The Stockport Community Cycling Club hilly rides are always popular events. And Andy S’s hilly rides have become almost de-facto. Thus, this latest cycle ride indicating a few lumps to climb on our journey to Buxton was highly anticipated. Daunting? Perhaps. Challenging? Certainly. Rewarding? Definitely!
We were promised a day of mixed weather when we met in Disley. Sarah was due to back-lead this ride. However, she has been struggling with pain in the foot, which has increasingly become acuter. After running the Bangor 10k yesterday (she had actually been due to run the half-marathon), and more pain, she decided to visit A&E suspecting another broken foot. Thankfully this proved not to be the case. I, therefore, took over back-leading duties.
We began by cycling up Jacksons Edge Road and straight up our first hill – Disley hill. A sort of warm-up for hills to come.
Then a brief respite before our first major climb, that of Buxton Old Road.
We turned off towards Kettleshulme.
Debbie was struggling. Not helped by being unable to switch down to her lower gears. As we turned onto Mudhurst Lane we got our first glimpse of the fabulous views that make rides such as these so memorable.
Mudhurst Lane soon aptly becomes Higher Lane. We then turned off onto Priest Lane. Here we encountered our first incident as a chain coming off resulted in a pile-up going up a sharp slope. Thankfully, no-one was hurt.
From Kettleshulme we headed up our second major climb and past Windgather Rocks.
This is a long steady climb.
And as we arrived at the top at Pym Chair we entered some low cloud.
Next, we turned towards Goyt Valley.
This was a steep downhill down The Street.
It brought us out alongside Errwood Reservoir.
We then began climbing up towards Derbyshire Bridge. Andy S (the other one) took time out to adjust his brakes. They had locked up and he had been cycling with them permanently on.
Brakes released and he was away – flying up the hill. Except, he didn’t. A cough he had been struggling with kept his speed down. I was grateful.
Continuing on we reached the infamous Cat and Fiddle Road.
This brought a fast descent into Buxton.
Lunch was taken at the Pavilion Cafe in the Pavilion Gardens. Debbie, who had struggled most of the morning, decided to call it quits and got a lift home.
The major incident of the day was Ian R losing the bike lock key. Never to be found again. We ended up having to snip and hacksaw the cable to free the bikes.
Back on the road after lunch we turned onto Manchester Road and set off up Long Hill. This had to be done, for this next section forms part of NCN Route 68 (Andy S’s favourite cycle route).
Leaving Long Hill, the next section, Buxton Old Road, is extremely rocky.
And sometimes it is more practical to walk.
The views, however, are worth the walk.
Eventually, we dropped down towards Whaley Bridge.
Finally, we picked up the A6 and followed this back to the start.
This had been another excellent SCCC hilly ride. The route had only covered 28 miles, but there had been plenty of hills to climb. And plenty of marvellous scenery.
You can view our Over The Hills To Buxton Route below: