Lark Ride to Eyam
More lanes new to all of us today. More fantastic scenery.
More baked beans on toast for me at Eyam Tea Rooms where we expressed both colour and nomenclature solidarity with the orange-clad Norton Wheelers from Sheffield. That was after descending the residential and therefore car-lined (and surely almost impossible to climb - there’s a challenge for you Matt and other hill climbers) Middleton Lane into Stoney Middleton at mile 28 (imagine living there: you’d need a 4x4 and crampons).
On the return leg, rather than repeat our descent into Chapel from our recent hot ride to Hassop I diverted us seamlessly up Cowlow Lane after mile 40 to descend the fearsome Castle Naze, smug that we weren’t coming up the beast, only to feel considerably less smug to gasp up Lesser Lane and find out why I had only ever gone down this one, not up, and to remind Mark why 38/28 aren’t really suitable gears for climbing. My exhaustion was assuaged by stopping in a gateway halfway, ostensibly to let a car pass us, and by having ‘led’ (from the back) Jochen up the hardest climb he had done for a long time.
At the top the left turn hoped for cut-through to Long Hill was signed as a no through road (although I now recall riding it the other way on a Fozzie-led diversion on one of John’s famous Mile High Rides, even if it was off road and did involve climbing over a gate). So we descended Old Road into Whaley and climbed (aka in my case crawled) back through Kettleshulme.
I did 61 miles park to home at an average of 11.7 mph, diverting down Lowes Lane to harvest some dandelions for Harrington the Rabbit with the intention of diverting him for a few minutes from his life’s work of eating the garden (he’s winning), getting home at 3.00 pm to be greeted as I staggered to my own kettle with my usual hero’s welcome: “You’re early”, to which I replied, brandishing my Garmin-Never-Lies and pointing triumphantly to the elapsed time of 6:07:57: “Early! I’ve been out since 8.46!!”
Actually the Garmin does lie, claiming a total ascent of 7,372 feet, while Ride With GPS clocked the official route at 5,321. I know that the ironically named Lesser Lane was tough and I know that I failed the misnamed Elementary Mathematics O-Level twice (I am not making this up) but it wasn’t 2,051 feet. I’m sure it was much more.
Supporting photography: Christian, Jochen and (see last pic) a member of my family who, for their own security, must remain nameless but whose pocket money I shall be reviewing at their next appraisal (I’m sure at age 29, they should be past the pocket money stage by now).