The Mamnick Challenge is now in full swing with people getting out there sharing their experiences and finds with me.
I wanted to do my own challenge to commemorate the launch of the #MamnickChallenge and so last week I set off with Mark and Des to complete a 100 mile tour of the Peak District. I've done some long rides this year but have fallen just shy of 100 miles, so that was the aim. I also wanted to do 10,000 ft of Peak District climbing in a single ride. Riding the back wacks in the Peak District means a fair amount of climbing and in my experience that means for every ten miles you cover, you can expect to climb 1,000 ft. Which means a 100 mile ride should involve 10,000ft of climbing. Just to be sure, we set off at 7.30am and headed north-west towards the steeper climbs of the Dark Peak.
We stopped for breakfast in Holme Firth before we started the ascent of Holme Moss, a climb that the Tour de France will visit in 2014. It's cracking climb with a challenging gradient that is also wide open, leaving you exposed to wind. Once we reached the car-park at the top, there is a cracking descent down onto Woodhead pass. We crossed the pass and rode onto the B6105, another cracking road that winds
it's way over to Glossop. There are some great view from here looking down onto the Torside, Rhodeswood and Valehouse Reservoirs and you can see Oldham and Manchester in the distance.
After another quick descent into Glossop we then climbed Chunal, dropped into Hayfield and took turns on the front pushing our way over to Newtown and into Whaley Bridge. Here we refueled with a can of Coke and I popped some flapjack in my pocked just incase I came unstuck when we arrived in the Goyt Valley. We headed into the Valley by taking the broken road at Fernilee that runs next to the Fernilee Reservoir opposite Nook Wood. It's not the most pleasant road but it's nice to mix it up rather than riding tarmac all day and beside, it's less of a climb rather than dropping in from Embridge Causeway, which is a blinder of a descent, but the last time I did that climb up to it I was so tired it took the enjoyment of the Goyt Valley scenes away
and with another 50 miles left to ride we took the easier/rough-stuff option just to be cautious.
After deciding to miss out Longnor we left Goyt Valley heading on over to Earl Sterndale and through Crowdecote, we then threw on an extra-loop heading further south on the road to Sheen, which looked like it had a population of 10 people. This ride lead us all the way back down into Harrington. From here the ride started taking us back north, past the Tissington trail and towards Monyash.
So far we had visited 4 counties; Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire and I was feeling surprisingly fresh upon reaching Great Longstone Edge so I pushed on up, which was probably a mistake as there was another 20 miles left to ride home and this took a bit out of my legs.
I was confident we would have ridden 100 miles before we returned to Sheffield but just to be sure, we missed the gliding club over Abney (the one through Grindow) and headed into Hope valley onto the flatter, longer road that takes you up to Hathersage. Upon arriving there and getting some fruit, the mileage was at 98.9 miles and I know for a fact that it's another 12 miles to Sheffield. It felt good knowing we'd made it, but had we done enough to have climbed the 10,000 feet we we're hoping for?
I crawled up Surprise view out of Hathersage and up to Fox House my legs started to come back. I had a second wind after descending onto Abbeydale road on the home-straight and even managed to sprint for the 40-30 sign with Mark only slight beating me (as usual). The sun was still shining down at 5pm. It was a warm evening which helped compliment the occasion.
We returned home and I ended my ride. I'd been in the saddle 7 hours and 20 mins. I had ridden 108.1 miles. We had climbed 10,104 feet and I then proceeded to put some of the 5,000 calories I'd burnt back into my system. Needless to say, tomorrow I would be resting.