The last couple of weekends I’ve been getting the miles in on the ECR ahead of my trip to Scotland in May. Importantly, these have been largely off road miles and with luggage to a lesser or greater degree.
Last weekend saw me out with those fine folk from Keep Pedalling and a couple of other customers, among them Tim from Life in the Cycle Lane. We bimbled around the byways of the South Pennines on our passé geared machines while our hosts chewed up the trail on single speeds. It was the workout I needed and a salutary reminder that my fitness is not quite where it should be. Read Tim’s account here.
This weekend, I loaded up the ECR ‘properly’ and hit the bridle paths of the Dark Peak heading to Edale. I took in familiar routes such as Mount Famine and Roych Clough and had plenty of opportunity to push my beast of burden – all good training for things north of the border.
Spending the night pitched in Edale, I climbed Winnats Pass on Sunday morning for no other reason than I hadn’t ground up its 1 in 5 before. Staying on the road to Chinley, more climbing led to a lovely unmade road which dropped down into Birch Vale where I had a well-earned breakfast at the excellent Sett Valley Café.
From here, I climbed the Pennine Bridleway across the flanks of Lantern Pike before heading towards Charlesworth and home on the trails.