Rough Stuff Ride (BAR)
Good turn out for the Roughstuff ride from Ticknall today. It was a joint Derby and Burton ride so a few faces I’d not seen for a while. Pete and Lorraine joined us at the cafe stop at Staunton Harold to say ‘hello’ too. Great to catch up with everybody.
The ride through the National Forest area was a mixture of bridlepaths on fields, through woods, tracks, cycle paths and quiet lanes. I’m especially pleased that everyone managed to stay on their bikes on the sandy bottom and Geoff managed to find some wet mud in the only puddle on the route.
Tuesday Wayfarers Ride
Eleven riders met at The Waterside Cafe for a ride to Staunton Harold (two just for coffee and a chat).Coffee alfresco was a little on the chilly side although a lot warmer than last Thursday’s Group ride. Our departure was delayed by a puncture which required three inner tubes before a satisfactory one was found. I think Steve K owes Pete a tube. A more direct route was opted for and we followed the Canal path and the Cloud Trail to Worthington then climbing over the A42 to Ashby Lodge and the Stables Tearoom at the Ferrers Centre for lunch. Maurice was already there when we arrived and the majority of the group dined outside in the sheltered courtyard. After an excelllent lunch we rode in to the wind to Heath End and Ticknall where Malcolm left the group for home. The remainder now with a tailwind made quick progress to Ingleby and Swarkestone joining the Canal path again for our return to Derby. I clocked 28 miles on what was a short but enjoyable ride.
Derby Classic Ride – Grindleford breakfast (BAR)
I don’t know how long this has been a regular feature in the Derby Program, it seemed to be well established when I started riding with the group about twenty years ago. It’s been my pleasure to lead it for the last few. In reality, it doesn’t take much leading, the only difference in the route up is we now use the cycle path from Matlock to Rowsley which has only been open a few years.
So, five riders met at the Quad for a prompt 7.30 depart, we were six before getting out of the city, eleven by the time we’d cleared Duffield and up to the full thirteen in Belper. Straight up the A6 to Matlock, as usual the road is nice and quiet this time on a Sunday morning, I think we saw as many cyclists as cars. We pulled into a lay-by for a breather and it had several American cars and pick-ups of varying ages, these then passed us within the next five miles, at least you could hear them coming! From Matlock on the well surfaced path alongside the railway, the park in Darley Dale is so nice it’s worth going round it several times, so we did, though I’m grateful to Sue for knowing where the exit is, or we’d have gone round a third time.
Up the hill from Rowsley, through Chatsworth Park, the main road from Baslow to Curbar, up the hill to Grindleford.
Breakfast – cafe was busy, mostly the motorcyclists who’d been passing us for the last few miles, Service was mostly OK, though some had longer to wait than others, portions were the usual large size, quality was OK. It doesn’t sound that special, yet it’s still my favourite breakfast of the year!
Unlike the route up, there’s no set return, the group frequently splits after breakfast with riders doing their own thing. A bit different this year – all the group were keen to retrace our ride to Chatsworth to visit the Burning Man sculptures in the parkland.
After we’d done the sculptures, we all headed back to Rowsley where we discussed the options – We’d come up with the wind on our backs and were feeling it now, quite a stiff breeze at times. Gordon and Caroline were heading home via a direct hilly route, up to Stanton and across to Carsington, they offered to guide anyone interested over the mountains, but oddly no one accepted. So, the rest of us headed back along the track, saw a heritage train, just did a single lap of the park, and down the A6 to Cromford. Where we stopped for refreshments at the mill café, it is what it is, a tourist hot spot café, no complaint, but I’ll try one of the other options next time.
I’m glad to say there wasn’t much enthusiasm for the plan to return via Crich and Heage. One rider headed home on the most direct route back down the A6, the remainder used the canal towpath which wasn’t that busy, so we made reasonable progress sheltered from the wind. Back on the A6 at Ambegate, we started losing riders at Belper, five of us turned off at Milford to cross to Little Eaton, and we thinned out till I was back on my own.
That’s it, breakfast ride done for another year, thanks to everyone for making it a memorable one.
