Larkling Ride to Hartington
Just 5 Larklings out on a balmy February ride through the Derbyshire Dales.
Not sure what happened to the ladies today, as conditions could not have been any better for the time of year. Tough to gauge what clothing to wear, as it was chilly in the morning, but pretty darn warm in the afternoon.
Heading out of South Park today were: Greg, Phil, new rider Oliver, myself (Ian) and a rather flustered Simon - after discovering he’d had an overnight puncture at the last minute.
The chilly start was soon forgotten about on the long slog up to Flash, followed by a scenic descent to Longnor. After that it was undulating quiet lanes most of the way to Hartington. The village itself was very busy with ramblers enjoying the spring sun.
Lunch was at Hartington Farm Shop & Cafe. We managed to beat the Larks by about half an hour this time. The cafe was fairly quiet when we got in, but filling up fast. Good speedy service and nice food. Fortunately the Larks hadn’t piled their bikes on top of ours outside, enabling a timely get away, leaving the Larks still eating, just as a huge group of ramblers came in.
Heading out of the cafe we were almost immediately on the narrow farm track that goes over to Pilsbury. Lots of walkers about, plus several gate stops. The sound of spring lambs echoed through the dale.
Through Earl Sterndale the route had us taking a left and heading through Glutton Bridge, but the consensus was to make a change here and head straight over and up to Buxton Raceway.
We picked up Rob at Axe Edge Moor who unbeknown to us had been doing the Larkling ride on his own, to gauge his abilities in the hills. Rob, I’m confident you would be able to hang with us! We will expect to see you on the next hilly one.
Once on top of the Cat & Fiddle it was decided not to descend into Macc Forest, and instead head back to Macc all the way along the A537. Oliver said his goodbyes at the top and powered off as the group generally fragmented on the descent.
All in all a superb scenic ride, on dream cycling roads, in amazing conditions.
I don’t think you can ask for more than that, can you?
Cheers Chris for organising, and Simon for leading again.