Sunday 14 April 2013

Cycling Adventures

Going away for adventures is marvellous but sometimes I think that enjoying where we live can be just as good, if not better.
We live on the very southern edge of the National Park where the gritstone edges rear up from the fields and dominate the skyline above the town and the horizon we see from our garden.
There are miles and miles of it to discover and favourite places we return to time and again for a bracing breath of fresh air, a scramble about or a gentle, soul restoring stroll. Lucky isn't the word.
A little while back on a lovey, chatty night out with smashing friends, the ladies of our little group decided we would get together on two wheels and enjoy our surroundings a little more - and yesterday it came off.
We cycled 17 miles of the lovely Monsal Trail from Buxton to Bakewell through old railway tunnels blackened with soot and over the enormous vaiduct at Monsal Head.  
The Buxton Bikers - Fiona, Jane and Helen
Hassop Station was our half way stop and fortified with bacon sandwiches, tea cakes and good coffee we managed to cycle to homeward leg and be home for lunch. We had a brilliant morning, made even funnier by my friend Helen having brought along her 9 year old son's bike by mistake.
It was a total beast to ride (not many gears and a seat with nowhere enough padding for mummies!) so we all took turns riding it. Blimey it was hard work! On my stretches I couldn't even speak it was so exhausting. We got some priceless looks I can tell you.Very, very funny and totally painful all at the same time!
Mostly I just really enjoyed having the chance to ride with friends and it was such good fun.My rides so far have been solo events. Cycling is really getting into my blood now and I'm amazed at how quickly I'm getting stronger and able to go much further. On the flat I can manage a fair way but I'm still finding the hills a struggle which is a bit of a problem around our way!
I love the distraction of the scenery, spotting wildlife and watching the world roll by as I'm pedalling along. It doesn't feel like exercise at all to be honest. So much so that I've signed up to do a triathlon in July can you believe ?!?  (only a little amateur one).The biking and swimming bit should be ok but I daren't think about the run. Don't think I've done more than a jog since about 1987! Better get out on the trails again I think.
Its a very lovely spot indeed is Hassop, filled with mismatched chairs, battered old Chesterfield sofas and a really good bookshop along with the deliciously brilliant cafe.
We'll be back there rather soon indeed I reckon.


louise said...

What a lovely part of the country you live in, although for cycling I think I would prefer Holland - I jus don't do hills which can be very limiting. Very brave of you to sign up for a triathlon too!

dottycookie said...

Gorgeous, glorious cycling country! We are lucky here in that it is all pretty flat, and easy to ride - but also fairly uninteresting geologically! And lots of very busy roads where you'd take your life in your hands riding a bike. Still, I really ought to get out more on mine. I used to cycle everywhere, and just got out of the habit.

Rebecca said...

Hassop Station is my most frequented place, I think last summer it got to the point we were eating at the cafe 3 times a week.... oops! The food is very good though and the trail great for biking! x

Country Rabbit said...

how lovely! the buxton bikers- happy cycling steph!!!!x

Unknown said...

This is one part of the country I still have to visit. I've also just recently taken up cycling and can't wait for the weather to improve to get cycling again. I could see an improvement in my fitness levels while enjoying the scenery at the same time. Happy cycling! Sharon

fluffydog said...

We went on holiday near here a couple of years ago and husband and older son cycled some of the trail while I walked with younger son and dog. Your words and pictures have brought back some lovely memories of our holiday and the amazing views we had while on holiday.x

Unknown said...

I've been reading your blog for years, dating back to the days when I dreamed of living in England. Now that I do, I love being able to appreciate your adventures in different way, recognising the names of places that used to just be mysterious magic words :) The Peak District is my favourite part of the UK, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of visiting!
xandra ★

sustainablemum said...

What a great place for a bike ride with a cafe stop halfway along!

Frances said...

Thank you for giving this city dweller a tremendously fun day outside in the country!

What a marvelous way to get together for a catch up with friends. xo

...Nina Nixon... said...

Gosh you are brave Steph - but what a wonderful way to spend time with friends.

Nina x

Just Original said...

Well done you on the long bike ride, the cafe is on my hit list of places to visit!

Vanessa x

andamento said...

Hills are good because you getting the fun of freewheeling down the other side! Plus they make the scenery far more interesting, I'd be bored somewhere completely flat. Having said that, I wouldn't want too many hills, cycling somewhere like Cornwall where it's just one (admittedly not very high, but they can be steep) hill after another would get rather tiring...

bellaboo said...

I got on a bike last Autumn for the first time in years..with great trepidation.They say once you can ride you always remember,but I wasn't so sure.Well after a shakey start...I did! Now I can't wait to do trips like yours.We have a disused railway track,now a cycle and walking path nearby,so they'll be no stopping me now.
Happy cycling Steph!

P.S I've only just worked out how to leave a message now you've changed your look,that's why I havn't commented for a while!

Bellaboo X

Anonymous said...

I recognised your pictures of Hassop Station instantly as we visit this Cafe often when we go down to Derbyshire for the day and the food never disappoints there is always something for all of us and they do very nice vegetarian salads. It is a wonder we are not in your picture sat at one of the tables! Do you remember how it used to be with more books than cafe when they first opened? I do miss the larger variety of books.