Night ride report on a warm evening 3 of us Terry ,Andy and myself met in Burton for the ride to Willington marina where Paul joined us. We set off just after 9 heading west to Dove valley then turned north up wood yard lane When we arrived at the Tissington trail we had ten minutes for a bite to eat and put on an extra layer as it had started to cool down and then we set off up to Parsley Hay. We made good progress only having to slow down to avoid the rabbits as we reached the High Peak junction ehere we were met with people running! We had our planned stop at the bike hire shop after which Paul left us to make his own way home down the High Peak Trail. The rest of us headed towards the A6 through Youlgreave an enjoyable descent then straight down to Allestree for our normal route back to Willington where Terry left us
Derby Sunday Ride
6 meet up at Derby Quad and set off down to River Gardens , getting onto cycle path( Cloud Trail) at Alvaston park turning right still on Cloud trail, but after crossing Bolton lane section and took a left turn off, I have not done this section before and to be honest was a little lost. But after a while and a few villages, seem to get back onto Cloud trail , ( missing out the Swarkeston lock and canal path section. )
Then we came off at Wilson , went down Jaw Bone lane , to the Whales jaw bone ,cycled through Melbourne, over to Breedon on the hill , and over M42 towards Griffy Dam but I got lost again here , saw lovely villages and went to feed the Dinosaur, it was looking a little off colour so think it was ready for food .
Then on to a lovely cafe in Lockington, where we were joined by Mary , return journey via Amazon industrial estate, several cycle paths, underpasses etc to come out near A6 Shardlow, down to Lady in Gray , turned off and through to Elvaston Castle grounds, onto A50 cycle path . Over Raynesway onto Cloud trail back towards Derby . I left at Railway turn off.
But a big Thanks to Sue for leading , and to Jean , Fionna, Danny , and Phil not forgetting Mary , for making it a great 40 odd mile ride, with lovely company , great weather , and informative chat at Cafe stop.
Burton Classic Ride – Ironbridge (BAR)
It was good to get back to Ironbridge, so here’s a photo of the group at the iconic structure on last Saturday’s Classic Ride. The bridge dates back from 1779 which is even older than some of the riders’ bikes!
Some reflections from the day:
The descent to Newborough and its slender octagonal church tower. A serene Blithfield Reservoir and its causeway.
The view of the Wrekin as we passed into Shropshire at Bishops Wood.
The descent into Ironbridge Gorge (and climb on the way out).
The view across to the Clent Hills from the top.
A spectacular parade of 30 or more trotting horses and assortment of carriages coming through Penkridge.
Riding through the beautiful Shugborough Park in the early evening.
And finally… we were saying our goodbyes in Burton when a father and son on bikes came up and said “You look like you know what you are doing” and promptly showed us that the chain slackened during freewheeling on his lad’s small bike. Stiff link discounted, Syd advised that the freewheel needed oiling and the plastic spoke guard needed removing since it was catching. Two happy cyclists but what an accolade.. we must have looked the part.
Thanks Syd for a great ride.
Derby Sunday Ride
5 riders set off from the Quad on Sunday 25th Sept on a bright morning with a distinctly Autumnal feel… Roger led the ride, which was approx. 33miles of (gentle, undulating) landscape heading for the Windmill Cafe just off Cat and Fiddle Lane, Dale Abbey. We headed out via the Riverside Path, taking the bypass alongside the A6 to avoid the difficult stretch of the path towards Elvaston, onwards to Shardlow and along the canal paths to Trent Lock, joining the Erewash Canal path to just above Sandiacre. Luckily, given that it was quite a ‘brisk’ day, the canal wasn’t busy with dogs/walkers although the swans were out in force – the “ugly ducklings” having almost matured into “snowny white backs” (think Danny Kaye and sing along). Climbing Arbour Hill to reach the Windmill Cafe the group started to reflect on the gentle, undulating landscape. Lunch was wonderful, especially as Mark encouraged us to go off-piste with the menu and make suggestions to the staff which were graciously accommodated. Excellent, worth a visit, good coffee & substantial sandwiches; plenty of indoor space although we also enjoyed sitting in the fresh air outside. We returned via Horsley Woodhouse, Coxbench and Little Eaton, and got quite philosophical about what the definition of a ‘Hill’ was both in the English language (!) and for CTCDAB rides. This being Roger’s ride we were obliged to visit the Shiny Tap Brewroom where we further debated the definition of “Hill” and came up with “Lumpy”, after a round of beers. Thank you to everyone on the ride for the good company and to Roger for the route
Thursday Group ride
What a difference a few days made, from the 5 day forecast on Sunday evening Thursday was going to be a day of 2 halves. Sunny in the morning and heavy rain later.
As it turned out a very bright warm day greeted the 8 riders that met at the canal cottage cafe. I’m claiming it was the brightness of the sun which caused the deviation from the planned route a couple of times during the morning.
