Monday, 7 May 2018

Cycling, camping, fettling, getting hot...and thinking a lot.

This trip was planned for May...but it snowed...again.

So here we go, me an' Dale, on the hottest weekend in the history of Geoff...on bikes loaded up to the gunwhales...up the steepest of Peak Districty infinity and beyond.

I'm taking much of the kit I'll be using in France (see here) so my beautiful Thorn and Dale's lovely Sonder MTB are heavy. Leaving Hayfield we plod up Highgate Road before tackling the climb up to Rushup Edge.

We pause at the top to congratulate ourselves...

...then skim down to the Cafe Adventure in Hope, for refreshments. They have the finest of refreshments.

From there, we wind our way to a secret location where we camp, for the night.

This is meant to be a shakedown trip pre-France. I've adjusted the gears in the past week and all seems fine save for the chain's willingness to come off the inside of the chain wheels. At camp I tweak the low limiter screw, with fingers crossed.

In the morning we enjoy a blissful ride down a rough track by some secret reservoirs.

Video by Dale

Stopping again at Cafe Adventure, we leave to battle long uphilly bits from Bradwell to Tideswell, then from there via more uphilly bits and a nice, bowling, downhilly bit, to our campsite in Flagg. Here we stop, erect wet tents (did I forget to tell you how wet Hilleberg Enans get in nice, dry, warm weather, despite leaving the door fully open all night long? Well they do, they get very, very, very wet)...and chill, in the sun.

Photo by Dale

Pleasingly, my chain hasn't fallen off to where it shouldn't be today and I swell with pride at having mastered another of the mysteries of bicycle maintenance.

It's hot though, and I wonder at the prospect of every afternoon in France being hot like this, with no shade...anywhere. I begin to consider buying a tarpy thing to rig some shade on a campsite, twixt bike and tent.

Also, my new Sony phone is not charging from my dynamo as I ride. Dale and I have meaningful discussions about this and many other important issues of the day.

We are forced to got to the pub (by an unseen, unknown entity) where we continue solving all the world's a stroke.

Photo by Dale

Morning brings more sun...but more wet Enans!

We munch the laziest of breakfasts before setting out for Buxton and a final cafe stop.

We make a final climb up Long Hill, stopping at the top for a breather...

...before an exhilarating swoosh down t'other side.

And our trip ends with a gentle pootle along the canal into New Mills...

...and the Sett Valley Trail back to Hayfield.

A truly wonderful weekend of cycling in the sun.

Over lunch, we check the charging of my phone from the dynamo, with the bike on my maintenance stand, and find neither mine nor Chrissie's identical one will take a charge. Dale's will. But, with Dale's expert electronic input I decide to concentrate instead on topping up the charge on my Anker Powercore whilst riding, using this to charge my phone and satnav in the evening.

And, with a little persuasion from Chrissie, I order a simple, lightweight tarp, provision of shade for the use of. Oh...and a new pair of light, Keen sandals.

Life is good.

Many thanks to the fine folk who've so far sponsored me by donating to Cancer Research UK. If you'd like to do so, please follow the link at the beginning of this post. 

Chrissie is off on the TGO Challenge in a couple of days. I wish her and all the other participants a fine, safe and enjoyable crossing.



  1. Cracking blog as always Geoff 👍

    1. Thanks Dale and many thanks for your company and your reassuring input re my phone charging issue.

  2. Tarpy thing? Are you sure? The next step will be to say "weather's looking good on Kinder for tonight. I'll just take the tarpy thing. And where did I leave my trail shoes?" 🤣🤣🤣

    1. Pah. As if...

      See you soon David. By which time I'll have come up with a smartarse answer.

  3. Cracking stuff Geoff. Maybe your France do may mean early starts, a midday siesta under your tarpy thing and starting of again later in the day and finishing a wee bit later?

    1. Yeah, it's possible Dawn. I do like early starts, but also early finishes. But it's certainly an option. We'll see.

  4. Splendid trip and very good practice for France. I can vouch for the fact it does get VERY hot down there in summer. Hope all goes well

    1. Cheers Andy. It may indeed be VERY hot. I shall focus on the use of the auto air conditioning on my beautiful Thorn 😊😉


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