UK: Peaks Muni Trip 29th Sept

A weekend of muni riding + camping in the Peak District with it’s own specially memorable name, the PMT is the weekend of the 29th Sep, 1st and 2nd October. Edale, the Peak District.

Trains from Manchester or Sheffield.

Camping at Coopers Farm, which is just behind the post office in Edale, here. It’s very close to the train station.

There’s a cafe that does bacon and eggs type food right by the campsite, plus a pub that does okay meals if you don’t want to bother cooking.

Riding will be from the campsite. If you want to meet up, we’ll be setting off at 10.00am from the Post Office in Edale, so get there for 9.30am to meet us.

Riding will be rocky cross country riding, loads of classic Peak District downhills, with some very technical sections. We’ll definately ride some of the famous ones, Chapel Gate, Cave Dale etc.

Some pics of the area in the album below
http://gallery.unicyclist.com/albuq45
and the snowy pictures in the album below are also from the area
http://gallery.unicyclist.com/album485

neither really show the riding, as I was too busy riding to take pictures at the interesting bits, but they do give a bit of an idea of the scenery, it’s a really nice area.

This probably isn’t the best weekend for absolute beginners. Most of the rides in this area demand a bit of commitment. If you aren’t sure if you can ride 10 miles, then you might have trouble. If you’ve come to a recent BMW and survived the faster ride, you’ll be okay.

We’ll hopefully manage a visit to either the rather refined tearoom in Castleton (tea guild recommended), or the nice cafe in Hope at some point on the weekend. However, on the Saturday, I’d ideally like to do a ride which requires a bit more than a mornings riding before getting back to civilisation, so please try to bring lots of snack.

There’s absolutely no mobile reception in Edale. If you’re getting there on Friday, just look around the campsite for unicyclists, or cars with unicycle.com stickers. If it’s getting towards the evening then the pub opposite the post office is the place to look.

The OS map for the area is OS Explorer OL1.

Bring waterproofs, it’s a rainy area. Also more warm clothes than you think, because the whole area is a bit high and cold. You might want to wear a helmet and pads if you have them because there’s a lot of rocks to fall off onto.

Joe

If anyone needs to contact me beforehand, post on here, or I’m news@joemarshall.org.uk, or 07905 696427.

Joe

Here’s a picture to give you an idea of what the riding is like

http://mtbbritain.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=&pos=-356

Joe

Sounds great Joe, if I manage to get myself out of bed at stupid o’clock on the Saturday morning I’ll join you.

I can’t get the friday off work, and leaving London on Friday night will mean a horrendous journey getting to Edale at closing time. So it’ll be a 5am start from London on Saturday, lightning fast drive up, and get there in plenty of time for the ride :smiley:

Paul

W00t w00t w000000000t, I’ll be there.

An advantage of muni-ing around the peaks is that the gritstone isn’t a problem; after having taken the bike there the other week it’s taken ages to stop the chain going crunch-crunch-crunch after just one 23 mile ride.

I’ll be going up on the Friday afternoon… if anyone between Somerset and Edale wants a lift, let me know.

Phil

Don’t forget, it’s this weekend.

It’s just occurred to me that when I say 29th Sept, I meant 30th Sept. Doh. Ie. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Joe

I’ve provisionally planned a couple of daytime rides.

Saturday - Jacob’s Ladder, Roych Clough, Chapel Gate plus some more of the bits off Mam Tor for anyone feeling fit. This is a minimum of about 11 miles, going up to as much as you feel like. This is one of the most famous rides in the Peaks and with good reason.

Sunday - Edale - Derwent Reservoir(possibly) - Hope plus back some how, possibly via Castleton to take on Cave Dale.

How long this ride is will very much depend on how knackered people are and how fast we’re going. If we take in the bit towards Derwent Reservoir, it gets a bit longer, but has a few recommended descents in it and a convenient cafe.

Start both days from outside the post office in Edale 9.30
for 10.00 start.

A nightride is pretty likely, so bring lights if you have them.

Joe

Oooooo, night rides in the peaks… injurytastic! My lights are on charge as I type.

I can’t find the charger for my legs, though… or my spare pair…

Phil

Mmm… muni! Time to get off the coker and remember how to ride on rocks and mud rather than gutter drains and truck traffic :slight_smile:

I should be getting the train up from Aberystwyth, but the earliest won’t make it to Edale station until 1030. From experience of frustrating faffing, I don’t want to cause people hold ups. Does anyone think they may be a bit late, and/or know the ride route, and fancies playing a wee bit of catch up? I’ll be pretty much ready to ride straight off once I’ve left my stuff.

With the phrase ‘some really technical stuff’ I guess this is 24" territory then. Wee!

Sam :slight_smile:

Sam - If you’re willing to ride pretty darn fast, which I expect you are, then you’d be able to catch up if you get in at 10.30. If there’s any chance of you getting the map, Ordnance Survey OL1, then the route goes to Upper Booth on the road, up Jacob’s Ladder, west down Coldwell Clough, across Mount Famine, down the spotty track past the Roych (Roych Clough) then down the path marked Chapel Gate.

