Friday 13th June 2014
A lovely dry sunny start to the day and the very nice Polish receptionist in the hotel gave us some helpful advice to find the trail without having to backtrack down the long hill I climbed last night.
We got on to the cycle track near the Inn and followed it for as far as it went until it spilled us onto the road with all the morning traffic. We cycled down towards Mottram and picked up route signs for Broadbottom. I remember being there in 2007 with out friend Knell who was cycling from Norway, and taking a photo of my broad bottom!!!
The route twists and turns, rises and falls and despite being a bit tough , it wasn’t too bad until we came near Woolley Bridge.
If you zoom in, you will see just how bad the mud is here, and then really difficult barriers to boot. Following route 62brought us to Hatfield and we chose the more difficult route to access the Longdendale trail up the valley. There is an easier access route through the town of Hadfield ,I believe. Its very beautiful up there and the views of the string of reservoirs gets better , the higher you climb.
This part of the track is very reasonably maintained but still muddy in places but the killer comes at Woodhead pass. The track climbs steeply up the rocky hillside and it took both of us to get the loaded bikes up there.
The main road is extremely busy and very great care has to be taken crossing it. Later on another busy crossing , we came across this really difficult barrier. Just not user friendly with loaded touring bikes
Once in Dunford Bridge, despite the work going on to improve the path and a diversion, the trail becomes much better. It will be fantastic with its new surface.
We were soon down in Penistone and I must recommend Julies cafe near the Penistone cycle centre. Despite being almost closed we got hot chocolates and 2 humungous pieces of chocolate cake for £4. Great value. Please use her if you can.
We had decided to turn onto the northern route at Oxbridge and DH had been threatening to buy me and ice cream when we saw a van. This was too good an opportunity to miss.
Bad on track DS1, at home found us a campsite not too far off course at Rockley farm, marked on the map. It is very nice but the showers are very cramped. Generously proportioned people wouldn’t be able to move in them.
33 hard won miles today