ECR miles

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. Continue reading

Paying attention to Lantern Pike

Many a time I have driven from home into the Dark Peak and ignored Lantern Pike. The focus has always been Hayfield and the rocky fringes of the Kinder plateau, rather than the softer landscape to the west. My only reminder that the Pike exists is the pub that shares its name.

I resolved to change this today. I was after an easy ramble with the camera… a walk to work up an appetite for Sunday lunch. The weather was very kind, a period of calm before promised snow was due to ruin the Monday morning commute.

I strolled along the Sett Valley trail and gained ground via the Pennine Bridleway from Birch Vale. At the National Trust sign marking the Pike, I following a rocky path climbed steeply to the left and to the small ridge to the Pike’s summit and marker.

The views to higher ground were impressive, and I traced the route of a classic Kinder Scout Walk. No doubt there were plenty of walkers trampling its slopes today, yet I enjoyed solitude on this no-longer ignored hill.

Slide rules

Gravity: a physical body’s ability to attract with a force proportional to its mass. But classroom definitions pale when these forces are making themselves felt in actuality.

I ruminated on this as I slowly slid over ice en route to the Kinder Plateau on Saturday. My hefty winter boots had no answer on this surface and the faintest gradient ensured gravity was in gear and working with my mass, or on my ass.

Up to this point, I’d avoided the ice on the Snake Path. Plenty of firm snow fringed the frozen footway, which provided much needed purchase. My four-season Raichles felt over specified for the journey in hand. In retrospect, footwear choice proved to be sensible later.

Continue reading