You could print it off from here if you can’t get the proper map in time.
<http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=411510&y=385080&z=3&sv=411500,385500&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf>

It depends if you’re okay with riding that bit solo, otherwise, post on here before about 5pm today and I’ll make sure someone hangs back to meet that train who’s willing to race a bit.

It is 24" territory cos of the rocks.

If there’s any confusion on the day, phone me on 07905 696427 and leave a message, which I should get once we’re on the tops. Try Phil too if you’ve got his number, cos some networks are better than others round there.

Joe

Hi Sam,

Am off now, I’ll try to make sure someone meets the 1030 am train to Edale tomorrow.

If you’re okay catching up, then give me a call, although we might be out of the signal area.

Joe

It was never likely that I could make it, but it’s now definite that I can’t. Have a good time.

I may well get a short ride in some time over the weekend.

Incidentally, I shall miss hockey this Tuesday as work sends me unexpectedly to Manchester. :0( Have a good anniversary bash.

Mike

Was super good.

My pictures at

http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/?g2_view=core.ShowItem&g2_itemId=134463&g2_page=1

Am knackered.

Anyone else has pictures, I can give you permissions to the gallery, PM me.

Joe

looks like a super trip - however they also tell me that I was right not to come cold wet weather and the aftermath of a cold means that the body wouldn’t have coped, I’m still feeling like I’m a lung short of a full set - what were the distances/times for the two days? Hopefully it hasn’t finished of you, Jon and Gary for hockey tmorrow. I shall hopefully be in better shape for the next one

I’m gutted I missed this one, A juggling gig came up last minute and unfortunately need for pennies overcame need for Muni. Looks like you had a good time though.

Nice photos Joe, I see what you all were talking about now with that watersplash :slight_smile:

Only riding Sunday meant that I missed Saturday’s rain as the sun shone most of Sunday. It was a great ride with some really technical rocky descents some of which I wonder how we did ride them. The scenery is great around the peaks though my eyes were mainly on the ground looking at the rocks. I’m not sure how far we rode as I haven’t looked at my GPS yet, I’ll look later. There were lots of comments from two wheelers with the theme that we must be mad, that may be true but we were happy :smiley:

The bad part of the day for me was that I became quite badly dehydrated, starting about 2/3 into the ride getting cramp in my thighs then the last couple of miles I was in excruciating pain from it (sorry guys for going straight to my van but I needed to lye down). I guess the alcohol the night before didn’t help but I do sweat a lot anyway so I really do need to work on my hydration (I drank loads but that’s not enough as I also had a blinding headache that night). My legs aren’t as bad today as I thought they’d be so I should be OK’ish for hockey though I might still use it as an excuse :wink:

Thanks to Joe for organising it.

Nice British muni fog. Beautiful landscape. Good looking mud. Must pop over some day!

Recovering from PMT

The traditional start to a UK muni event: arriving at the campsite in the pouring rain, pitch blackness and knowing you have a tent to put up before you can retire to the pub. Sooner or later there will be a British muni event when it doesn’t tip it down, and it just won’t feel right. Thankfully in this case the nearest pub was a whole two minutes or so away, so we went to let our waterproofs drip dry over a pint or two.

First thing on Saturday morning it didn’t look too bad; it was windy, but the cloud layer was fairly high, blue sky abounded and it wasn’t raining. For some bizarre reason we ditched the normal bacon sandwiches and faffing routine and set off for a ride before breakfast; just a “quick trip” around a short loop up the back of Mam Tor and down for breakfast.

Four riders - John, Joe, Tue (from Land’s End… that’s a helluva long way to go muni-ing!) and myself set off as the skies darkened. The view westwards gradually disappeared under approaching cloud, and half way up Mam Tor the rain started falling.

Nonetheless we continued; after a push up to the road the track around the back of Mam Tor was good riding, and the descent from Hollins Cross started off with a fantastic length of tricky but rideable rocky track. We didn’t find out about the next bit, due to taking a wrong turning which led us straight down the hillside rather than winding slowly around it like we had intended; the track was at the bottom of a steep gulley which proved practically unrideable to all but Tue, who remained glued to his muni as he bounced down the trail.

Next it was back to the campsite for breakfast in the cafe before meeting Sam (redwelly) at the station, ready for the big ride of the day. A spin along the road and a short, steady climb led to the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder, an incredibly steep and technical track heading west out of the valley. Apparently only a few bikers have ever cleaned the whole climb; not wanting to show them up we decided to swallow our pride and walk up to Edale Cross, the first high point.

From Edale Cross it was downhill as far as the eye could see to Coldwell Clough; an unrelenting rock strewn trail at just the right gradient to be fantastic fun despite uncountable UPDs and a few ballistic trajectory dismounts.

On reaching the bottom the trail turned south and climbed again, winding down the west side of the High Peak along a wide trail at times unrideably steep or fast and swoopy. The trail gradually became more river like, water cascading down the rock steps towards us as we headed towards Chapel Gate.