We started by following the route of the old Derby canal to it’s meeting with the Erewash then proceeding in the direction of Trent Lock until we passed West Park where we left it to then cross the railway into Attenborough nature reserve, before reaching the visitor centre we had to first negotiate a low barrier, a bunny hop would have worked but no one was brave enough to try. The river was then followed to Beeston Lock and onwards to join ‘Big Track’. Instead of crossing to the Wilford side we continued along the embankment to Trent bridge. A short distance past the bridge we again joined with the Beeston canal and now heading back in the direction of Beeston, until a detour to visit the Castle gates. Following photos by the Robin Hood statue the route was via QMC to University Boulevard, not quite as planned but we got there.
Emerging from the cafe into bright sunshine once again and no sign of the previously forecast rain. After riding along the Boulevard and into the campus passing the impressive sports facility we left to cross Derby Road and in to Wollaton Park. No sign of the deer today, last week they were annoying the golfers. We exited onto Wollaton Road then joined up with Trowell Road and Coventry Lane. Through Bramcote estate to Moorbridge Lane and back onto the Erewash canal. The group reduced in size as riders took the opportunity to take their different ways home. Five and then four headed back through Risley, Borrowash, Ockbrook and Spondon finishing at the new bridge on the A52. It was meant to be a fairly shortish ride but I’d recorded nearly 60 miles by the time I got home. At least it was a flat ride.
Burton Sunday Ride
Five riders departed Burton Market Place at 9am and made their way out to Stretton, where, a puncture hampered progress! Once back on the road again, it was into Rolleston; across Marston Fields to Hilton; and on to Longford via Sutton on the Hill. It was then more lanes to the outskirts of Ashbourne; down the cycle path; and up through the old railway tunnel at the end of the Tissington Trail. We paused briefly, before continuing the last few miles up the trail to Tissington village. At the village we took a short detour to a commemorative plaque at a tree planted in memory of a past CTC member who lost their life in a road accident whilst out cycling. The route to the cafe from this spot was uphill and then down past the famous sweet shop, (which has just closed down); then down past the front of Tissington Hall, to Herbert’s Tea Rooms; arriving at almost exactly midday!
At the cafe, we were met by a fellow member who had arrived using power assistance!
There was quite a delay to get to place our orders because of a sizable queue but service was prompt!
After lunch a different route to that of the outward journey was taken home. We climbed out of Tissington and crossed the main Ashbourne to Buxton road; on to Thorpe, where we turned left; then right to Mappleton, and across Oakover Park. A quick blast back towards Ashbourne, then a right turn towards Clifton; and then onto the lanes back home via Roston, Marston Montgomery; Boyleston, Church Broughton; Tutbury, Rolleston, Horninglow, and Shobnall Fields.
The day’s weather was fantastic for the time of year, being both sunny and rain free; which also highlighted the Autumn colours, making the day’s outing very enjoyable!
Thursday Group Ride
National Forest Autumn Colours
The aim of the National Forest was to have about 33% tree coverage in its boundaries and our ride probably passed woodland of about this percentage. Who would have thought that 30 years ago? There is a timeline map at https://www.nationalforest.org/about/our-history
A glance of the map shows that Swadlincote is surrounded by an arc of woodland and this is where we headed.
The paths through Swadlincote Woodlands were at their finest, with a good carpet of golden beech and other leaves. Next was Church Gresley common and park, and some recalled past visits to the fair here, and glad to say it still comes for Easter and the August Bank Holidays.
I changed the planned route to drop down Cappy Hill, with great views across to Cannock Chase, to take in Coton Park Wood, Badger Wood and Penguin Wood (yes, sponsored by Penguin Books) to regain the route by Grangewood which was once the only woodland in this area. We were soon then at the Moira Furnace Cafe for lunch, with incredibly fast service of the food.
We took to the paths into the Hicks Lodge Woodland, new for some, and after a quick visit to Willesley Woodland, returned via the lake to see the Oak tree at Norris Hill at the centre of the Forest. From here it was gradually uphill through Blackfordby and onwards. Smisby has an arboretum and the lofty church made a fine view as we climbed up the sunken lane to the summit level at The Forties.
A little detour onto a track at the top of Pistern Hill gave us chance to admire the extensive view over the woodland. Calke Abbey and Ticknall Church poked above the trees, Ratcliffe Power Station away to the right. The lighting was changing and in the far distance to the north a white citadel gradually appeared – well a white something, maybe it was up towards Ilkeston?
The freewheel down the hill was broken by the turn to Ticknall. Stanton Wood was the last of the day as we returned via Foremark to bid farewells between the Derby and Burton riders at Repton. Thanks for your company, a great Autumn day out.