Larkling Ride: The Roaches


Just four out for this hilly 40 miler: Simon, Greg, Phil and Ian.

Heading out through Gawsworth we had the Larks in our sights for some time (we were going that fast!). The first of the day’s climbs started at 11 miles, up to Biddulph Moor, followed by an exhilarating (if rather potholed) descent into Rudyard.

The road over from Rudyard to Meerbrook was a new one on me, scenic, and quite hilly, but not as bad as Gun Hill which this route cuts out. From Meerbrook looking up to the Roaches you could see it was going to be very busy with cars parked most of the way up. Our route went past the Lazy Trout pub, but the Larks turned here to go up the feared climb of Cote Lane (or Devils Elbow?! as local cyclists call it). Fortunately we took the easy way up to the tea room, though this was still a testing climb in places and full of walkers lining the roads.

Simon, Greg and Phil outside the Roaches Tea Room.

Simon, Greg and Phil outside the Roaches Tea Room.

We arrived at the tea room about 20 minutes before the Larks, who came in dribs and drabs. Service and food were good. My oatcakes were huge and not as stodgy as in some places we have been to. Everyone else seemed to be on the standard beans on toast.

Once out of the tea room we pressed on up to the Roaches summit, past reams of parked cars, I’ve never seen it so busy up there. Once we descended from there it was much quieter for most of the way back, via Wildboarclough and Macc Forest. We went our different ways around Langley.

Phil leads Greg over the top of the Roaches.

Phil leads Greg over the top of the Roaches.

Thanks to Chris for routing, and Simon for leading. Another great ride out in the hills.

My Wahoo is saying… Distance: 41 miles, Speed: 11.7mi/h, Elevation: 4,108ft.

Right, let’s see if Milan-Sanremo recorded!

Cheers, Ian.