This is a descent I’ve done before on the bike; long ago it was presumably a road, but the shifting peat and flowing water have turned it into a fantastic downhill with narrow strips of tarmac above rock filled ruts heading down into the valley. Riding the paved strips is the easy part; then the strip narrows and stops, leaving you to drop off the end with the choice of whether to stay in the rocky gulley or get back onto the next section of tarmac. This continues for over half a mile down the hillside and is excellent fun.

The track flattened at the bottom for a short run to the road. Here the rain had covered the trail in two places, opaque brown water covering an unknown surface with an unknown depth of water. While the rest of us reached for our cameras John and Sam took aim at the puddle and went for it; Sam got half way before getting a thorough soaking from a UPD as the water deepened. John picked a shallower line and, after a minor UPD near the beginning, made it through un-drenched.

The last climb of the day followed; a long road ride up to the Mam Tor trail from the morning ride. This time we took the proper turn on the way down, and the trail remained challenging but rideable as we were propelled onwards by thoughts of showers, dry clothes and going to the pub for dinner and a pint as soon as possible…

Sheer exhaustion made it quite an early night. Even before pub closing time we were back in our tents listening to the wind, occasional squeaking noises and a lone “pop!” from John wrestling with his home-made balloon bed.


The weather on Sunday morning looked promising, and turned out to be much better than the first day. Instead of waterproofs and fleeces we set off with such sensible muni gear as John’s helmet adornment, an inflatable dog and rabbit made from his balloon bed of the night before. Apologies to those struggling to make muni a serious, respected sport for hardened athletes; we have probably set your campaign back a good year or so.

Gary (unicus) joined us at the campsite and the group of six sped along the road eastwards, pausing only to re-seat Sam’s tyre after his innertube made a break for freedom after fixing a slow puncture earlier. Leaving the road, the trail made its way towards the first landmark of the day, the descent down to the Snake Pass road known as “The Beast” for its rocky, technical and injury-inducing properties.

This was definitely body armour territory; countless UPDs were in evidence as the descent was ridden in lengths of no more than five metres at a time, dropping off rock shelves, bouncing over loose rocks and sliding on rock slick from rainwater. It’s amazing we haven’t all got broken ankles; walkers with stout boots and poles were gingerly picking their way down, as we ran out of UPDs with thin, flat-soled trainers on. It made for slow progress but was an excellent way to cash in the gravity karma gained from the earlier climbing.

On the other side of the road one more ridge stood between us and the cafe next to Derwent Reservoir; a push up to the top was followed by a truly fantastic super-fast descent down to the waterside. The trail was straight and wide, but the perfect mix of gradient and lumpy rocks for descending as fast as you could spin while remaining right on the edge of control; Joe shouting “Faster, faster!” all the way down didn’t help in that regard!

A cafe stop for lunch at Fairholmes marked the far point of the ride; from here it was a quick spin along the reservoir to a trail leading up through the forest back to the ridge, then tracing our tyre tracks back the way we had come. By now the weather was a far cry from 24 hours earlier; the sun beamed down and it was a beautiful afternoon as we rode along the sun-dappled track above Fairholmes to the top of the descent to the road.

The next section proved eventful, speeding down the steep and rocky trail to the road and on to the river. I had my only proper crash of the weekend, forcefully ejected from the muni and rolling to a stop on bed of rocks; Joe’s innertube felt the touch of spiky sharp things, and Gary’s legs started to complain. The stop on the bridge while Joe fixed his tyre was a most welcome chance to stuff down some snacks, inspect leaky body parts and get ready for a big walk back up The Beast - probably one of the few hills where it takes twice as long to ride down than it does to walk up!

Once at the top the worst was behind us, as the trail undulated towards the road and base camp, still with Joe shouting “faster, faster!” as we dropped towards the stream crossing at Jagger’s Clough. Our good deed done for the day - we found a wallet on the trail, but caught up with its owner a mile further on - we rolled into the campsite to shower, pack everything up and visit the pub one last time before heading for home. The rain began to fall again as we headed for the pub; with the riding done and the tents packed away we were past caring.

Tue and I left just before 7pm as Sam caught his train; we arrived back at my house in Yeovil at about 10:45, transferred Tue’s stuff and parted company. Given the late hour and the distance between Yeovil and Land’s End he was planning to make full use of his Monday off by staying overnight on Dartmoor before continuing; some of us on the other hand had work to go to…

The two-day total; 37 miles along the horizontal and 2450 metres upwards. I think the extra large helping of sticky toffee pudding this lunchtime was well deserved.

Phil

For those with an inadequate attention span (or just can’t stand my neverending waffle), the pictures that will save you having to read a thousand words can be found here:

www.flippet.org/muni/pmt/

The photos have been reduced in size; full size versions are available on request…

Phil

I see no mention of a night ride, what’s the matter with you people? Shame I couldn’t make it, I just couldn’t balance that time and distance equation, oh, and that nasty work thing got in the way, better planning may have helped, life’s just too short to go around missing Muni Weekends, or even PMT weekends.