweet (but frantic) ride down to the village rec-ground where my running friends would be finishing, and at last I manged to ride past the marshall, see I Can ride it after all.