Sunday, 17 June 2012

Preston Guild Wheel RIde

Today we took advantage of a rare dry day to ride a new regional route that's due to be officially opened next month, The Preston Guild Wheel which circumnavigates the city

We set off on the Witton Weavers Way and I ventured into areas I'd never been before.  A lovely ride through the borough of Blackburn with some beautiful undulating roads and lovely little villages towards Preston.

Darwen Tower from Pleasington

We headed for the newly opened nature reserve at Brockholes which links a number of cycle routes and is where we joined the Guild Wheel.  We went anti-clockwise, which in terms of hills was possibly slightly more challenging than the other direction. But there was a good mix of ups & some cracking downs. The paths are in great condition and it's a pretty route.  Some glass is already on the trails, and hopefully it wont get worse. Thankfully no punctures.

Some of the signs were missing and it took some skillfull detective work and the use of some phone apps to be sure we were on the right track.  I imagine all the signs will be in place for the opening in afew weeks time.

A coffee and cookie at the docklands about 3/4s of the way round the wheel helped keep us going for the last 15ish miles back home (spot the boat bicycle)

Preston Docklands

The cookie certainly helped on the last few miles drag back up into the Pennines.
Really looking forward to seeing which route the NCN6 will take betweek Blackburn and Preston once it's finished, but for now, the road will have to do.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Peak District Camping

A British bank holiday weekend. I should have known how much it would rain, but I had been lulled into a false sense of security by the recent stunning weather and thus we packed on the optimistic side.
My cycle club, The Rough Stuff Fellowship's annual family friendly camping trip was just south of Buxton in the Peak District. By Saturday night 6 tents and one caravan were errected and we ate cake and chatted in Brian's communal tent.
Then the rain really started!!
I think around sunday into monday's wee hours we probably had a solid 30 hours of heavy rain.  We joined with a neighbouring faction of the group (North Peak South Pennine group) for a ride into Bakewell and along the Monsall Trail - which is beautiful and well worth a trip - an easy ride along an old railway line. Alas due to the amount of precipitation, I didnt take many photos.

A lovely view between tunnels on the Monsall Trail

My feet got so wet that I changed my socks, put carrier bags on and then S found me a new pair of shoes.  Having warm dry feet put the cheeriness back in my peddling after the lunch stop and I started enjoying things a bit more. Next time I'm packing those wet weather shoe covers no matter what the forecast says!!

By Monday the rains had stopped and thankfully the inside of the tent had remained dry!! Then we set off for the Tissington Trail into some sunshine.

The sunshine brought the crowds out and it was slow going on the trail due to the volume of walkers and other cyclists. We carried on to the end of the trail at the cute little town of Ashbourne for lunch.  The return route was to be back on the trail, but Stephen & I decided to extend our route and see a bit more of the area, so along with Eddie we left the main group and headed for Carsington Water.
A lovely ride with stunning views through very pretty tiny villages. It was beautiful. Carsington Water was busy with walkers and midges.

Coming down that hill where those cars are was so much fun!

Carsington Water

After a very big hill we joined the High Peak trail which took us right back to the campsite. We cut the camping trip short by a day since more rain was due. A lovely area that I hope to explore again soon for a longer trip in better weather.

breather after a long climb up to this cycle track.

Tent demolished!