Hope Valley

2018, 9 May

Only three turned out for today's U3A cycle ride (Andy, Rosy and John) but it was ideal conditions: cloudy but warm and dry with barely a breeze. A greater contrast with the April ride would be hard to imagine. We started from Millers Dale station. After the climb out of the dale, we arrived at Litton where we decided it would be a good idea to have a tea break at the cafe, enjoying the fresh air at the outside tables. Suitably refreshed, we took the delightful high level route south from the village, gradually descending to Cressbrook, and enjoying great views. A steep descent to Cressbrook Mill followed. Then there was the flat section past Upperdale to enjoy before tackling the steep ascent to Monsal Head. The electrified members of the cycling group would have whizzed up, but today only one of us rode all the way (any guesses who?). Still there is no shame in pushing your bike up a hill that is too steep to ride.

We resisted the temptation to have an ice cream here and pressed on. The gradient was kinder now as we sped through Little Longstone, Great Longstone and Hassop before arriving at Hassop station. This was a major refuelling stop with sandwiches, beer and tea being consumed. The final leg was an easy ride along the Monsal Trail back to the start. Distance just under 16 miles.