Apologies, I know there has been a slight break in my posts – this is all for a good reason! I have been hard working on developing the new Gear section of the site. For those of you who have not seen it yet, this will be filled with gear guides, reviews and general how-tos for all things outdoors. Anyway enough of the site plug – I will tell you about more exciting things such as climbing, mountain biking and other Peak District adventures!
The original plan for the bank holiday was to go camping in North Yorkshire, climbing on Saturday then on Sunday watch the Tour de Yorkshire and take the road bikes out. However plans changed slightly! As many of you know Saturday and Sunday were very wet, so we decided, as oppose to spending time sat in a tent hoping to get out climbing, we would stay in the Peak District (it is not like there is a shortage of things to do!!).
Given the weather Saturday morning I popped to get my haircut. It looked lovely – it is the one time every 12 weeks, or so I look presentable! My hairdresser was delighted, it’s fair to say I was transformed from a scraggy mess to looking quite glam. Naturally, I wanted to keep my hair looking lovely and show it off to everyone… so decided to go walking in the pouring rain around Bamford and Ladybower (sorry Sara!)! Hair aside, it was so good to get out walking as when I go out I generally am pushing myself pretty hard on the bike/horse/climbing, so it was great to take a step back and just enjoy being outside.
A few pictures from the walk:
Me sat by a rock (showing off my new hair of course!):
An amusing moment – we spotted some ducklings, and their mother had ended up on the top of the plug of Ladybower Reservoir. The mother jumped down no problem, but the ducklings were much more hesitant. It took one to get too close to the edge and fall off before the others made the leap!
Trail hunting – stumbled across some really cool looking tracks, definitely planning to head back and try this out when it is a bit dryer:
With summer approaching fast I am keen to set myself some big challenges (more on that next time), one of which is an ultramarathon! I have never done a marathon… but am all up for throwing myself in at the deep-end. So on Sunday training started! Tom and I headed to Castleton to run a great 10km circuit that went from the bottom of Broken Road up Loose Hill, along the ridge line to Mam Tor then down Broken Road back to the car. I can tell you now; I have a long way to go before an ultramarathon is going to be achievable. I am fine on the flat sections and downhill, but uphill phew! Training, training, training. The run left me a little sore but very determined to find a race to sign up for. So much so on the way home, I popped into Outside in Hathersage to pick up a copy of “Field Guide to UltraRunning” by Hal Koerner – I will keep you posted on how helpful I find this!
Pictures from the top of Loose Hill looking towards Mam Tor:
Cutgate Pass is one of my favourite routes around Sheffield, I have been wanting to head over to Ladybower and rode it for some time and Monday seemed perfect. The last time I attempted it I had just got my bike and found it great fun but a bit of a struggle, so I was keen to see if I had got any better.
For those of you who don’t know the route, it is a bit of a beast! After coming off the main track around the reservoir it’s a steep start followed by a bit of a hike-a-bike, but once you are at the top the descent is simply awesome! I was pleased to find I have got a lot bolder from last time – I think it helped to be in a group with four quicker riders than me. As well as that I am finding that as my speed picks up I can try some of the bigger moves/drops as it all rolls a bit smoother and you can recover from mistakes a little easier – I am sure there is a more technical way of saying that!
There was a great moment on this section where I misinterpreted the depth of a puddle and ended up to my knee in mud! After the descent the ride heads towards Langsett Woods along some wicked single track, before looping round back to head along the path you descended – it’s a tough climb, but I find it goes quicker than you think. Then finally the best bit – the heading down the initial steep descent back to Ladybower. I could ride that again and again if it weren’t for the hike back up! All in all, it’s about 30km and a great day out – 100% go and do it if you haven’t tried it!
A view of one of the smaller descents: