For the past few years, it has been a bit of a tradition for all my uni friends to head back up to Sheffield for Tramlines Festival. It’s always great to catch up with everyone and a real laugh, over the years we have certainly seen some great bands and some terrible ones! This year was no different, and the plan was to head down to the stage at the Ponderosa for about lunchtime to catch the main acts.
But first of all, with the Peak District Ultra looming, I was keen to get a bit of running in before heading out, so set off on one of my favourite loops around Burbage. Short and sweet – the weather was perfect, and as always it was great to be out!
We were lucky enough to have the beautiful weather continue all of Saturday, so we were able to enjoy all the acts from Martha Reeves to The Sugar Hill Gang and Basement Jaxx in the sunshine – perfect!
After a slight lie in and a very tasty Sunday dinner at Fox House, to re-energise from the day before’s activities, I said goodbye to the girls and headed out to Hathersage with the mountain bike. Unaware time had slightly run away with me, by the time Tom, Steve and I were on the bikes it was about 7pm! We continued regardless climbing out of Hathersage on to Shatton Moor before taking a really cool descent down the quarry on some steep single track. For once I was not the first to fall as Steve took an impressive tumble on one of the slippery muddier sections – luckily both bike and rider came out relatively unscathed.
Despite the less than ideal murky, rainy weather we decided to complete the second half of the loop we had planned which is affectionately known as ‘The Beast’! This is one of my favourite rides in the Peaks as after a fairly steep ride up to Hope Cross you get to enjoy a very rocky and technical downhill section. The combination of unpredictable loose rocks, large boulders and tree roots always makes this a very fun ride.
Now what I hadn’t quite bargained for amongst the rocks and roots was the total lack of light we now had… it was dark! Out of the woods, a thick fog had developed giving this very eerie atmosphere to the ride. I gave the start sections my best shot, but as the descent got steeper and the drops got larger, I will confess I got off and pushed the bike! The last thing I wanted was a broken collar bone or missing tooth flying straight into a rock. We arrived back at the car around 10 pm – very muddy, wet but most importantly in one piece – certainly a bit of an epic!